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Direct Benefit Transfer > FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: Who are entitled to get the UID Numbers?

Answer: UID Numbers will be issued to all residents of India who satisfy the verification process that is in place. ‘Residents’ means an individual usually residing in a village or rural area or town or ward or demarcated areas (demarcated by Registrar General of Citizen Registration). The issue of an UID number does not establish citizenship rights of the resident who has the number. It only establishes the identity of the person. It does not entitle the resident to any rights or entitlements. Establishing citizenship is not the mandate of the UIDAI.

Question: What is the information that the UIDAI seeks from the resident?

Answer: Name, Date of Birth, Gender, Address of the resident, Photograph, all ten fingerprints and both iris scan is required. In case of minors (children <5years age), the name of the Mother/ Father/Guardian is also required. In addition the resident can give an option to link his existing bank account with aadhaar or else opt for a new aadhaar linked bank account.

Question: How will the information in the database be used? What does authentication mean and how will it work on a daily basis?

Answer: The information in the database will be used only for authentication purposes. Authentication user agencies can use the e-KYC service to verify the identity of the residents seeking services from them. The Aadhaar ecosystem will power E-KYC (Electronic- Know Your Customer), which will utilise the E-KYC APIs, to allow citizens to avail different services without carrying any physical identification proof. The UIDAI has partnered with 26 banks, and has also tied-up with the NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) and Visa for payments powered by E-KYC. It can be deployed for customer verification for mobile connections, bank accounts, insurance, LPG connections, state government services, train travel and any service where verification is required.

Question: Will the residents be allowed to access their own information and make corrections if necessary?

Answer: A procedure will be evolved and established through which residents will be able to view their complete information in the Aadhaar database and a procedure for correcting information will be laid down.

Question: What is the utility of Aadhaar Number?

Answer: Aadhaar number is an enabler. Aadhaar number aims to provide a soft identity infrastructure which can be used to re-engineer public services so that these lead to equitable, efficient and better delivery of services. Specifically, the utility for the residents and the Governments are briefly explained below.

For Residents: Inability to prove identity is one of the biggest barriers preventing many residents from accessing benefits and subsidies.  The purpose of the UIDAI is to issue a unique identification number (UID/Aadhaar) to all residents of India that is (a) robust enough to eliminate duplicate and fake identities, and (b) can be verified and authenticated in an easy cost effective way. 

It is envisaged that the Aadhaar will become the single source of identity verification. Aadhaar, which identifies individuals uniquely on the basis of their demographic and biometric information, will give residents the means to clearly establish their identity to public and private agencies across the country. Once residents enrol, they can use the number multiple times-they would be spared the need to repeatedly provide supporting identity documents each time they wish to access services such as obtaining a bank account, mobile connection, LPG connections etc. Aadhaar will also give migrants mobility of identity. Aadhaar, once it is linked to a bank account, can make it possible for banking institutions to provide ubiquitous, low cost micro payments to the residents. Aadhaar’s secure authentication model can also enable delivery of services to residents directly via their mobile phones. This will ensure that residents may securely access government benefits and subsidies, track their bank accounts, send and receive money or make payments from the anytime-anywhere convenience of their mobile phones.

Aadhaar has been recognized as an officially valid document as PoI and PoA for opening bank accounts and obtaining mobile telephone and LPG connections. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued necessary instructions for recognition of Aadhaar as PoI and PoA for obtaining a driving license and registration of vehicles. The Department of Health and Family Welfare has also recognized Aadhaar as PoI and PoA for extending financial assistance to patients below poverty line who are suffering from major life threatening diseases for receiving medical treatment at any of the super specialty Hospitals/Institutions or other Government Hospitals under Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi. Ministry of Railways has also recognized Aadhaar as a valid PoI for rail travel. Election Commission of India has accepted Aadhaar as an alternative PoI and PoA at the time of polls in absence of Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC). Some of the State/UT Governments viz. Sikkim, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Chandigarh, Nagaland, Haryana, Manipur and Rajasthan have also recognized Aadhaar as one of the PoI and PoA for their various resident centric schemes. Recently Ministry of External Affairs has notified Aadhaar as one of the valid documents for proof of residence in conjunction with any of the other notified documents.

