India develops digital ‘life certificate’ for pensioners
10 November 2014 16:28 GMT

The Jeevan Pramaan programme is hoped to eventually benefit 10 million claimants.

Biometric-based software developed by India’s government means pensioners will now no longer have to present certificates each year to prove they are alive to continue receiving benefits.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday helped launch the "Jeevan Pramaan", a digital version of the “life certificate”. Speaking at the event, he said the scheme could eventually benefit 10 million claimants.

Developed by the Department of Electronics and IT, the system will verify a pensioner`s unique Aadhar identity number against biometric details taken from his or her mobile device or a computer.

The details of the pensioner, including date, time, and biometric information will be uploaded to a central database on real-time basis, ultimately enabling the Pension Disbursing Agency to access a Digital Life Certificate.  

"The Aadhar-Based Digital Life Certificate will go a long way in reducing hardship which so many senior citizens have to go through to produce a Life Certificate every year," the IT department wrote in a press release.

The software will be made available to pensioners and other stakeholders on a large scale at no extra cost. It can be operated on a personal computer or a smartphone, along with an “inexpensive“ biometric reading device, said the department.

This facility will also be made available at Common Service Centres being operated under the National e-Governance Plan, for the benefit of pensioners residing in remote and inaccessible areas.

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