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7)Technological solutions in the domain of government-to-citizen cash transfers are far from perfect. Discuss, in the context of India.(250 words)

Topic– Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

7)Technological solutions in the domain of government-to-citizen cash transfers are far from perfect. Discuss, in the context of India.(250 words)

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Why this question

DBT has been proposed as a panacea for many of the problems of corruption and extensive delays in release of funds. Although the system has many benefits over the older system, it is still far from perfect and a host of issues are associated with it. This needs to be deliberated so that timely interventions can be made in order to improve the system.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail as to how technological solutions in the domain of government-to-citizen cash transfers are far from perfect. What are the issues involved.

Directive word

Discuss- This s an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. We also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Write a few lines about the important government programmes currently using direct cash transfers to the citizens. E.g MGNREGA, scholarships; maternity benefits; pensions etc.

Body

  • Briefly highlight the benefits of such direct transfers. E.g eliminating corruption, fake beneficiaries; decreasing cost and time of fund transfer; bringing in transparency etc.
  • Discuss in detail about the problems in the present direct cash transfer systems currently operational in India. E.g creation of new intermediaries like payment agencies in the digital payments framework, which are responsible for not only delayed payments but also in corruption, and employ a number of tricks in doing the same; lack of access to data owned by the private intermediaries; transparency only at aggregate levels etc.

Conclusion- based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced opinion on the issue. E.g targeted transparency and developing and enforcing standards of accounting and immediate transfer of these accounts to the public domain; create additional measures of protection for digitally and socioeconomically vulnerable sections; need to create paper trails of payments and transactions that are available to the workers etc.