For Registrars and Enrollers: The UIDAI will only enrol residents after de-duplicating records which will help Registrars to clean out duplicates from their databases, enabling significant efficiencies and cost saving. For Registrars focussed on cost, the UIDAI’s verification processes will ensure lower Know Your Resident (KYR) cost, and a reliable identification number will enable them to broaden their reach into groups that till now have been difficult to authenticate. It is anticipated that the strong authentication that the UID number offers will improve services leading to better resident satisfaction.

For Governments:
Eliminating duplicates and ghost beneficiaries under various schemes is expected to save the government exchequer a substantial amount. It will also provide governments with accurate data on beneficiaries, enable direct transfer of benefits.

Question: What are the fears on the utility of UID Number (Aadhaar Number)?

Answer: The views of different stakeholders on the subject are encapsulated in the Report of the Standing Committee of Finance. The UIDAI has submitted its point-wise comments on the report to the Planning Commission for submission to the Cabinet.

Question: What benefits and services can be delivered to residents?

Answer: The UIDAI cannot define the nature of benefits and services that should be or can be delivered. It is for the State Government’s/Ministries/Departments to decide whether delivery of the benefits and services should be linked to Aadhaar number and the extent to which the number should be used. The key role of the UIDAI is to give the UID number (called Aadhaar number). The role of the Aadhaar number is that of an enabler – a number that helps governments design better welfare programs enables residents to access benefits and services more easily wherever they live, and allows agencies to deliver benefits and services effectively and transparently. The number will thus be an identity infrastructure, and the foundation over which multiple services and applications can be built for the resident.

Question: How will the UIDAI ensure that there is no fraud and duplicate/ghost persons who are issued UID numbers as all databases existing today have these inconsistencies?

Answer:  Enrolment of residents with proper verification: Existing identity databases in India are fraught with problems of fraud and duplicate/ghost beneficiaries. To prevent this from seeping into the UIDAI database, the Authority has partnered with various State Government departments and public sector Banks to enrol residents with proper verification of their demographic and biometric information. The primary responsibility for correct enrolment vests in these Registrars at the front-end. UIDAI has prescribed standardized processes for enrolments based on the standards recommended by the Demographic Data Standards and Verification Procedures Committee, and Biometrics Committees to ensure that the data collected is clean and without duplicates from the start of the program.  Once the data is received at the CIDR, it is duly validated and randomly assigned for manual quality check. There is also a process of continuous Analytics to review data and in case any inconsistency is found, allotment of Aadhaar can be reviewed.

Process to ensure no duplicates: Registrars will send the applicant’s data to the CIDR for de-duplication. The Central Identification Data Repository (CIDR) will perform a search on key demographic fields and on the biometrics for each new enrolment, to ensure that no duplicates exist. The incentives in the UID system are aligned towards a self-cleaning mechanism. The existing patchwork of multiple databases in India gives individuals the incentive to provide different personal information to different agencies. Since de-duplication in the UID system ensures that residents have only one chance to be in the database, individuals are expected to provide accurate data. However it needs to be borne in mind that even the best technology cannot guarantee 100% accuracy. Some duplicates will emerge even with all the checks and balances. UIDAI therefore proposes to periodically review its database for such duplicates and cancel the duplicate aadhaars as and when they come to notice.

Question: Will the UIDAI be issuing cards?

Answer: The UIDAI will be issuing UID numbers and not cards. The Aadhaar number will be communicated to the resident by means of a letter delivered by India Post or any other delivery agency engaged by UIDAI to the communication address provided at the time of enrolment.  The letter has a smaller, cut away portion that has the Aadhaar number and demographic information of the resident that could be retained for reference.  The Registrar may issue a card for their own purpose in which they may include the UID number. The UID can only establish unique identity if authentication is done against the central database. Further, cards can be forged, stolen, faked and identity process diluted. While the UID authority only guarantees online authentication, the service providers are free to issue cards to people if it serves their purpose.

Question: What are the privacy protection measures in place to protect the right to privacy of the resident?

