• India
  • Jun 06

What is SPARSH system?

The Defence Accounts Department (DAD) of the ministry of defence has signed MoUs with four banks to onboard them as SPARSH service centres across 1,128 branches of these banks in the country.

SPARSH services

• The System for Pension Administration (RAKSHA) or SPARSH is a web-based system for processing pension claims and crediting the pension directly into the bank accounts of defence pensioners without any external intermediary.

• The system is being implemented by the defence ministry for meeting the pension, sanction and disbursement requirements of the Armed Forces. 

• The Armed Forces and other organisations were onboarded to the platform in phases, beginning with the Indian Army from August 2021.

• It is a centralised sanction, claim and pension disbursement system with easy validation and rectification of data through self-verification. 

• It uses digital process for pensioner identification, removing the requirement of multiple visits by pensioners to the pension offices.

• It is a fundamental change in managing defence pensions as it focuses on bringing in efficiency, responsiveness and transparency.

• The Defence Accounts Department has been the nodal implementing agency for SPARSH project.

• The Defence Accounts Department has signed MoUs with the Bank of India, Canara Bank, Central Bank of India and Utkarsh Small Finance Bank in New Delhi to onboard them as SPARSH service centres.

• The MoUs will provide last-mile connectivity to pensioners, especially in remote areas where they do not have the technical wherewithal to log on to SPARSH.

• These service centres will become an interface for pensioners for SPARSH, providing an effective medium to update their profile, register grievances, digital annual identification, data verification, besides fetching detailed information regarding their monthly pension.

• The access to these centres would be provided free of cost, with nominal service charges being borne by the Defence Accounts Department.

• With these MoUs, SPARSH services would now be available at over 26,000 branches of a total of 15 banks across the country. 

• This is in addition to 199 dedicated service centres of the Defence Accounts Department, and more than 3.75 lakh common service centres across the country.

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