A system that helps defence pensioners to get pensions- SPARSH came into being in July 2021 when the ministry of defence started using it. Under “Digital India”, the Indian government has implemented the System for Pension Administration - Raksha.
The SPARSH pension portal gives military personnel a stable and secure platform that digitally solves their pension-related tasks. After the defence retirees make pension claims, the SPARSH pension portal deposits pension payments to their respective bank accounts. This system works without the involvement of a third-party middleman. The portal also allows pensioners to check information related to their pension, make complaints, and access other services. After the complaint is registered by the portal, it works towards resolving the issue as much as possible. The official website for the portal is sparsh.defensepension.gov.in.
SPARSH handles digital pension cycle functions, such as initiation and sanction, distribution, revision, grievance request management, etc. Moreover, in accordance with SPARSH, a transparent account of all the pensioner's activities and rights from the initial pension to their termination will be provided.
Did you know? The SPARSH system also covers several activities of the pension cycle. These activities include initiation and sanction, service, revision, disbursements, and grievance request management.
An Overview on Sparsh Pension Portal
The SPARSH portal's main objective is to provide military retirees control over their pensions. They can easily check their pension account and enjoy many benefits provided by the portal. The portal seeks to be an entirely automated gateway that provides seamless services to retirees, which will make services become less intermediary. Just log in to sparsh.defensepension.gov.in to avail all the other benefits of SPARSH.
Important Framework for SPARSH
SPARSH follows a strict framework. Let’s see ways in which it operates to help defense pensioners.
- When pension claims are processed, pensioners with due pensions are integrated into the portal. The pensioner receives a special account number after the pension claim has been digitally audited and is ready to be transmitted to the Principal Controller of Defense Accounts for the issuance of the military retiree Pension Payment Order. Pensioners can sign up via this portal using the account numbers they receive as notifications on their phone numbers or emails they updated when filling their pension claims.
- The claims at the portal are created by the Service Record Holder with the Pay Accounts Office and are made available to the pensioner on the site for verification. This process is known as Pensioner Data Verification or commonly as PDV. The PDV lets the pensioner decides on information supplied to the Pension Sanction Authority.
- The portal lets the defense pensioner submit any required declarations, nominations, or commutation requests.
- The entire process is paperless. In order to speed up the request process and declaration signing, pensioners can enjoy special services through the site. That’s why the process is hassle-free.
What’s new in the SPARSH Pension Portal?
In order to achieve the goal of a Digital India, the Government of India recognized the necessity to expand the dimensions of SPARSH. By incorporating almost 5,000 defense pensioners into the portal in the financial year 2021–2022, SPARSH reached a significant milestone. As a result, the plan underwent significant adjustments in March 2022.
- The migrated pensioners will be able to update the details of their account such as bank details and family information on the portal. This provision permits the correction of "non-financial implication" data fields for migrated records in SPARSH. Corrigendum Pension Payment Orders or PPOs are created and authorized once the desired adjustments have been made.
- A faster sanction and easiness of the pension sanctioning process are now possible thanks to the reduction of the PPO sanction window from 10 to just 5 days.
- By generating payment files as soon as SPARSH accepts a PPO, it was possible to reengineer the back-end procedure. Hence, the disbursement agencies will rapidly finish the verification process, and the pension will begin getting paid out right from the commencement date.
- With the implementation of the single sign-on login capability, Common Service Centers, also known as CSCs, can now access SPARSH Service Center accounts with their current CSC login credentials. In February 2022, the Defense Ministry and the CSCs e-Governance Services India Limited signed an agreement that helps SPARSH services to receive more than 4 lakh CSCs nationwide access.
Expansion of SPARSH Pension
Since it was first presented in July 2021, SPARSH's effectiveness has been continuously promoted and increased. Under Digital India, the SPARSH defence pension portal is one of the government's most crucial programs.
Since the portal's debut, the Defense Ministry has signed multiple Memoranda of Understanding to improve its functionality. In February 2022, the SPARSH portal and Kotak Mahindra Bank signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) under which helps SPARSH to establish service centres across 14 branches in high veteran population communities.
In August 2022, SPARSH distributed more than ₹3,000 crores to defence pensioners, supporting the main objective of Digital India. The flawless transfer of more than 5 lakhs defence pensioners to SPARSH's digital network in August 2022 was another noteworthy accomplishment. All of these successes imply that the Defense Ministry’s SPARSH project will support all defence pensioners in the future.
Benefits of SPARSH
SPARSH defence pension portal is working hard to remove the source of complaints over time. In order to avoid and overcome the current difficulties in the pension sanctioning and payout process, such as decentralised solutions that exist in silos, manual intervention in processing, a lack of centralised data for resolving pensioner queries, etc., SPARSH has been deemed necessary.
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SPARSH defence pension portal helps veterans get immediate access to pension services, such as digital pensioner verification and real-time tracking of grievance resolutions. Retirees can contact the SPARSH Seva Kendras to make use of the services made available through the portal. In the case that portal access is unavailable, these centres will act as an interface and offer assistance to the pensioner.
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