The department of posts launched a digital version of the postal life insurance policy - ePLI bond.
The Postal Life Insurance (PLI) and Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI) policy bonds are available in the ‘electronic form’, and the digital copy will be treated as a valid policy document by the department for all transactions.
The ePLI bond is made available in collaboration with DigiLocker, developed by the National eGovernance Division (NeGD) of the ministry of electronics & IT (MeitY).
Benefits of ePLI bond:
• The ePLI bond is the department’s first digital integration with DigiLocker, which will facilitate citizens in a meaningful way by providing ease of access and quick claim settlements.
• Secured server authentication, embedded digital signature and encrypted QR code are some of the unique mechanisms developed by the department of posts to bring much needed digital transformation in the insurance sector of India Post.
• It will not only reduce the administrative overhead but also provide secure real-time verification of documents.
• The department of posts aims to reduce the turn-around time for citizens for claim and maturity cases.
• By securely logging in to the DigiLocker, the user can download the digital copy of the policy bond on their mobile phone.
• ePLI policy bonds having a digital signature is valid proof as per the Rule 9A of the Information Technology (Preservation and Retention of Information by Intermediaries Providing Digital Locker Facilities) Rules, 2016.
• If the user is holding multiple postal and rural PLI policies, it all can be downloaded immediately after the issue of the policy bond by the department of posts.
• The policyholders need not wait for the delivery of the physical copy of the PLI policy bond, and the facility is available for all new and old policyholders.
• The policyholder will get the benefit of presenting the digital copy during the maturity settlement at the post office from the DigiLocker mobile app’s issued section.
• The digital copy will be treated as a valid policy document by the postal department.
• The policyholder will also be able to use the ePLI Bond as proof for effecting any changes that are required in the policy document like address change, nomination etc without the hassle of carrying the physical copy.
Postal Life Insurance
• Postal Life Insurance (PLI) was introduced on February 1, 1884.
• It started as a welfare scheme for the benefit of postal employees and was later extended to the employees of the Telegraph Department in 1888.
• In 1894, PLI extended insurance cover to female employees of the erstwhile P&T Department at a time when no other insurance company covered women.
• It now covers employees of central and state governments, central and state public sector undertakings, universities, government aided educational institutions, nationalised banks, local bodies, autonomous bodies, joint ventures having a minimum of 10 per cent govt/PSU stake, credit cooperative societies, etc.
• PLI also extends insurance cover to the officers and staff of the defence services and paramilitary forces.
PLI offers six types of policies:
• Whole Life Assurance (Suraksha)
• Endowment Assurance (Santosh)
• Convertible Whole Life Assurance (Suvidha)
• Anticipated Endowment Assurance (Sumangal)
• Joint Life Assurance (Yugal Suraksha)
• Children’s Policy (Bal Jeevan Bima).
Rural Postal Life Insurance
• Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI) started pursuant to the recommendation of the Official Committee for Reforms in the Insurance Sector (Malhotra Committee).
• In 1993, the Committee observed that only 22 per cent of the insurable population in this country had been insured and life insurance funds accounted for only 10 per cent of the gross household savings.
• It added that rural branch postmasters who enjoy a position of trust in the community, have the capacity to canvas life insurance business within their respective areas.
• The government accepted this recommendation and permitted Postal Life Insurance to extend its coverage to the rural areas to transact life insurance business with effect from March 24, 1995, mainly because of the vast network of post offices in the rural areas and low cost of operations.
• The prime objective of the scheme is to provide insurance cover to the rural public in general and to benefit weaker sections and women workers of rural areas in particular.
• It helps migrant labour and artisans and the unorganized sector, who move on to urban areas for employment, but continue to have a rural base.
RPLI offers six types of policies:
• Whole Life Assurance (Gram Suraksha)
• Endowment Assurance (Gram Santosh)
• Convertible Whole Life Assurance (Gram Suvidha)
• Anticipated Endowment Assurance (Gram Sumangal)
• 10 Year RPLI (Gram Priya)
• Children’s Policy (Bal Jeevan Bima)
What is DigiLocker?
• DigiLocker is an initiative of ministry of electronics & IT (MeitY) under Digital India programme.
• DigiLocker ties into Digital India’s vision of providing citizens a secure document access platform on a public cloud.
• It aims at ‘digital empowerment’ of citizens by providing access to authentic digital documents to citizen’s digital document wallet.
• Targeted at the idea of paperless governance, DigiLocker is a platform for issuance and verification of documents & certificates in a digital way, thus eliminating the use of physical documents.
• The issued documents in DigiLocker system are deemed to be at par with original physical documents as per Rule 9A of the Information Technology (Preservation and Retention of Information by Intermediaries providing Digital Locker facilities) Rules, 2016.
Benefits to departments
• Reduced Administrative Overhead: Aimed at the concept of paperless governance. It reduces the administrative overhead by minimising the use of paper and curtailing the verification process.
• Digital Transformation: Provides trusted issued documents. Issued documents available via DigiLocker are fetched in real-time directly from the issuing agency.
• Secure Document Gateway: Acts as a secure document exchange platform like payment gateway between trusted issuer and trusted requester/verifier with the consent of the citizen.
• Real Time Verification: Provides a verification module enabling government agencies to verify data directly from issuers after obtaining user consent.