Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme

The Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS) is a scheme that aims to provide financial assistance and social protection to eligible beneficiaries. It benefits the senior citizens falling living Below Poverty Line (BPL) in India.

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What is the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme?

Originally known as National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS), IGNOAPS was renamed and launched formally in November 2007. It is one of the five components of the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) introduced by India's Ministry of Rural Development (MORD). Beneficiaries of this scheme make up 73% of the total beneficiaries listed under the NSAP.  

The launch of IGNOAPS represents a significant step towards the fulfilment of Directive Principles in Articles 41 and 42 of the Indian Constitution. Article 41 directs the state to assist the citizens in case of old age and disablement within limits of its economic capacity and development.

IGNOAPS aims to provide social benefit to poor households in case of old aged members and uplift minimum national standards. Currently, more than 2 crore Indian citizens are listed and avail of the IGNOAPS benefits. The beneficiaries are identified from the BPL list prepared by the States/UTs as per the guidelines issued by the MORD. 

Under the conditions of NSAP, 100% funding is allotted to the States/UTs to provide a pension. It is mainly done under the guidelines and policies laid down by the central government.

What are the Main Features of the IGNOAPS Under NSAP?

The main features of implementing the IGNOAPS under NSAP are as follows:

  • Selection: The local authoritative bodies like Gram Panchayat and municipalities are expected to identify the beneficiaries significantly. 

  • Disbursement: The IGNOAPS benefits can be distributed in public meetings such as the neighbourhood committees in urban areas and Gram Sabha meetings in rural areas. This is apart from the classic methods of disbursal of benefits through accounts and money orders. 

  • Monitoring: Although the States/UTs have the liberty to implement IGNOAPS by designating a Nodal secretary at the State level. It is mainly to report the scheme's progress by coordinating with the concerned departments. The progress is reported every quarter.

In the case of nonreporting of financial and physical progress, it is assumed that no progress is made. It may result in the non-release of additional central assistance for the next quarter or the entire financial year. 

What are the Benefits of IGNOAPS?

The benefits of the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme are:

  • Under the IGNOAPS, Indian citizens aged 60 or higher and living below the poverty line receive a pension every month.

  • The central contribution of the pension is INR 200 per month for every beneficiary up to 79 years and INR 500 every month per beneficiary from 80 years onwards.

  • The state governments can contribute to the above-mentioned amount.  At present old age receivers avail between INR 200 to INR 1000 depending on state contribution. For example, the beneficiaries in Jammu and Kashmir avail INR 400 per month.

  • The scheme is a non-contributory process, and the beneficiaries do not have to contribute any amount to receive the pension.

  • The pension is available for all the members who are 60 years of age or older in a BPL family and not restricted to only one person. 

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Eligibility Criteria of IGNOAPS

The criteria to avail of the IGNOAPS benefits are as follows:

  • The age of the applicant should be 60 years or above.

  • The applicant should be living below the poverty line according to the criteria deemed by the Govt. of India.

  • The applicant must be having little or no regular means of financial support from family members or their sources of income.

Documents Needed for IGNOAPS

The following documents are needed to apply for the IGNOAPS:

  • The application form

  • Age proof is procured from the concerned medical officer and verified by the Block medical officer

  • Income certificate

  • Below poverty line (BPL) card

  • Passbook

  • Passport size photographs

How to Apply for IGNOAPS?

Different states have different websites and procedures to be followed for the application to IGNOAPS, which must be kept in mind. 

It is worth noting that IGNOAPS is mainly implemented by the Social Welfare Departments in the States. But there are certain exemptions. For example, IGNOAPS is executed by Rural Development Department in the States of Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya, Goa, and West Bengal. The Department of Women & Child Development of Puducherry and Orissa implement the IGNOAPS in their state. 

For an immediate application, visit the Social Welfare Department if you are a rural resident or the District Social Welfare Officer if you live in an urban area. 

Following are the steps you should follow to apply for the IGNOAPS:

Step 1: Obtain an application form from the concerned social department. It is available free of cost from the Block Development Officer's Office or the Executive Officer concerned. 

Step 2: Fill in the details:

  • House Number

  • Society name

  • Village panchayat name

  • Block, district, and state details

  • Date of birth and age

  • Birth certificate details

  • Gender

  • Beneficiary and heirs

  • Annual income

  • Voter ID number

Step 3: Submit the application form with the supporting documents to the concerned officer.

Step 4: Wait while the authorities evaluate the application. 

The income and the destitute criteria will be determined based on the certificate issued by a Gazetted Officer and the concerned area's Revenue authorities. 

Step 5: The application is then furnished to the Tehsil Social Welfare Officer, where it is scrutinized. It is then forwarded to the concerned District Social Welfare Officer. The Social Welfare Department will arrange funds if approved.

The sanctioning is done on a first-come, first-serve basis from the waiting list.

Step 6: The District Level Sanctioning Committee (DLSC) will give the final approval.

How Can You Track the IGNOAPS Application Status?

The application can be tracked on the NSAP official website.

Step 1: Visit the NSAP homepage.

Step 2: Click on More Reports on the next page.

Step 3: On the next page, select the Application Tracker option.

Step 4: Enter your application number and click search.

The status will be displayed on the screen.

How Can You Know to Check the IGNOAPS Beneficiary List?

The beneficiary list can be checked on the NSAP official website. Follow these steps to do so:

Step 1: Go to the NSAP web portal.

Step 2: Select the Beneficiary Search option from the menu given.

Step 3: Select your state, district, municipality, gram panchayat, or ward from the drop-down menu.

The Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme list will be displayed on the screen.

How to Know the Details of Old Age Pension Payment?

The pension payment details can be found online. 

Step 1: Go to the NSAP home page.

Step 2: Select the Pension Payment Details.

Step 3: Pick the applicable field from options like sanction order number/application number/ mobile number.

Step 4: Enter relevant details.

The details of your pension will be displayed on the screen.

Note: If you opt for the name option, you will have to select the subsequent state and district from the drop-down menu.

In Conclusion

The Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme was launched in 2007, and it aims to provide financial assistance to old members of a BPL family. IGNOAPS benefits ensure the poor households' survival, especially in the rural regions. 

The process to enrol and avail of the benefits is straightforward. It is reflected by the number of citizens availing of the benefit and the government funding allotted to the scheme.

FAQ's

  • Q. How is IGNOAPS different from the earlier National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS)?

    A. Under NOAPS, the old-age pension was granted to a person above 65 years of age or higher and destitute. 
    Under IGNOAPS, the age criteria for eligibility have been revised and are reduced to 60 years and above. The criteria are also modified to include people living under the BPL, and the benefits are no longer restricted to the destitute.
  • Q. What is the mode of payment of the pension amount?

    A. As per the Govt. of India's decision, the pension amount can be disbursed in the form of bank transfer, postal account deposit, money order, or cash. 
    The method of distribution mainly varies from state to state. 
  • Q. In what circumstances can a pension be stopped?

    A. The pension can be stopped in the case of the beneficiary's death or if the amount is not withdrawn for an extended period. 
    Along the same lines, no nominee will receive the pension in case of the beneficiary's death. 
  • Q. Is there any set date/time limit within which the application for IGNOAPS has to be made?

    A. There is no cut-off date. When a person belonging to the BPL household turns 60, he/she can approach the authorities for the grant of pension. 
  • Q. Where can you turn when you have a complaint about the IGNOAPS?

    A. The Nodal Secretary appointed by the state can be approached for any grievances regarding IGNOAPS.

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