The central government's ambitious Direct Cash Transfer (DCT) programme was launched in 20 districts of India, of which three are in Karnataka -- Mysore, Tumkur and Dharwad. Despite lower coverage of Aadhaar-linked bank accounts in the Dharwad district, 3-4 smaller schemes out of the 34 were launched in each of the three identified districts in the state, including pre-Matric scholarships to minority and SC/ST students.
Dharwad has only 30% Aadhaar-linked bank accounts, while Tumkur and Mysore have around 95%. Aadhaar is a 12-digit individual identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India to serve as proofs of identity and address.
Aadhaar-linked bank accounts saw cash transfers worth over Rs 1 crore to beneficiaries today in Karnataka. However, the number of beneficiaries on the first day was not known, said government officials. The three districts of Karnataka are part of the 51 originally selected across 11 states for implementation of the scheme's first phase, with more additions likely from February. The number has now been scaled down to 20.
As per the guidelines, subsidy, wages, scholarships, social security pensions, among others under various government-sponsored schemes are to be directly credited to the beneficiaries’ accounts to avoid delay, plug leakages and attain more transparency.
"We have to stabilise the system of opening Aadhaar-linked bank accounts in all the three districts. And we have restarted Aadhaar enrolments across the state. Over the next few days, we will roll out direct cash transfer for some larger schemes including National Rural Employment Guarantee Act [Nrega] and Social Security Pension [SSP]," said ISN Prasad, principal secretary - e-governance and IT with the government of Karnataka.