Direct Benefit Transfer in India A Global Role Model

  • It is a transformative programme in public service delivery using modern information and communication technology.
  • The DBT has been a force multiplier in facilitating the transfer of social safety net payments directly from the government to beneficiaries’ bank accounts.
  • It helps to reduce leakages, curb corruption, and provide a tool to effectively reach households to increase coverage.

As per constitutional provision, to ensure

  • Article 21: The right to a dignified life
  • DPSP: To address issues like inequalities in income, opportunities, and resources, strengthen health, and secure the right to work and public assistance for those in need.

DBT coverage:

  • It covered over 300 central and more than 2000 state schemes.

Example: Farmer income support programmes like

  • the Pradhan Mantri KIsan Samman Nidhi (PM KISAN),
  • pensions for the elderly, Divyangjan, widows, etc., under the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP).
  • Fertiliser subsidy,
  • Food grain support (Public Distribution System),
  • Mid-day meals for schoolchildren [Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman (PM POSHAN)]

Progress of DBT:

  • The World Bank (2022) recognised the need for countries to back DBT-styled public interventions into action plans for disaster resilience.
  • According to the World Bank, India has managed to provide food or cash support to a remarkable 85% of rural households and 69% of urban households.
  • The IMF has hailed DBT for being ‘a logistical marvel how these programmes that seek to help people who are at low-income levels reach literally hundreds of millions of people’.
  • The G20 is envisaged as inclusive, ambitious, action-oriented, and decisive. It has also been stressed that since ‘India is a microcosm of the world’, the initiatives that we take for ‘leveraging technology for citizen welfare’ will… catalyse a fundamental mindset shift to benefit humanity as a whole.

Future Scope of DBT:

  • The DBT 2.0
    • It focuses on an online eligibility verification mechanism using Aadhaar.
    • The digitization and Aadhaar seeding of such documents ensure citizen-friendly, real-time, and cost-effective verification or authentication.

Example: The DigiLocker and API Setu

  • The DBT 3.0
    • It seeks to usher in a transformative shift in the scheme of benefit delivery to citizens.
      • Example: Kutumba in Karnataka, Parivaar Pehchaan Patra in Haryana, Samagra in Madhya Pradesh, Jan Aadhaar in Rajasthan, and the Social Protection Delivery Platform (SPDP) in Odisha.


  • The DBT clearly has the potential to promote harmony within our ‘one family’ and engender hope for our ‘one future.

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