Answer: The information that the UIDAI is seeking is already available with several agencies (public and private) in the country; the additional information being sought by the UIDAI are the finger prints and iris scans. However, the UIDAI recognizes that the right of privacy must be protected, and that people are sensitive to the idea of giving out their personal information, particularly the idea of information being stored in a central database to be used for authentication. UIDAI will protect the right to privacy of the person seeking the unique identity number. The information on the database will be used only to authenticate identity.

The draft bill includes clauses to protect identity information, discourage impersonation and unauthorized access to the UIDAI database (Chapter VI, Clauses 30 to 33).

Data protection features have been included in the architecture of the AADHAAR project.

Data Protection Features integral to UID (Aadhaar Project)

  • Do not keep data more than the functional requirement
    • Basic Demographic information
    • No Profiling information
    • No Transaction records
  • Ensure Integrity during Data Transfer
    • Encryption and Security
    • Detailed Transfer Protocols
    • Trained Personnel
  • Data Security and Protection in CIDR
    • No data flow outside – only yes or no
    • All processes in place to ensure security of data (access protocols, etc) in CIDR
    • UID holder can access and update information
    • Penal consequences for unauthorized access and tampering of data
  • Guidelines to Registrars
    • On best Practices in Data handling
    • Evolving necessary protocols to ensure data security

The following provisions have been made in the draft Bill:  (Chapter VII, Clauses 34 to 46)\

Penalties have been provided, inter alia, for impersonation at time of enrolment, impersonation of aadhaar number holder by changing demographic information or biometric information, disclosing identity information, unauthorised access to the Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR), tampering with data in Central Identities Data Repository.

Data protection, however, is not limited to the AADHAAR project and needs to be addressed through a comprehensive legislation. The Committee of Secretaries, after detailed deliberations has constituted a Group of Officers under the chairpersonship of Secretary, D/o Personnel and Training consisting of representatives of D/o Revenue, M/o Science and Technology, D/o Legal Affairs, M/o Home Affairs, D/o Information Technology and the Cabinet Secretariat with a view to work out the framework of the legal provisions, including principles and elements on data protection, security and privacy.

Question: Is the Registrar/Enrolment Agency required to follow any data protection principles? Will the Authority be prescribing principles to be followed by the Registrar?

Answer: When Enrolment Agencies / Registrars collect data from residents, they have to exercise a fiduciary duty of care towards this information. Therefore, it is their responsibility to ensure they keep the data collected from residents safe and secure (both biometric and demographic) and protected from unauthorized access. UIDAI has issued guidelines and best practices for data protection for all its ecosystem partners.

Question: What is the legal basis of the UIDAI?

Answer: The UIDAI is presently established by the Planning Commission by an executive order. A Cabinet Committee on Unique Identification Authority has also been established.  The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) was constituted as an attached office under the Planning Commission to develop and implement the necessary legal, technical and institutional infrastructure to issue unique identity to residents of India.
The National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in December 2010 and thereafter referred to the Standing Committee on Finance. The report of the Committee has been received and is under consideration of the Government of India.

Question: If the Authority is legally functioning under the Notification issued by the Government of India, why was a Bill introduced in Parliament?

Answer: Constituting a statutory authority would provide a legislative framework for UIDAI to perform its functions. The legislation is considered necessary to strengthen the mandate of the authority to undertake its responsibilities effectively. The powers and functions of the Authority, the framework for issuing aadhaar numbers, major penalties and matters incidental thereto are proposed to be laid down through the Bill. With a legal/legislative framework in place, penalties for unauthorised access of data and breach of security can also be enforced more effectively in terms of the law.

Question: Will the database of the UID be shared with other Registrars?

Answer: The Registrars collecting the data can and will keep the data for their own use.  Data can be also shared by UIDAI with Registrars wherever the consent of the resident is available. It can also be shared in cases where there are orders of the competent Court or any disclosure is necessitated by national security considerations. There too, a competent authority is proposed to be prescribed to make such requests. These are already provided in the Draft NIDAI Bill (Chapter VI, clause 33). 

Question: How will children be captured in the database?

