Survey calls for harnessing technology to achieve sustainable development goals

NewsDrum Desk
31 Jan 2023

New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) Technology used to ensure delivery of benefits like direct benefit transfer (DBT) to citizens needs to be further harnessed for achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs), the Economic Survey 2022-23 said.

The survey tabled in the Parliament on Tuesday stated history suggests that when different aspects of human development like education, skill, employment, health, and rural development are dovetailed with technology, all-round revolutionary innovation resulting in technology-led growth and prosperity follows.

Today, India is moving towards the attainment of the UN SDGs.

While doing so, the survey stated that it is cognizant of the fact that for equitable development, a country as vast and diverse as India requires the implementation of broad-based inclusive social policies, supported by adequate and commensurate financial resources.

Thus, the character and contour of such an approach to development present a unique set of challenges which is consistently being addressed in the form of mindful reforms.

Ensuring that intended outcomes of social sector development schemes reach the intended, involvement of the grassroot level of governance is imperative and is being actively pursued, it stated.

Technology has been a great enabler in ensuring the last-mile connectivity of government schemes to the targeted citizens. It has revolutionised the delivery of services while ensuring transparency and accountability.

It (technology) needs to be harnessed further to help the government attain the lofty SDGs on the social front, it suggested.

The DBT was launched in 2013 to re-engineer the then-existing delivery processes using modern Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to transfer benefits directly into the preferably Aadhaar-seeded bank accounts of accurately targeted beneficiaries.

In the span of the past decade, the DBT has expanded from a mere 24 schemes (as part of a pilot programme) in 43 districts in 2013 to over 300 central schemes and greater than 2,000 state schemes across India by December 2022, it noted.

Transforming welfare through technology, Aadhaar and JAM trinity (Jan-Dhan, Aadhaar, and Mobile) have revolutionalised the universe of state-citizen interaction, enabling targeted delivery of Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT) through 318 Central schemes and over 720 State DBT schemes, seamless portability of ration card across States through ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ and national database of unorganised workers ‘eShram portal’.

Aadhaar is an essential tool for social delivery by the State. 318 Central schemes and over 720 state DBT schemes are notified under section 7 of the Aadhaar Act, 2016, and all these schemes use Aadhaar for targeted delivery of financial services, subsidies, and benefits.

As of November 2022, Aadhaar Generated- 135.2 crore, Aadhaar Updated- 71.1 crore; Authentication Done- 8621.2 crore; eKYC Done-1350.2 crore; 75.3 crore residents have linked their Aadhaar with ration cards to avail of ration; 27.9 crore residents linked Aadhaar with cooking gas connection for LPG subsidy; 75.4 crore bank accounts are linked with Aadhaar and 1549.8 crore transactions via Aadhaar Enabled Payment Systems.

Successful management of the Covid pandemic without the Co-WIN platform would not have been possible. Aadhaar played a vital role in developing the Co-WIN platform and in the transparent administration of over 2 billion vaccine doses.

The use of face as an additional modality of authentication is increasing. This has helped, especially the elderly, to get ‘Jeevan Praman’ through their smartphones to avail of pension, the survey noted. PTI KKS MR

Read the Next Article