December 2010

Made for e-Gov?

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Many ministries have used Scosta cards to implement their schemes successfully and many more are expected to follow suit



Scosta is a platform of choice in govt sector, due to a good support for interoperability and vendor independence

E-governance is the key to successful and sustainable development of the country. It also provides good scope for the growth of various IT companies. E-governance and citizen-centric services are best delivered when coupled with SCOSTA-based smart cards.

It is important that every citizen gets his due benefits for life time, irrespective of which part of country he moves to. Smart card is the best way for citizens to carry their own history and registered details along with them. The Smart Card Operating System for Transport Applications (Scosta) has been widely accepted across all government domains, mainly due to a support for a common inter-operable platform, which is even smart card vendor independent.

This is the reason that various ministries have used Scosta smart cards as the way to deliver citizen services and implement their respective schemes successfully and many more are expected to adopt Scosta cards. Let's look at some of the schemes that have been implemented.

Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), Ministry of Labour and Employment: India, the success story of e-Governance begins with the RSBY project, which provides free medical insurance facilities to BPL families. It targets approximately 40 million beneficiary families all over India and so far more than 21 million families have already been issued the cards. In RSBY scheme, a 32k Scosta card is being issued to each BPL family. They can access medical facilities in empanelled hospitals anywhere in India through the smart card. RSBY smart cards store data of the complete family with photographs and biometrics of all family members. In case a family has migrated from one district to another or even to another state, it can get the medical facilities in any nearby empanelled hospital. The case history is also available on the smart card. 

Financial Inclusion, Ministry of Finance/RBI/Nabard: This scheme has a wider scope through smart card. It intends to bring the un-banked rural population of India under the banking umbrella. Since banks cannot afford to open branches in every nook and cranny of the country, RBI, with the technical guidance Institute for Development and Research in Banking (IDRBT) and support of various PSU Banks, decided to issue Scosta smart cards to the rural un-banked village population. Mobile terminals will be used in each village to transact on the issued smart cards. Villagers can deposit and withdraw money, get loans or pay installments using the smart card. The mobile terminals will then transfer the transaction details to relevant bank servers. Financial inclusion is the availability of banking services at an affordable cost to disadvantaged and low-income groups. It is good for the economy of the country as 66 percent of India's population, which doesn't have access to banking services, will now gradually be covered and their savings will come into the main stream of economy.

 Public Distribution System (PDS), Ministry of Food, Consumer affairs and Distribution: In PDS projects, through smart cards, fraudulent activities can be controlled. The aim of this scheme is to ensure food security for the poor and also to ensure that only the deserving gets the required rations. Scosta smart cards, which store citizens data along with their biometric templates, ensures that food rations are not taken by unauthorised people. The ration shops will also be equipped with biometrics-enabled smart card terminals to authenticate the cards properly.

Good success and phenomenal growth is feasible in various e-Governance projects through use of Scosta smart cards. India will be at par with other countries in terms of e-Governance implementations.

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