Answer: For children below 5 years, no biometrics will be captured. Their UID will be processed on the basis of demographic information and facial photograph linked with the UID of their parents/guardians. These children will need to provide their biometrics comprising ten fingers, iris and facial photograph, when they turn 5. All children will need to update their biometrics once again when they turn 15. The instructions in the original Aadhaar letter carry a note to this effect, wherever relevant.

Question: How will the biometric of the differently-abled people with no finger prints or rugged hands e.g. beedi workers or people with no fingers be captured?

Answer: In the case of people without hands/ fingers, available biometrics (photo, iris, fingers) will be captured and exceptions will be documented.  In the case of differently-abled and people with no fingerprints or rugged hands, the available biometrics will be captured.  Exceptions will be documented. If all biometrics are missing, exception management module permits enrolment of such residents. Like children, they too will be de-duplicated based on their demographic information and photograph. However before any such enrolment is processed, the data is manually screened at the back-end by UIDAI to reconfirm the facts.

Question: What steps have been taken to speed up the generation of Aadhaar Numbers to residents?

Answer: To speed up generation of Aadhaar numbers, UIDAI has scaled up the capacity of Biometric Automated Identity Systems (ABIS) for the biometric de-duplication to 1 million aadhaars per day. To minimize validation failures at the processing stage, the enrolment client features have been enriched and a number of validation checks have been built into the front end enrolment client. These include (i) local authentication of operators/supervisors (ii) age and relationship authentication (iii) End of Day (EOD) review of demographic data by supervisor (iv) periodic sync of the enrolment machines with CIDR has been made mandatory (v) upload of data packets within 20 days from the date of enrolment (vi) periodic report and analytics of the data uploaded are shared with the Registrars and EAs.

Question: What is the time period by which UIDAI will generate and issue the Aadhaar number?

Answer: As per the process, 60 to 90 days from the date of receipt of the enrolment packet in the Central Identities Data Depository (CIDR) has been prescribed for delivering Aadhaar number to the resident.  However this presupposes that the data packet will clear all validation checks prescribed by UIDAI to ensure the authenticity of the packets and to ensure audit trail in each case. In case any validation check fails, the packet is kept on hold till the resolution process clears the packet or else it is rejected.

Question: What are the reasons for delay in issuing the Aadhaar numbers?

Answer: Residents’ data packets received in CIDR undergoes a number of validation/quality checks to ensure that the data received is correct and authentic; such as:

  1. Structural Validation for data integrity:
    i.          Authenticity of Registrar(s) and EA code.
    ii.         Village, Town, City Pin-code mapping.
    iii.        Certification of operators and supervisors.
    iv.        Registrar and Enrolment Agency (EA) mapping.
    v.         Availability of approved encryption key
  2. Demographic De-duplication
  3. Demographic data quality check
    i.          Photo-gender match
    ii.         Age validation
    iii.        Spelling/address validation
    iv.        Transliteration check
    v.         Photo quality
  4. Biometric de-duplication.
    Any resident data packet, which fails any of the validation checks, is either rejected or goes into a ‘hold’ status till the authenticity of the data packet is confirmed from the Registrar/enrolment agency. This can lead to delays in generation of Aadhaar numbers. Sometimes, the delay in generation of Aadhaar is on account of delay in upload of resident data by the enrolment agency.

Question: How many enrolments have been completed as on 28.2.2013?

Answer: As per the status available, 34.71 crore people have been enrolled as on 28th Feb., 2013 and the enrolment packets have been received in CIDR for the same. After undergoing a number of validation/quality checks that the data received is correct and authentic, 28.78 crore Aadhaar numbers have been generated. State wise details are available at  -
http://planningcommission.gov.in/sectors/dbt/adhaar_2802.pdf

Question: How many Aadhaar letters have been dispatched as on date?

Answer: As per the Postal Training Centre (PTC) portal of Department of Post, 24.07 crore have been dispatched as on 28.2.2013. The details of state-wise dispatch of Aadhaar nos. are available at -
http://planningcommission.gov.in/sectors/dbt/state_aadhar2802.pdf

Question: How many enrolments have been rejected?

Answer: As on 28.2.2013 about 2.69 crore enrolments have been rejected due to various technical and process errors.

