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Shri Mahatab Uddin Ahmed, Director, at his office with pensioners

The Directorate of Pension (DP) was conceptualized in the year 1989 and was constituted on 4th January 1990 by the Government of Assam. DP was set up mainly to resolve the pension cases of the Education Department where there was a huge backlog of pending cases. This has arised due to provincialisation of many Government aided schools wherby a large number of employees serving in these schools came under the retirement benefit scheme as are admissible to State Government employees.

At present the DP caters to about 40% of the total number of pension cases of the Government. By and large retirement benefits offered by the Government to retiring persons comprises of Superannuation Pension, Gratuity, Life-time-Arrear, Family Pension, Special Family Pension, Voluntary Pension, Invalid Pension, Compensation Pension, Compulsory Retirement Pension calculated according to formula and rules applicable. This is a very cumbersome and time consuming process. Also, the pension papers sent from the parent office may be incomplete in many ways which adds to the delay in settlement. All these factors add up and there is always a time lag between the day a person retires and the day from which one actually recieves pension

To ease the situation DP approached the Assam State Centre of the National Informatics Centre (NIC) for assistance and guidance in computerisation to which NIC readily accepted. Presently the computerised system takes care of all the processing and reporting requirements for various types of pension as per the requirements laid down by DP. Accordingly, pension cases were processed by DP personnel trained by NIC. Although, a computer cell is operational at DP, during downtime of the machine at DP, arrangements are made at NIC's office premises for processing of pension cases to ensure minimum hindrance of computer jobs at DP.

Of late, the Directorate has felt the need for a more complete system utilising the recent advancement in the field of Information Technology (IT)for the benefit of the senior citizens. Work towards the future trends in computerisation has already been taken up by NIC on request by the Director, DP. This will basically encompass the following :

  1. Pension and Pensioners Grievance reddresal System
  2. Website and information dissemination on the Internet
  3. Creating a comprehensive pensioner's database which can be shared by all concerned agencies (eg; AG, CM's office, Finance Department, P & PG Department,etc.)
  4. Setting up of an on-line enquiry system about the status of a pension case.

To achieve such a goal the recent computerized system should be enhanced and upgraded with addition computing resources. A project proposal has already been formulated by NIC and handed over to the Directorate for follow up action on June, 2003.

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