Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme is a part of the National Social Assistance Program (NSAP) which is implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development. It is a non-contributory scheme that provides a monthly income to citizens or refugees over the age of 60 who do not have another source of income.
The Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS) is a government program that provides financial support and social security to eligible participants. It benefits senior citizens in India who are below the poverty line (BPL).
Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme
- IGNOAPS, formerly known as the National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS), was renamed and launched in November 2007. It is one of the five components of India’s Ministry of Rural Development’s (MORD) National Social Assistance Program (NSAP). Beneficiaries of this scheme account for 73% of all beneficiaries listed under the NSAP.
- The establishment of IGNOAPS is a significant step toward achieving the Directive Principles enshrined in Articles 41 and 42 of the Indian Constitution. Article 41 directs the state to assist citizens in the event of old age or disability, within the limits of its economic capacity and development.
- The goal of IGNOAPS is to provide social benefits to poor households with elderly members and to raise minimum national standards. More than 2 crore Indian citizens are currently listed and receive IGNOAPS benefits. Beneficiaries are identified from the BPL list prepared by the states/UTs in accordance with MORD guidelines.
- Under the terms of the National Social Assistance Program, the States/UTs receive 100 percent funding to provide a pension. It is primarily carried out in accordance with the guidelines and policies established by the central government.
The Primary Characteristics of the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme Under NSAP
Local authorities such as Gram Panchayats and Municipalities are expected to identify beneficiaries in a significant way. The benefits of IGNOAPS can be distributed at public meetings such as neighbourhood committees in cities and Gram Sabha meetings in rural areas. This is in addition to the traditional methods of benefit disbursement via accounts and money orders. Although the States/UTs have the option of implementing IGNOAPS by appointing a Nodal Secretary at the State level. Its main purpose is to report on the scheme’s progress by coordinating with the relevant departments. Every quarter, progress is reported.
The Advantages of the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme
- The IGNOAPS provides a monthly pension to Indian nationals aged 60 and up who live below the poverty line.
- The central contribution of the pension is INR 200 per month for each beneficiary under the age of 79, and INR 500 per month for each beneficiary beyond the age of 80.
- State governments may contribute to the aforementioned sum. Currently, old age recipients receive between INR 200 and INR 1000, depending on state contribution. Beneficiaries in Jammu and Kashmir, for example, receive INR 400 per month.
- The pension is offered to all members of a BPL household who are 60 years of age or older, rather than just one.
- The program is a non-contributory mechanism, and beneficiaries are not required to make any contributions in order to get the pension.
- According to the requirements established by the Government of India, the applicant must be living below the poverty level.
- The applicant must get little or no regular financial assistance from family members or other sources of income.
- The applicant should possess at least 60 years old.
How to Apply?
- To apply for the IGNOAP scheme in the urban area, applicants need to approach District Social Welfare Officer and applicants in the rural region must approach the Block Development Officer.
- Get the application form from your local Social Welfare Department. Fill in the details with the appropriate data. The following fields are included in the form:
– Name of the village panchayat
– Society name
– Beneficiary name
– Heir’s name
– House number
– Age in years
– Date of birth
– Birth certificate
– Annual income and certificate /BPL card
– Domicile certificate
– Certificate issuance date
– EPIC Number
BPL card, photo, Aadhaar number, bank passbook, and age proof certificate are some of the required documents. The completed form must be sent to the social welfare officer along with the supporting papers. The social welfare officer will thoroughly review and verify the application. The recipients will subsequently be recommended to the district social welfare officer by the Social Welfare Department. If the verification process is completed and the form is approved by the District Social Welfare Officer, the District Level Sanctioning Committee will make the ultimate decision.
Challenges of the Scheme
- Inadequate Cash Transfer: The old-age pension scheme’s payouts continue to be low. The contribution by state governments has either remained small or nonexistent, and the entitlement amount under the central government system has essentially stayed unchanged since 2007. Both at the center and in the states, there are a number of shortcomings in the delivery of old-age benefits.
- Use of Old Data: The government still uses the 2001 census and poverty rates from 2004–2005 to select recipients despite having access to more recent data.
Nearly 80 million people are reportedly eligible for the old-age pension. However, only about 25 million people receive a pension.
- Gender-Based Exclusions: According to the Longitudinal Age Survey of India 2017–18, more males than women are receiving the IGNOAPS in numerous states. This is despite the fact that in several of these states, the proportion of elderly women living alone is substantially larger than that of males.