| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The Organization has implemented the Universal Account Number (UAN) programme initially by allotting UAN to the contributing members of the fund. To make UAN effective and to link service delivery to the UAN it has been made necessary to seed UAN with various “Know Your Customer” (KYC) details to identify the EPF members directly. KYC details selected for the purpose are Aadhaar/NPR, PAN, bank account number and other KYC details i.e. election card, ration card, passport, driving license etc.
The complete process of implementation has been sub-divided into the following four steps:
(i) Allotment of UAN to all current contributing members:
UAN has been allocated to all 41.7 million members who have made contribution to EPFO in any one of the six months from 1st January, 2014 to 30th June, 2014. All these UAN have been disseminated to respective employers through the Portal.
(ii) Dissemination of UAN so allotted to individual contributing members:
The employer can log on to Employer Portal to collect the UAN allotted to his employees and disseminate the same to them. The requisite printable format containing UAN and other details have also been provided on the Portal.
(iii) Seeding of KYC against the UAN allotted to the individual members:
A facility has been provided to the employer to seed the KYC details through the UAN Portal by uploading the text file in pre-defined format communicated to them in the User Manual. The employer has been advised to provide Aadhaar and PAN number wherever available and bank A/c number as part of the KYC detail as it will enable EPFO in future to provide services directly to the beneficiaries without intermediation of the employer. The KYC data is seeded against the UAN of the members upon receipt of this information through the facility provided. Also a facility has also been given to the individual member for uploading the data relating to KYC on UAN Portal through his individual log-in on member portal. The KYC so furnished by the individual is automatically captured in UAN database for seeding after its digital verification by employer.
(iv) Activation of Member portal log-in by EPF members:
To avail the benefits of UAN programme, the members have to activate the UAN member e-Sewa portal available on the EPFO website www.epfindia.gov.in . The member obtains his UAN from his employer and activates the portal by furnishing his mobile number. A One Time Password (OTP) is sent to the given mobile number to complete the activation process. This authenticates the mobile number for information dissemination in respect of that member. The member can download dynamically changing UAN card and his updated passbook as and when required without any employer intervention.
(v) Services provided to members:
The launch of UAN programme has introduced the following features for the benefit of EPF members:
(a) Portability of accounts linked with UAN.
(b) Member balance details via updated member passbook.
(c) Downloadable dynamic UAN card
(d) Bulk SMS & e-mail service for multifarious services to member such as credit of monthly contribution and at other significant events.
(vi) Handling of incremental membership:
For new members joining an establishment, there are two possibilities:
(a) The new member doesn’t have any previous P.F. membership. Such member is identified by the employer for allotment of Universal Account Number (UAN) by EPFO.
(b) The new member has previous P.F. membership which is linked with present member ID through his Universal Account Number (UAN). There is an auto generation of transfer request in case the KYC details seeded with UAN are also approved by present employer using his Digital Signature Certificate registered with EPFO.
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The stakeholders involved in the implementation of UAN programme are EPF members, employers and the field offices. The roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder are well defined and are presented below:
(A) EPF members: To avail the benefits of UAN programme, the members have to activate his UAN member e-Sewa portal. The member can download dynamically changing UAN card and his updated passbook as and when required without any employer intervention.
(B) Employers: The employers are expected to do the following activities:
(i) Employers have to download the list of UANs allotted from Employer’s portal and disseminate the same to each individual member.
(ii) Employers have to advise and guide the employees to activate their UAN on the UAN Member Portal. The benefits of such activation are to be clearly told / demonstrated to the employees.
(iii) The employer is required to either declare previous employment details or First Time employment on the basis of Declaration Form submitted by each new member joining the establishment.
(iv) Employer have to further compile, upload and approve KYC details in respect all employees in the establishment. This can be done by uploading bulk KYC by creating text file as per the structure mentioned in EPFO Website.
(C) Field offices: The field offices are required to interact and train the employers and EPF members for completion of following activities:
(i) The field offices have to ensure that the KYC details i.e. Bank Account, Aadhaar and PAN are seeded in UAN database of each member with due verification by employer.
(ii) It should also be ensured that all the members activate their UAN based Member e-sewa accounts on EPFO website www.epfindia.gov.in.
(iii) The list of all the new members joining an establishment has been made available to the employers to furnish their details for further action. Field offices have to monitor the same and have to sensitize the employer on the matter.
