Sunidhi

SUNIDHI

Sunidhi enables a technology-driven ecosystem for effective, end-to-end management of Benefit Schemes. Sunidhi has the potential to bring together all stakeholders such as funding agencies, project implementers, beneficiaries, third-party service providers and authorized agencies into a unified framework. At its base is Fundright, a generic platform conceptualised by Billion Lives Ltd, which can be configured to meet a diverse variety of organization specific scheme implementation needs.

The architecture of the base product allows flexibility in deployment to cater to diverse domains such as social sector, education, health, skill development and agriculture and can cohesively integrate with existing enterprise software applications.

Sunidhi allows optimal use of institutional competencies and efforts to enable electronic transfer of benefits through minimized level of interventions while ensuring timeliness, transparency and accuracy. Sunidhi comes with readymade connectors to platforms such as PFMS (Public Financial Management System), Departmental Portals and CSC (Common Services Centres) that will simplify compliance and enhance outreach.

Using these inherent strengths of the base product, Sunidhi has been customised to address a broad spectrum of needs in the Government, Corporate and Joint-sector spheres.

Sunidhi for Government

Benefit delivery landscape in India is undergoing a major shift riding on advancements in information technology and the rapidly increasing penetration of mobile phones and internet connectivity. Two major Government decisions have also given an added impetus to this shift:

  • Direct transfer of Government benefits to beneficiaries’ bank account - Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) is a major reform initiative launched by Government of India in January 2013 to re-engineer the existing benefits delivery process using information and communications technology. This programme aims to transfer benefits directly into the bank/postal accounts, preferably Aadhaar seeded, to accurately target beneficiaries and reduce leakages without excluding eligible beneficiaries.
  • Mandating private sector to contribute under CSR - The Government of India through the companies Act, 2013 has made it mandatory for eligible companies to spend 2% of the amount of the net profit for the last three (3) financial years to support initiatives that measurably improve the lives of underprivileged.

As per the current directions by the Government of India, over 500 schemes are to be delivered in DBT mode by 31st March 2018. This puts an onus on the Government Ministries / Departments to switch to DBT mode as early as possible. However, there are no established standard IT solutions available with departments that can make this happen. Currently only about 80 schemes are under DBT mode.

‘Sunidhi’ provides an opportunity to Ministries / Departments and corporates to effectively utilise their funds and acts as a vehicle for efficient delivery of benefits to intended beneficiaries. Sunidhi enables a Ministry / Department to configure their programmes starting with defining eligibility criteria, linking funds to the programme, define approval workflow, integrate with banks, on board service providers, generate MIS/dashboards and analytics, address grievances and end-to-end tracking of scheme delivery. It also maintains complete audit-trail of the fund movement from the fund provider to end beneficiary.

Sunidhi forms the base platform of the web-based software application that has been developed to implement the recently launched Pradhan Mantri Matru Yojana (PMMY). The reason for this is because Sunidhi can address end-end operations of benefit processing compliant with government norms. The platform allows for the registration of the beneficiaries and ensures necessary checks and verification of conditionalities before release of payment.

Sunidhi – CSR

The Government’s decision mandating the private sector, through the Companies Act, Section 135, to contribute 2% of the amount of net profit for the past three financial years to support developmental initiative has had a major impact in the benefit delivery landscape. It is here that Sunidhi comes in and can help corporates effectively utilise their CSR funds and ensure efficient delivery of benefits to the intended beneficiaries.

An intervention wherein Sunidhi is helping CSR initiatives is in the Village Social Transformation Foundation (VSTF) Mission. The VSTF Mission is an initiative set up by the Maharashtra government with an objective to reform ~ 2,500 low human development index villages (1,000 Gram Panchayats) in Maharashtra into Model Villages by converging the developmental efforts of both Government and the private sector.

Sunidhi is supporting VSTF in its village transformation by providing a technology solution, to implement and monitor their programmes, disburse funds in cashless manner and track fund flow. The technology platform enables VSTF to manage allocation, utilisation and tracking of a fund where government will match private sector’s CSR contribution for village transformation.

The ‘Platform for VSTF’ has two components:

  • Mobile-based module for ‘VSTF Fellow’ to create the transformation program at the village level and send for approval to VSTF central team.
  • Backend system to review and approve project applications submitted by VSTF Fellows, to make payments to service providers, to track fund utilization and project implementation (including dashboards), and to generate reports (such as fund utilization report for corporates).

Below is the graphical representation of how programs will be created by ‘VSTF Fellows’ and how it will be implemented and tracked.