New Delhi : Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh launched several digital initiatives of Defence Accounts Department (DAD) during its 275th Annual Day celebrations in New Delhi on October 01, 2022. The initiatives include System for Pension Administration (Raksha) (SPARSH) mobile app; Pay System for Agniveers; International Air Ticket booking module in Defence Travel System (DTS); Defence Accounts Receipts and Payment System (DARPAN); Defence Civilian Pay system and Defence Accounts Human Resource Management System. The Raksha Mantri, in his address, commended the DAD for taking forward the ‘Digital India’ vision of the Government, stating that the new initiatives will increase transparency and efficiency in the functioning of the Department.
On the occasion, Shri Rajnath Singh also gave away the Raksha Mantri Awards for Excellence 2022 to three teams for exhibiting exemplary initiative in implementing key department projects – development, testing and implementation of SPARSH; implementation of E-Concurrence in DRDO and Pay and Accounts Office (PAO) Bharati: Your PAO, A call away 24*7.
SPARSH Mobile App
The app will ensure pensioner access and reach to important functionalities of the SPARSH portal through their mobiles. Ministry of Defence implemented the portal (https://sparsh.defencepension.gov.in/) for pensioners of the Armed Forces as well as defence civilians as an integrated system for automation of sanction and disbursement of defence pension. It is an end-to-end solution to all pension-related processes, from claim initiation to disbursement. Pensioners can log on to the portal and get their pension-related issues resolved.
Describing SPARSH as a landmark step, Shri Rajnath Singh said, it is the Government’s endeavour to provide best services to the serving personnel, ex-servicemen and their families during the soldiers’ lifetime as well as after death. He added that special emphasis is being laid to disbursing right pension at the right time. The Raksha Mantri called upon DAD to make speedy and quality disposal of grievances of pensioners as their first priority. He praised the department for regularly organising Outreach Programmes and ‘Raksha Pension Samadhan’ for on-the-spot redressal of problems, urging them to continue working in that direction.
Agniveer Pay System
The system will facilitate efficient pay management for Agniveers, who will soon join the Armed Forces through the Government’s transformational Agnipath scheme. The fully automated IT system will be a specialised and secure portal to ensure claim processing and pay-roll management of Agniveers. Shri Rajnath Singh also inaugurated a centralised PAO (Army) for Agniveers at Delhi Cantonment.
Defence Travel System
The system provides end-to-end solution, from booking of rail and air tickets to claim submission on its portal for Defence Services and Civilians in cashless and paperless environment. It will provide facility of booking of air tickets for foreign travel to defence services replacing Air Exchange Warrants. It will fill the time gap between GSL receipt and ticket booking and eliminate last hassle for travelling officer.
The Defence Accounts Receipts and Payment System is a unified solution for third party bill payment and accounting. Its real-time processing will provide comprehensive insights into various accounting and financial performances.
Defence Pay Civilian System
The System envisages disbursement of pay of all defence civilians through a single, centralised and fully automated system. Both Units and PCDA/CDA offices have been given access to the system and units will be able to check the payment status on the portal itself.
Defence Accounts HR Management System
With the launch of the application, the department steps into a new paradigm of digitally enabled human resource management. The platform has various self-service modules like e-service book, leave management, pay roll generation and promotion details which will be accessible to the employees through a mobile app, anywhere anytime.
Through the initiative, which was part of the Raksha Mantri Excellence Awards this year, the Armed Forces personnel will be able to get real-time data related to pay & allowances and claims. In addition, through its Interactive Voice Response System, the personnel will be able to register their complaints through phone and get the replies within 48 hours. The system has been implemented in seven PAOs. The Raksha Mantri hoped that it will soon be implemented in the remaining offices also.
Shri Rajnath Singh lauded the DAD for imbibing Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s mantra of ‘reform, perform and transform’ by adopting these digital initiatives. “The department is evolving itself according to the ever-changing times, while staying connected with the traditional values,” he said.
The Raksha Mantri also praised the vital role played by the DAD in managing the financial resources of the Services by following the principles of financial prudence. “As India has completed 75 years of independence, it is moving forward with renewed confidence and determination under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in ‘Amrit Kaal’ to become one of the most powerful countries in the world by 2047. This goal can only be achieved if India has a strong military, which is equipped with state-of-the-art weapons/equipment, manufactured by an ‘Aatmanirbhar’ defence industry. Bolstering national security has been our top priority since the beginning. The allocation of a total budget of Rs 5.25 lakh crore to Ministry of Defence in 2022-23 is a testament to that unwavering resolve. The DAD is playing a crucial role in this endeavour,” he said.
Shri Rajnath Singh shed light on the important role the department can play in realising the vision of ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in Defence. “68 per cent of capital procurement budget has been earmarked for the domestic industry during Financial Year 2022-23, which underlines the Government’s commitment towards achieving self-reliance in defence manufacturing. The DAD should bolster their support to the Government’s efforts through speedy decisions, as delays not only lead to loss of time and money, but also adversely impact the combat readiness of the country,” he said.
The Raksha Mantri elaborated on the committee constituted under the chairmanship of the Defence Secretary for the performance and efficiency audit of various aspects of Ministry of Defence. This committee, through audit, will review the work being done in the Ministry from a new and creative perspective, he said, stressing that DAD can play an important role in the process. This will not only increase the efficiency of the Services, but also reduce wasteful expenditure, he said.
Shri Rajnath Singh termed financial advice; accounting, billing and payments and internal audit as the three major roles of the DAD in Ministry of Defence, which contribute significantly in Nation Building. He suggested the department to explore opportunities for setting up a faceless mechanism on financial advice and billing & payments, taking advantage of the latest technological advancements. He hoped that the department will continue to discharge their departmental duties with similar enthusiasm & dedication and contribute in defence financial management of the country.
Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande, Financial Advisor (Defence Services) Smt Rasika Chaube, Additional Controller General of Defence Accounts Shri Avinash Dikshit and other senior officials of Ministry of Defence were present during the event.