Devbrat Patnaik

In what could provide a major relief to central government pensioners in this pandemic crisis, the Centre has extended the date of submission of life certificate up to February 28, 2021. The extension of date will also benefit all pensioners covered under the 7th Pay Commission, sources said.

Union Minister Jitendra Singh said that the decision has been taken considering all the sensitivities to avoid pandemic risk likely to emerge from gathering of crowds at the pension disbursing banks.

Apart from this, the Minister of State for Personnel said, pensioners above the age of 80 years were given an exclusive window from October 1 onward to submit their life certificate to avoid a likely rush from the opening date of November 1.

"While the annual life certificate is mandatory for the continuation of pension, the Department of Pension and Pensioners' Welfare (DoPPW) recently took an innovative decision to rope in Indian Post Payments Bank (IPPB) to facilitate digital life certificate (DLC)," Singh was quoted as saying by PTI.

Following the move, Indian Post Payments Bank (IPPB) is now helping in the collection of the digital life certificate from houses of pensioners through 1.89 lakh Postmen and Gramin Dak Sewaks, which has come as a great comfort to pensioners, especially those residing in rural areas, the minister said.

Further, DoPPW has started a campaign to extend support to the aged or infirmed pensioners in submission of life certificate digitally from home. "Other modes of submitting the life certificate from homes such as by attaching a biometric device to a personal computer or mobile phones are also in operation," Singh said.

How Govt Is Tackling Inconveniences Faced By Senior Citizens?

The Department of Pension and Pensioners' Welfare has noted certain inconveniences being experienced by senior citizens on account of changing biometrics due to age.

Addressing the issue, Singh said, "To overcome this age-related scientific hazard, all the pension disbursing banks have been advised to adopt video-based customer identification process (V-CIP) as an additional facility for obtaining life certificate from the pensioners, within the permissible RBI guidelines."

The minister said the DoPPW is on the verge of introducing the face-recognition technology to submit digital life certificate through a simple Android phone without attaching any biometric device.

Using this facility, it would be possible to establish the identity of a person through the face-recognition technique, he said.

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