Question:  Does UIDAI assure 100% duplicate free database? Will there be no duplicate aadhaar numbers?

Answer: Biometric matching systems or de-duplication systems are essentially based on pattern matching and can be designed to achieve an accuracy of more than 99%. Higher the quality of biometric capture, lesser the probability of a duplicate being generated. However UIDAI aims for inclusiveness so that failure to enroll is negligible. Therefore generation of duplicate aadhaar number cannot be ruled out totally.

Question: How many Aadhaar numbers have been cancelled till date?

Answer: 418254 aadhaar numbers have been cancelled as on 28.2.2013 due to various technical and process errors. The details are as under:

Sr.No. UID_Status_Description  UID_Count
1 Aadhaar cancelled due to Duplicate 34015
2 Aadhaar cancelled for Test Cases 2
3 Aadhaar cancelled due to Biometric Exception Cases 3,84,237
Grand Total 418254

Question: How Many enrolments are pending for issue of Aadhaar Numbers?

Answer: About 3.23 crore resident enrolment packets are at various stage of processing as on 28.2.2013.

Question: How many Registrars and enrolment Agencies are involved in the enrolment of residents?

Answer: Around 43 Enrolment Agencies are working under RGI’s 4 sub-Registrars in 33 States/UTs while about 94 Enrolment Agencies are working with 50 State/Non State Registrars (including sub-Registrars) in 18 States/UTs.

Question: What are the problems faced in setting up adequate centres?

Answer: Availability of proper infrastructure such as access to public buildings for enrolment, electricity, availability of Verifiers appointed by the Registrars are some of the problems being faced during aadhaar enrolments.

Question: Whether Govt. is facing hurdles due to defective machines, lack of availability enrolment forms?

Answer: The enrolment kit can suffer breakdown because of tough working environment such as heat/dust/fluctuating current/mishandling during operation and transportation.

Question: How is the Govt. addressing the above issues?

Answer: Only Standard Testing Quality Control (STQC), an agency of Deptt. of Electronics and Information Technology, certified biometric enrolment devices are permitted to be used for aadhaar enrolment. Resident enrolment form has been uploaded on UIDAI website for download and use by residents. As a part of the resident enrolment process, UIDAI has prescribed availability of technical personnel to fix on-site issue. UIDAI offers technical support to its partners through a dedicated team at its Technology Centre at Bangalore. Further, UIDAI offers field coaching and online training support for operators and supervisors.

Question: Is Govt. aware that people are being forced to enroll for UID Scheme?

Answer: UIDAI has been mandated to generate and issue unique identification numbers (Aadhaar) to all residents of India. Enrolment for aadhaar is voluntary and not mandatory. It is for the implementing authorities to decide whether aadhaar is mandatory for receiving service.

Question: How are the resident’s grievances being handled by UIDAI?

Answer: UIDAI has set up contact centre and helpdesk at Pune and Jamshedpur w.e.f 1.12.2013. The service is man by M/s Tata Business Support Services. Besides, grievance cell has been set up in each of the Regional Offices of UIDAI to attend to the complaints of residents.
To take care of the complaints by residents of non-receipt of aadhaar letters e-aadhaar portal has been launched and made available online. Further, to facilitate residents to update and correct their aadhaar data, self-service portal online and through Post have been launched in November 2012.

Question: Whether it is fact that inclusion of all Indian residents in the Unique Identification number scheme would present a threat to the nation’s security by giving illegal   migrants rights of citizens?

Answer:          Aadhaar is a unique 12 digit number which is being issued to all residents of India as a developmental initiative. Determination of citizenship is under the Citizenship Act, 1955 and the Rules framed there under.  Aadhaar does not confer citizenship nor does it confer right of citizenship to illegal migrants which will be determined by the relevant statutory and implementing authorities. Hence, compromise of national security due to enrolments under the UID project does not arise.

Question: How were the States/UTs selected where non-RGI Registrars can enroll?

