Smart Cards, Biometric scanning for signatures and Handheld Devices
In view of enormous size of the MGNREGA programme it is necessary to make best use of latest Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). This will not only help in ensuring effective implementation and proper management of the Programme but will also bring transparency and thereby credibility. Since it is a right based programme, Smart Cards / Hand held devices can be used as IT tool to ensure rights and entitlements. Smart Cards have the potential to capture details of the Workers, Work and Wages (WWW) including the muster rolls and the job cards.
Many states have started use of smart cards and hand held devices for the wage disbursement like: Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, UP, Kerala, etc.
To extend the current use of smart cards and hand held devices from wage disbursement to make it operate like a Job card so that all transactions of MGNREGA programme be captured, like: registration, Job card, demand for work, issue of dated receipt, allotment of work, entry into muster roll like attendance from the field through hand held devices which will be able to record latitude and longitude of the area, ensuring presence of worker at the worksite and payment either through 'branch-less banking' by adopting the Business Correspondent Model and using biometric based technology or through low cost ATMs.
Smart card and hand held devices will have additional advantage of capturing delays. All transactions will be updated instantly in the MIS and accessible to the beneficiaries as well as the public. It will also enhance the management and monitoring of the Programme.
The pilot project is initiated in States like Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Orissa
Low cost ATM for Wage Disbursement with finger print authentication and local language interface
ICTs can be fruitfully deployed to ensure that the Scheme is implemented in a transparent manner. The Ministry of Rural Development and UNDP are supporting any IT based applications to assist in the effective implementation of the MGNREGA.
In this context, the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) and the UNDP are seeking the expertise of the IITM’s Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI) to pilot and field test the technology for low-cost ATMs with finger print authentication and local language interface in 5 villages in Tamil Nadu.
It is not just an ATM but an e-governance model that is people friendly and empowers the poorest labourer to assert his/her rights
I. SUCCESS STORY
Bio – Metric ATM for NREGS workers
Basic Bank accounts are something that most of the rural people take for granted. Majority of the rural households do not have bank account mainly because of less family earnings. This results in an economic disadvantage.
To reach the rural masses and to boost micro financing initiatives, Bio-Metric ATMs with secure finger print readers are hitting the rural villages in Cuddalore District. Now a pilot programme is set in 5 villages and successfully installed in Periyakanganankuppam village and is made functional
- This Bio-Metric ATM is equipped with Bio – Metric sensor which has finger print authentications as a standard feature and it is possible for the illiterate or semi literate folks to use just thumb impression on a touch screen which will allow the beneficiaries to withdraw their week’s wages. The ATM accepts finger prints as the means of authentication instead of PIN numbers only as used by other ATMs. This ensures that the Bio metric ATM is very easy to use
- It rules out the possibility of leakages in the payment as the entire wages are disbursed through the bank
- This project will demonstrate the significant reduction of cash delivery time, prevention of leakages and pilferages and promotion of transparency in the system
- In case of payment through the bank branches the workers are to be in long queues. They are not properly attended by the bank staff. Besides most of the bank branches are running short of staff. These workers are perceived by the banking system as additional burden to them and the workers are ill-treated in many cases
- It will encourage more savings as the amount goes directly to the bank and the workers can withdraw a minimum amount of Rs.50/- or whatever they require rather than the entire amount
II. Success Story
I am Lakshmi. I belong to Periyakankanankuppam village at Cuddalore Block in Cuddalore District. I am very poor and illiterate. I did not have any bank account before entering into MGNREGS work. I am ignorant of banking procedures and moreover my paltry earning is insufficient to make both ends meet. After joining the MGNREG Scheme, I have been motivated and now I have opened a bank account with ATM card. It is very useful for the poor illiterates like me to draw money easily for my needs. It helps me to save money after spending for my needs.