The government on Thursday this week launched a face authentication feature in the PM-Kisan app, a first for any central welfare initiative, allowing recipient farmers to complete their e-KYC procedure by just scanning their faces on their mobile devices rather than relying on one-time passwords or fingerprints.
Senior officials from the states, including Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary, Agriculture Secretary Manoj Ahuja, Additional Secretary Pramod Kumar Meherda, and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, attended the occasion when the app feature was unveiled.
Thousands of farmers, government officials, and members of agricultural groups were virtually linked at the launch event that was held at Krishi Bhavan in New Delhi.
About the new Face Authentication Feature
On May 21 of this year, according to Meherda, the ministry started conducting pilot testing of the face authentification function that is included in the PM-Kisan mobile app. Since then, he added, the electronic Know Your Customer process for 3 lakh farmers has been completed effectively.
Until this point, the e-KYC of PM-Kisan recipients had to be completed using either biometrics at a designated location or one-time passwords that were issued to mobile phone numbers that were connected with Aadhaar.
In addition, the app gives farmers the ability to remotely help up to one hundred other farmers in completing their e-KYC from the comfort of their own homes. The capacity to use e-KYC has been expanded so that state government personnel may now use it as well. This gives them the opportunity to finish the procedure for up to 500 farmers at a time.
Aadhaar-linked bank accounts have also been opened for beneficiaries via a collaboration between the department and India Post Payment Bank (IPPB). Additionally, the department has asked Common Service Centre (CSCs) to arrange village-level e-KYC camps with the assistance of state governments and union territories.
Know the scheme and the beneficiaries
Eligible farmers in India get a total of Rs 6,000 annually via the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), split into three equal payments of Rs 2,000 every four months.
Recently on 3rd February this year, the 13th payment of PM Kisan was successfully disbursed to more than 8.1 crore farmers using Aadhaar Enabled Payment exclusively, setting a new benchmark in the process. Earlier, the 11th and 12th installments were disbursed and made available in May and October of 2022, respectively.
The government has paid eligible farmers more than 2.24 lakh crore since the initiative formally started. PM-KISAN is a central government initiative that is entirely funded by the national government. According to the rules of the initiative, duty is given to given to the state governments to identify the beneficiaries. Subject to exclusions like income caps, tax payments, and total asset worth, every land-owning agricultural family may register itself.
The PM-Kisan plan is also connecting with Bhashini, an official from the government said, so that information can be sent to farmers in their own tongue. With the use of AI and other cutting-edge technology, the government has created the Bhashini National Public Digital Platform for Languages to provide new services and products for its people.