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The entire initiative has been undertaken by EPFO using its own resourcing for planning and carrying out the back end processing for generation of Universal Account Numbers. The front end i.e. the portal have been got developed through Telecommunications Consultants India Limited, a Government of India enterprise. The financial implications for the entire project are summarized as below:-
a) Development of portal: The portal has been got developed by Telecommunications Consultants India Limited, a Government of India enterprise at the cost of Indian Rupees 76,39,076 (including taxes). The maintenance charges for the portal activity are to the tune of Indian Rupees 2,45,788 per month.
b) Data Hosting: The data centre for the UAN programme has been hired through Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, a Government of India enterprise. The recurring cost for data centre is Indian Rupees 54,51,752 per annum. The funding of the project is made by EPFO from its budget.
The human & technical resources of the Organization have been used for the planning and implementation of the project. For testing purpose, 8 number of manpower have been outsourced by EPFO.
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The concrete outputs from the implementation of UAN programme are as below:-
a) This implementation of this project has ensured that the EPF member has been provided with single Account Number i.e. UAN which would act as umbrella number for all his employments with different establishments.
b) The seeding of KYC details in the UAN database of member has been implemented with a view to identify the member directly without any intervention of employer. This has facilitated a number of direct services to the member.
c) The process involved in the KYC seeding by employer also ensures that complete and clean data is available in respect of member. This is a key input for providing expeditious services to the members.
d) The procedure adopted for this project has done away with paper filing of details by employer as all the details are to be uploaded by employer on the portal. In addition to saving on paper cost, thus resulting in eco-friendly solution, this has reduced a lot of potential mistakes due to re-entry of data in EPFO offices.
e) The implementation of this project has provided a number of direct services to the member i.e. updated account balance through e-passbook, downloadable UAN card, SMS alerts to members on their mobile numbers about credit of their accounts etc.
f) The availability of KYC details of the members has a potential to enlarge the scope of services significantly in near future.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The Key elements for the success of the project are as follows:-
a) Seeding of KYC details by employers in the UAN database of member.
b) Declaration by employers about the first time employment or previous employment of member for generation of new UAN or tagging the services with existing UAN respectively.
c) Activation of UAN based member portal by members.
The information in respect of above is being monitored at the highest level i.e. by the Central Provident Fund Commissioner, who heads the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation. For monitoring of above activities, various dashboards have been developed and are placed on EPFO website for the information and for taking necessary action by the concerned functionaries. The list of dashboards, along with their utility, is explained below:
(i) UAN-KYC Dashboard:- This dashboard has been designed to monitor the seeding of KYC details to the UAN database of EPF members. This also brings out the details of activation of UAN member portal by EPF members. This is a very detailed dashboard and provides the establishment-wise detailed status of the KYC seeding in UAN database. The dashboard is available on EPFO website under “For EPFO office use” and also directly at the link https://employerclaims.epfoservices.in/uan_kyc_dashboard.php .
(ii) UAN-KYC Missing Bank details dashboard:- Since the bank details of members are mandatory to be seeded to their UAN database, a detailed dashboard has been made available for monitoring the same on EPFO website under “For EPFO office use”. The dashboard is also available directly at the link https://employerclaims.epfoservices.in/uan_dsc_wise_details_for_adhar_and_pan.php .
(iii) Dashboards for Monitoring the UAN activities for incremental Membership:- Whenever a new employee joins an establishment, he has to declare whether it is his first time employment or whether he was earlier EPF member. Based on this declaration by member to employer, the employer furnishes the information to EPFO through portal. If it is first time employment for member, then EPFO allots a new UAN to the member. If the member earlier EPF member, his services are tagged with the UAN allotted to him earlier. To monitor the progress, a dashboard (password protected) has been provided on EPFO website under “For EPFO office use”. The same is also available directly at the link https://employerclaims.epfoservices.in/dashboard/employer_declaration_dashboard.php .
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
As this was a new initiative and its success was totally dependent on the active participation by employers and EPF members. Further the training of the new processes was another area of concern. The magnitude of the challenge increased multifold as the numbers involved is huge. More than 41.7 million members have been allotted Universal Account Number and the employers involved in the process are numbered at around 0.4 million.
These obstacles were to be handled in time bound manner as the project was to be implemented under strict time-lines. Following actions were taken to address the challenges as mentioned above:-
(i) SMS/email campaigns were carried out to make the employers and members aware about this new initiative.
(ii) The programme was launched by the Prime Minister of India, which attracted media coverage thus facilitating the spread of news to most of the geographical areas of the country.
(iii) Training has been provided to master trainers for imparting training to the field offices and employers. Four master trainers from each of ten zones have been trained for the purpose.
(iv) Updated user manuals and other materials to assist the employers to seed the Universal Account Number with KYC details have been made available on EPFO website.
(v) User manual for members to activate the registration of UAN member portal to avail immediate services i.e. updated passbook, seeding of KYC etc. has been provided on EPFO website.