What is UP’s new Parivar Kalyan Card and how will people be enrolled for it

The central government has given its nod to the Uttar Pradesh government’s Family ID plan — the Parivar Kalyan Card — adding to the list of state-specific unique id schemes in India.

What is UP Parivar Kalyan Card?

The UP Parivar Kalyan Card (PKC) Scheme was announced by the Yogi Adityanath-government to establish a comprehensive database of the state’s family units and identify beneficiaries for its various schemes including employment, pensions, and housing benefits. The PKC will provide a unique 12-digit ID number for each family, and the initial collection of data for families will be conducted through ration cards.

Why and how was the PKC conceptualised?

In its 2022 election manifesto, the Bharatiya Janata Party promised to provide at least one source of employment for each of the state’s families. However, the UP government has long faced a challenge in identifying families eligible for its schemes, including the proposed employment scheme. The PKC was proposed as a way of preventing leakages in its existing schemes and duplication of beneficiaries.

The UP government also launched a pilot programme in Prayagraj, where families in the district were identified through their ration card data and beneficiaries for the various government schemes were mapped successfully.

How will families register for the PKC?

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) has allowed the Adityanath-government to link Aadhaar data with the PKC. The initial registration for the PKC has been kept voluntary, and those seeking avail of the various government schemes will be able to register with their Aadhaar numbers. Once registered, the data for each member of the family would be verified against the centralised database, and they would then be individually linked to specific government schemes according to their eligibility. The registration portal is expected to be launched in the next couple of weeks.

Consent and confidentiality

The planning department cannot begin mapping the families without informing and educating the residents regarding the exact reason for obtaining their Aadhaar Data, and thereafter acquiring their consent.

Moreover, the Aadhaar numbers cannot be displayed on government websites except for the last four digits.

Ration card as family ID

Those UP residents who already have ration cards will be able to use them as their family ID. At present, there are nearly 150 million Aadhaar-validated ration-card holders (60 per cent of the state’s population) who can use these as their family ID.

Prominent precedents

The Adityanath-government consulted with other state governments that already have unique family IDs. Haryana’s Parivar Pehchan Patra (PPP) is the most prominent among such initiatives. Similarly structured, the PPP is linked to the birth, death, and marriage records to ensure that family data is automatically updated with each life event. According to the Haryana government’s website, the data available in the PPP database will be used to determine eligibility through which automatic self-selection of beneficiaries will be done for receiving benefits.

However, this doesn’t always seem to be the case. Vikash Kinha, a social worker and PPP user from Haryana, points out that the process is not as smooth as the government promises. Life events do not always get updated automatically, and families have found it difficult to update death certificates or claim benefits under the pension scheme for widows. Similarly, the PPP doesn’t always account for individual needs, and schemes are allocated according to the cumulative family income. This ignores income disparities within a single family.

Besides Haryana, Karnataka’s Kutumba family ID, Rajasthan’s Bhamashah scheme, and Madhya Pradesh’s Samagra ID are a few other examples that follow a similar template for identifying potential scheme beneficiaries.

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