Focus: GS II: Government policies and Intervention
Why in News?
The Defence Accounts Department signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today with Bank of Baroda and HDFC Bank, to onboard them as Service Centres under the System for Pension Administration (Raksha) (SPARSH) initiative, across more than 14,000 branches throughout India.
- SPARSH is an initiative of Ministry of Defence which aims at providing a comprehensive solution to the administration of pension to the defence pensioners.
- It is in line with the Government’s vision of ‘Digital India’, ‘Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT)’ and ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance’.
- The system is administered by DAD, and caters to all the three Services and allied organisation.
- The system on roll-out is initially catering to the new retirees and subsequently being extended to cover the existing defence pensioners.
- The system caters to all activities of the pension cycle namely: Initiation and Sanction, Disbursement as well as Revision.
- SPARSH has been designed keeping defence pensioners at the centre, who will be given a completely transparent view of their pension account, through an online portal.
- It captures and maintains a complete history of events and entitlements of the pensioner – right from the date of commencement of pension to the date of cessation of pension due to the last eligible beneficiary.
- SPARSH has fundamentally re-engineered the process of pension disbursement – from generation of the Pension Payment Orders (PPOs) to Direct Benefit Transfer of pensions, with the motto of right pension delivered at the right time.