Answer: The Cabinet Committee on UIDAI in its meeting held on 27.1.2012 has decided that in States where UIDAI has made good progress or where State/UT Governments /Administrations have given commitment for Aadhaar enrolments and are planning to integrate with various services delivery applications, Aadhaar enrolments through non-RGI Registrars move at full speed.  Accordingly, certain States have been specified where UIDAI can collect data.  It has also been decided that the NPR enrolment will continue as envisaged, but, if in the course of enrolment, a person indicates that he/she is already enrolled for Aadhaar, the biometric data will not be captured by NPR. Instead the Aadhaar number/enrolment number will be recorded in NPR and biometric data will be given to the NPR.

Question: How many Printers have been deployed by UIDAI for printing of aadhaar letters?

Answer: Three agencies, namely 1. M/s Manipal Tech Ltd, Manipal, 2. M/s Seshaasai Business (P) Ltd., Mumbai and 3. M/s KL High Tech Secure Print, Hyderabad have been contracted.

Question: What is the Background of Direct Cash Transfers?

Answer: With the rapid rollout of Aadhaar, covering more than 20 crore people and rapidly growing to cover 60 crore, with the National Population Register doing the other half, it was felt possible to move to a system of transferring cash benefits directly to the poor.

In order to rollout the implementation of a seamless electronic Aadhaar based cash transfer system for transfer of cash benefits to beneficiaries, the Prime Minister approved the setting up of a National Committee on Direct Cash Transfers chaired by himself and an Executive Committee on Direct Cash Transfers. The goal was to rapidly rollout cash transfers across the country for as many government schemes and benefits as possible within the next year.

Question: What are Cash Transfers?

Answer: Cash Transfers are programs that transfer cash directly, generally to poor households, with or without conditions. The purpose of a cash transfer could be:

  • To provide a monetary benefit for a specific purpose or use - such as for education through a scholarship, for healthcare through a medical assistance program, etc.
  • Direct income support – such as old age income support through a pension, unemployment assistance through an unemployment benefit, etc. This is predicated on the assumption that there is a need to redistribute income as a public policy objective. Often, the purpose is to enhance private consumption levels and achieve a minimum consumption floor.
  • To provide a direct subsidy for specific products – such as for food, fuel, agricultural inputs, electricity, books, etc.

They are generally of two types – unconditional and conditional.

Cash Transfer programs that do not impose any conditions for making the transfers are called Unconditional Cash Transfers. Conditional Cash Transfers transfer cash on the condition that those households make pre-specified investments in the human capital of their children. In general, this has involved attaching “conditions” to transfers.

Question: What is the major objective of Direct Benefits Transfer Programme?

Answer: This Programme envisages a switch from the present electronic transfer of benefits to bank accounts of the beneficiary to transfer of benefits directly to Aadhaar seeded bank accounts of the beneficiaries. The other objectives are:

  • Accurate Targeting
  • De-duplication
  • Reduction of Fraud
  • Process Re-engineering of Schemes for simpler flow of information and    funds.
  • Greater Accountability

Question: Which are the committees formed for execution of Direct Benefits Transfer?

Answer: the following committees have been formed for execution of Direct Benefit Transfer.

  • The Government has constituted the National Committee on Direct Cash Transfers (http://planningcommission.nic.in/sectors/dbt/pmo_noti.pdf), chaired by the Prime Minister, to coordinate action on the implementation of the DBT Program. This Committee is to be assisted by the Executive Committee on Direct Cash Transfer (http://planningcommission.nic.in/sectors/dbt/pmo_noti.pdf), chaired by the Principal Secretary and convened by Secretary, Planning Commission.
  • To ensure orderly and timely implementation, Mission Mode Committees (http://planningcommission.nic.in/sectors/dbt/pmo_1611.pdf), namely, Financial Inclusion Committee, Technology Committee and Implementation Committee on Electronic Transfer of Benefits were also constituted.
  • Direct Benefit Transfer Division was created in the Planning Commission to provide secretarial service to PMO and act as the Nodal Agency in the implementation of DBT.

Question: What are the Guidelines issued for execution of DBT Roll out?

