Economy

Mobiles to help verify beneficiaries

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The Govt. will test this technology in the National Health Protection Scheme

The government is planning to introduce a system wherein verification, at the time of availing public service benefits, can be done through an ordinary mobile phone.

The beneficiary needs to inform the authorities of his or her unique registration number in the government-sponsored scheme following which a one-time password (OTP) will be sent to the beneficiary through SMS on their registered mobile number in Aadhaar to verify the individual’s identity.

“Efforts would be made to educate the beneficiaries, especially in the rural areas, to keep their latest mobile phone numbers registered or updated with Aadhaar so as to easily avail benefits in various social sector schemes of the government,” a senior Information Technology Ministry official told The Hindu.

To begin with, the government will test this technology in the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) that it proposes to roll out soon for under-privileged households. Under the scheme, announced in this year’s Budget, health insurance cover of up to Rs.1 lakh per family will be given in case of serious illness of family members. An additional insurance cover of Rs. 30,000 will be provided for each senior citizen in the family.

Once the family is enrolled under NHPS, its members can go to any of the empanelled hospitals to avail the health insurance benefits. Hospitals having good Internet connectivity will do online authentication of the beneficiary using biometrics of any of the family members. However, in a few hospitals, situated in remote or unconnected areas, where there is a lack of good Internet connectivity, mobile phone numbers registered with Aadhaar will be used to verify the identity of the beneficiary, the official said.

“The SMS sent to the beneficiary will also reflect the balance amount of the health insurance scheme. This will help in checking frauds at various levels by keeping the beneficiaries of the scheme in loop at every stage,” the official said.

Safeguards

The system would also have safeguards to ensure that no other person can avail benefits by using a genuine beneficiary’s mobile phone.

“By the time her medical treatment starts, the authorities can verify her identity by checking other photo identity cards,” the official said.

This will also ensure speedy treatment of the patient in case of medical emergency, the official said.For smart phone users, the government will unveil UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance), which will consolidate about 200 major central and state services under a single unified platform.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 11:19:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/mobiles-to-help-verify-beneficiaries/article8552402.ece

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