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Government Signs MoU to Expand SPARSH Initiative

Published on September 23, 2022
Current Context: The GoI’s Defence Accounts Department (DAD) inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bank of Baroda (BoB) and HDFC Bank, to expand the System for Pension Administration (Raksha) (SPARSH) Initiative.
Government Signs MoU to Expand SPARSH Initiative
  • In order to provide last mile connectivity to pensioners, the MoU will onboard around 7,900 branches of Bank of Baroda and 6,300 branches of HDFC Bank as Service Centres.
  • According to the Ministry, the Service Centres will act as an interface for SPARSH and provide an effective medium for pensioners to register grievances and seek redressal, perform profile update requests, pensioner data verification, digital annual identification, etc. regarding their monthly pension.
  • The Ministry mentioned that the centers would further expand the existing network of 161 DAD offices and around 800 Service Centres provided by the SBI and the PNB branches, and 14 branches of the Kotak Mahindra Bank.
  • The Ministry also said that, as part of the Common Service Centres (CSC) network, around 4.5 lakh Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) will assist Defence Pensioners.
  • SPARSH is a web-based system for crediting the pension directly into the bank accounts and processing the pension claims of defence pensioners without any external intermediary and was launched by the Ministry of Defence in 2021.

Question:

Q.1 Ministry of Defence signed an MoU with ______ and _____ to expand the SPARSH Initiative.
a. ICICI; BOI
b. BOB; HDFC
c. Axis Bank, OBC
d. BOM, Canara Bank
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