THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Ex-service personnel in the state will be issued smart cards soon, making access to welfare schemes smoother, faster and more secure. The state government’s Sainik Welfare Wing is joining hands with Keltron for the project. The plan is to issue them to ex-servicemen and their widows, who are beneficiaries of various welfare schemes.
“Their combined population stands at 2 lakh in Kerala. All relevant data - service details of the personnel and personal information included - will be available on the cards. The advantage is they will not have to carry all the certificates with them for availing of welfare benefits,” Sumana Menon, secretary, Sainik Welfare, said.
Besides, the smart cards will prevent tampering of data, ensuring the benefits are channeled to eligible individuals. Ex-service personnel and dependents are offered various benefits such as jobs, reservation for jobs and education and housing assistance.
The cards are part of a slew of measures on the anvil for ex-service welfare. Recently, the state government had announced plans for a separate government department for sainik welfare. The government has also, in principle, decided to increase the monthly financial assistance given to World War-II veterans and their widows from Rs 4,000 to Rs 6,000.
The smart card plan is currently being scrutinised by a technical committee. If things pan out, the smart cards will be issued this year itself.