ICT can help implement social welfare schemes in many ways. Today it is required in almost all sectors of social system like health – reserving 25 percent beds for the people from economically weaker section, to check if they actually get the bed or if it is used at all. Other social sectors include education. We must also ensure that if human resource mapping is happening. Then there is food security, ensuring if food through public distribution system (PDS) is reaching the beneficiary. If people do not have food security, there will be no social welfare. Then there is cash transfer system for pension and scholarship. These all are part of social welfare schemes.
Role of middlemen and leakages in the delivery system are major challenges in the implementation of these schemes. However, IT can be used to overcome these challenges to a large extent. We need to develop models which can support such schemes. We need to find people who will be involved in it and we will have to see if they have been trained properly.
Where are technological models, or the larger business models? We have to work on solutions like installing screen readers for illiterate people or many such differently-abled people.
We need to find solutions – both technological and financial. Such models need to be put in place and we also have to ensure if outcomes are really been delivered. The focus on outcome is absolutely necessary. Focus should also be given to beneficiaries and to ensure that leakages are stopped. ICT can play an important role here.
The good part is that the problem has been recognised and the vision has been laid out. Now we need to develop a system which can proactively recognise beneficiaries, which can actively check further leakages. For affordability, we must have a say in some core technologies as well.