Answer: The DBT Division issued consolidated instructions to the concerned Ministries with approval of the Executive Committee. Office Memorandum#1 (http://planningcommission.nic.in/sectors/dbt/7_DBT_guide.pdf) on Guidelines on Standardized Formats for Collection of Basic Data to facilitate Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) in Pilot Districts, was issued on 26.12.12. OM#2 (http://planningcommission.nic.in/sectors/dbt/6_DBT_uidai.pdf) on Procedure for seeding Aadhar Numbers and OM#3 (http://planningcommission.nic.in/sectors/dbt/5_DBT_Banks.pdf) on Procedure for sending Payment Advice to Banks were issued on 8.01.13.

Question: How did Direct Benefits Transfer roll-out commence?

Answer: A decision was taken in the meeting of the National Committee on Direct Cash Transfers held by the Prime Ministers that Direct Benefit Transfers will be rolled out from 1st January, 2013 in 43 districts (http://planningcommission.nic.in/sectors/dbt/list_43.pdf) , 26 selected Central Sector and Centrally Sponsored Schemes (http://planningcommission.nic.in/sectors/dbt/3_schemes.pdf)  in a phase wise manner beginning with 20 districts on 1.1.2013, 11 districts from 1.2.2013 and the remaining 12 districts from 1.3.2013.

Question: What were the criteria for selection of these schemes?

Answer: Schemes were selected on the basis of higher incidence of beneficiaries with bank accounts and where Flow of Funds was found to be relatively simpler. Accordingly, most schemes are related to scholarships, benefits to women and child labour.

Question: What were the criteria for selection of districts?

Answer: 43 districts were identified on the basis of higher Aadhaar enrolment figures and presence of banks.

Question: Which major schemes have not yet been planned for Direct Benefits Transfer roll-out?

Answer: Schemes like MGNREGA, IAY and Pension related schemes have not yet being planned for Direct Benefits Transfer roll-out.

Question: What is the reason for not doing so?

Answer: Major reasons for not including these schemes for Direct Benefits Transfer roll-out are large no. of rural beneficiaries, Poor coverage of banks in rural area, most beneficiaries having accounts in post offices and decision of Post-Offices to join Core-Banking System by Mid-June 2013 only.
However, these schemes may be considered for Direct Benefits Transfer roll-out after post-offices join the core-banking system.

Question: How many Banks are on Board for Direct Benefits Transfer roll-out?

Answer: There are 26 PSU Banks, 12 RRBs and Few Private Banks and Cooperative Banks are on board for roll out of Direct Benefits Transfer. These banks are equipped with Core Banking System.

Question: What are the arrangements made for filling the gap between banking infrastructure and customers?

Answer: The Business Correspondents (BCs) are proposed to be introduced to reach the unbanked population, as the credit and operational risks in the branchless banking model does not enable banks to reach the unbanked population. This eliminates the need for a physical bank branch or ATM’s in remote areas.

Question: Were there any pilot projects taken into account for implementation of DBT?

Answer: UIDAI had been conducting pilot projects and other field studies to explore the efficacy and efficiency of Aadhaar authentication in the context of Financial Inclusion, Public Distribution System, LPG delivery and Pensions. Apart from that pilot projects in respect of Kerosene has been under taken in Kotkasim Tehsil of Alwar District, Rajasthan.

Question: What were the outcomes of these pilot projects?

Answer: These pilot projects have shown tremendous benefits by providing effective service delivery to the targeted beneficiaries.

  • The Financial Inclusion pilot project in Jharkhand enabled direct cash transfer by the Jharkhand Government to the beneficiaries’ Aadhaar-linked bank accounts under various programs like MNREGS, Old Age Pensions and Student Scholarships, to avoid leakages.
  • The pilot project initiated by Consumer Affairs, Food and Civil Supplies Department of Andhra Pradesh utilized Aadhaar Authentication platform to deliver services to more than 85,000 households with around 3 lakh target beneficiaries through more than 145 fair price shops (FPS) in the Districts of East Godavari and Hyderabad.
  • The LPG pilot was initiated in the district of Mysore by the three Oil Marketing Companies - IOCL, BPCL and HPCL in January 2012, under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. The objective of the pilot was to use Aadhaar biometric authentication to minimize diversion of subsidized LPG cylinders. The target consumer base for the pilot was around 85,000 beneficiaries, across 3 LPG distributors (gas agencies) in Mysore - one each for IOCL, BPCL and HPCL. Subsidized LPG cylinders were delivered by delivery boys after successful biometric authentication of any family member present in the household. Around 50,000 successful deliveries have been made so far using biometric authentication. The next phase of pilot would scale up operations in the entire district. It would also undertake transfer of subsidy amount directly into the bank accounts of beneficiaries while the LPG cylinder is delivered at market price. This would eliminate the incentive to divert subsidized LPG cylinders.

