SPARSH Smart Card for Defence Pensioners – Planning by MoD

SPARSH : Modification in Pension Disbursement System for Defence

A seminar on SPARSH was organized by CGDA in New Delhi which was named Raksha Pension Samadhaan Ayojana. Large number of ESM attended the seminar. The gist of the seminar is as below :

The Stake holders of the Defence pension department and representatives of other defence authorities have

(a) Pension shall not be stopped in any circumstances rises due to implementation /migration to SPARSH.
(b) A smart Card will be given to all pensioners which contains all details like PPO, Pension slip etc.
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(c) The Defence Secretary promised that till all the difficulties/faults  are removed from SPARSH and made it user friendly, it will not be thrust on the pensioners.
(d) Thorough planning become carried out to make migration into SPARSH easy.
(e) Payment of pension shall be accomplished on the remaining working day through banks from wherein the pensioner is drawing his pension.
(f) There shall be no postpone in disbursal of pension. In the legacy machine there has been put off in remittance of pension by using three to six months.
(g) As on date 19.80 lakh pensioners have been migrated. The gift migration is set 1 lakh new pensioners in keeping with month.

In the seminar it was discussed about the Problems Encountered by users and administrators

  • Data in PPOs of earlier retires of pre – 1960 are illegible.
  • Identification of pensioners – Very difficult.
  • 1 lakh Gurkha pensioners are not yet migrated.
  • Aadhaar Card and mobile nos were not supplied by banks and other PDAs in some cases.
  • Wrong payment of commutation was detected.
  • 40% of pensioners were not paid correct pension (by banks/treasuries).
  • Unless data of those not yet migrated, further migration is put on hold.
  • User id and password will be given within 15 days of migration.
  • ECHS sought to be integrated with SPARSH.
  • Grievances can be sent in five modes like email, SMS, WhatsApp, Call centre of PCDA (Pensions), from home, through CSCs / Banks etc.
  • CGDA concluded MOU with CSCs. Initially it was only 1,100 but expanded to 4.70 lakhs such that every village has CSC.
  • SBI, PNB, Bank of Baroda, HDFC, DIAV, Record Offices are connected for easy transfer of data / grievances. Banks also will act as SPARSH nodal centres.
  • Smart Card will be issued to all pensioners containing all data. It can be used for availing benefits offered by Railways, Airlines, CSD, telecoms companies, interest subsidy offered by banks / State govts, concession offered in any type of purchase, home loans by banks etc.
  • Mr Himanshu Tripathi, Dy CDA from Office of PCDA (Pensions) Prayagraj

As expressed by the defence authority, SPARSH  is a learning process for the Defence Accounts Department staff. The software of SPARSH is being improved with receipt of inputs from social medial, YouTube channels, Ex-Servicemen Associations and Ex-Servicemen who lodge grievances. 

The Min of Def is kind enough to extend period of submission of ALC from one month (November) to three months (till 31 Jan 2023). As on date the SPARSH received the following number of ALCs and the same have been uploaded into SPARSH.

(a) Jeevan Pramaan – 7,50,000
(b) DLC – 71,600
(c) MLC – 40,500
(d) Date of Submission. Pensioner has now the freedom to submit his ALC any month of his choice and it is not restricted to November only.
Data Collected from Banks and other PDAs out of 20 lakh Pensioners.

(a) Aadhaar Cards – 17,30,000
(b) PAN Cards – 13,84,000
(c) Mobile Nos – 18,77,000
(d) The data will continue to be collected every month till all 33 lakh pensioners are migrated.
(e) Updating Mobile Nos, Email Address, Postal Address etc. Provision has been made in the software by which the pensioner can update his mobile no, Email Address and postal address.
(d) 2,50,000 pensioners do not have Aadhaar cards.

(e) Status of Migration. Pensioner can see whether he is migrated to SPARSH or not by going into portal of SPARSH. A link is given where one has to enter his Aadhaar No / mobile no / service no etc.
(f) SMS will be sent once a pensioner is migrated.
(g) Pension will be credited only on the last working day.
(h) Identification of defence civilians like in MES, BRO, Ordnance Factories, Civilians working in various Armed Forces establishments like Army Base workshops, CODs, CADs, formation HQs, Ministry of Defence etc has become problematic.
(j) Pension slips of banks is different. Hence delay in standardising all of them.

(k) Issue of Corr PPOs is delayed. But the same is being expedited.
(l) Income Tax Deduction. There are problems in deducting correct income tax. More work is required to deduct correct amount of income tax.
(m) NRIs. Now NRIs can submit their annual life certificate after it is issued by Indian embassy / high commission/ consulate through email.
(n) Dedicated YouTube Channel.  Pensioners are advised to watch the videos on various aspects of SPARSH. There are some channels gives incorrect or deliberately wrong information about SPARSH.
Mr Vijay Kumar Singh, IAS, Secretary, Min of Def.
Other issues covered are as under :

(a) Speed of migration is fast hence many errors have crept in.
(b) CPENGRMS give us many complaints from pensioners.
(c) CSCs which are in villages are to be strengthened for defence pensions.

(d) Aadhaar name is asked from the pensioners. It should have been  Aadhaar Number which is unique to the pensioners. The mobile no, service no and bank account no are unique. This has caused lot of anguish and unrest among the pensioners. TCS should modify their software.

(e) He promised that unless all problems in SPARSH being faced by the pensioners, it will not become mandatory.

(f) SPARSH should be more user friendly.
(g)Data rectification is not being done in SPARSH.
(h) TCS and SPARSH team should work to resolve the problems of pensioners facing in use of SPARSH.


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