The Indian defense pension system, commonly known as the “SPARSH” (System for Pension Administration-Raksha), has been under scrutiny for years due to its slow and inefficient processing system. SPARSH was launched in 2016 as a digital platform for the processing of pension claims for retired defense personnel, replacing the manual system that had been in place for decades. However, the system has failed to live up to expectations, causing tremendous hardship for thousands of defense pensioners who are left waiting for their pensions for months, if not years.
One of the primary reasons for the failure of SPARSH is its inadequate infrastructure. The website is prone to frequent crashes and downtime, which means that pensioners cannot access the system or submit their claims online. Many pensioners have reported that they are unable to log in to the system or that the site is slow and unresponsive, making it difficult to fill out the necessary forms and submit their applications.
Moreover, there are numerous instances of the system losing or misplacing pension documents, causing further delays and frustrations for pensioners. The system’s poor record-keeping also means that pensioners are required to submit the same documents repeatedly, causing them significant distress and anxiety.
Another significant issue with SPARSH is the lack of transparency in the pension processing system. Pensioners have reported that there is no clear timeline for when their applications will be processed or how long they can expect to wait for their pensions. This lack of transparency has led to a great deal of frustration among pensioners, who are often left in the dark about the status of their claims.
Moreover, there have been several reports of fraudulent activities associated with the SPARSH system. Some pensioners have reported that they have been contacted by individuals claiming to be SPARSH officials who demand payment in exchange for expediting their pension applications. These scammers often target vulnerable pensioners who are desperate to receive their pensions and are willing to pay any amount to do so.
The Indian government has acknowledged the problems with SPARSH and has promised to take steps to address the issues. However, progress has been slow, and many pensioners continue to suffer as a result of the system’s failures. The government has announced that it will be introducing a new pension management system called the Defense Pension Management System (DPMS) in the coming months. This new system is expected to be more efficient and streamlined than SPARSH and will address many of the issues faced by pensioners.
In conclusion, the failure of the SPARSH system has caused significant hardship for thousands of defense pensioners in India. The system’s slow processing times, inadequate infrastructure, lack of transparency, and fraudulent activities associated with it have made it an unbearable experience for many. The government must take swift action to address these issues and ensure that pensioners receive the support and care that they deserve.