Question:  What were the steps taken for execution of the LPG pilot project?

Answer: For this pilot, the consumer data base was seeded with the Aadhaar number and each consumer was asked to provide UID number of his family members as well as one neighbour, who were authorized to receive the LPG cylinder on his behalf. Further, the three participating companies got a common application developed that provided the UID authentication and delivery management overlay and data exchange with their native cylinder booking and delivery module. A PoS device was used for authentication of the receiver as well as recording of delivery of LPG cylinder.

Question: When Direct Benefits Transfer roll out for LPG is to be launched?

Answer: With regard to direct transfer of subsidies for LPG, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has stated that the Government intends to link cash subsidy to Aadhaar card of LPG customer in three phases. In the first phase, it is proposed that 51 districts will be covered and only in districts where the penetration of Aadhaar exceeds 80 %.

It will begin in the district of Mysore, where the pilot programme had been run successfully. The Aadhaar enrolment of the consumer has reached more than 80% and more than 50% digitized database of consumer has been seeded with Aadhaar number.

Question: What steps have been taken by the government for providing Direct Cash to the Subsidy for food? Does government mean to dismantle the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS)?

Answer: As far as direct transfer of subsidies for food is concerned, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has stated that there is no proposal under consideration at present in the Department for disbursement of food subsidy in cash instead of foodgrains to beneficiaries under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).

However, the Department proposes to introduce a pilot scheme in selected Union Territories (UTs) for direct transfer of food subsidy under TPDS, wherein foodgrains will be issued by Food Corporation of India at economic cost.  The proposal does not involve dismantling the TPDS. Ministry has pointed out that the proposed pilot scheme will test the feasibility of the launch of the scheme in other States/UTs.

Question:  How the cash subsidy of food will be disbursed to the beneficiaries?

Answer: As per the information furnished by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, the cash subsidy equal to the difference in the economic cost and the prevailing issue price will be credited to the bank account of the beneficiary in advance to enable the beneficiary to purchase the foodgrains at this cost.  The scheme is expected to check leakages/diversion of foodgrains under TPDS. The details of the schemes will be worked out in consultation with UTs etc.

Question: Has the government run any pilot for Pension Schemes?

Answer: Pension’s pilot in Aurangabad District in Maharashtra was initiated with the objective of directly transferring monetary benefit into the bank account of pensioners using the Aadhaar Payments Bridge. Aadhaar number was linked to the list of beneficiaries to eliminate fake beneficiaries. Aadhaar Enabled Payment System was used by Banking Correspondents to disburse funds through micro-ATM.

Question: What is Aadhaar Payment Bridge System?

Answer: Aadhaar Payment Bridge is the new payment service offered by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) using the Aadhaar number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), known as Aadhaar Payment Bridge System and is referred as “APBS”. APBS will be used for credit transactions for Government/ Government agency disbursements

APBS has the following objectives.

  • To sub-serve the goal of Government of India (GOI) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in furthering Financial Inclusion by way of processing government disbursement using Aadhaar number.
  • To promote electronification of retail payments.

Question: What is the Implementation Status of Direct Benefits Transfer roll-out?

Answer: A DBT MIS system has been created for compiling information on DBT roll out status in the districts.  The 8 concerned Ministries/Departments are required to collect, verify and upload this data onto the DBT MIS System.  Maintenance of this information on the DBT MIS will facilitate availability of data on real time basis. This will prove essential in ensuring successful implementation of DBT.  Summary record of status of implementation has been compiled and is available at – http://planningcommission.gov.in/sectors/dbt/summary_2203.pdf

The information regarding amount of funds transferred to the beneficiaries is available at (http://planningcommission.nic.in/sectors/dbt/scheme_43.pdf)