Mains Paper 3: Economy | Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, and Railways etc.
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: NCMC
Mains level: Utility of the NCMC
- In order to ensure a seamless travel across metros and other transport systems in addition to retail shopping and purchases, the MoHUA came out with the National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) Program.
- Public Transport is extensively used across India as the economical and convenient mode of commuting for all classes of society.
- Cash continues to be the most preferred mode of fare payments across the public transport.
- However, there are multiple challenges associated with the cash payment e.g. cash handling, revenue leakages, cash reconciliation etc.
- The introduction of closed loop cards issued by these operators helped to digitize the fare collection to a significant extent.
National Common Mobility Card
- Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs brought to the fore the NCMC to enable seamless travel by different metros and other transport systems across the country besides retail shopping and purchases.
- India’s First Indigenously Developed Payment Eco-system for transport consists of:
- NCMC Card
- SWEEKAR (Swachalit Kiraya: Automatic Fare Collection System)
- SWAGAT (Swachalit Gate)
- These are bank issued cards on Debit/Credit/Prepaid card product platform.
- The customer may use this single card for payments across all segments including metro, bus, suburban railways, toll, parking, smart city and retail.
- The stored value on card supports offline transaction across all travel needs with minimal financial risk to involved stakeholders.
- The service area feature of this card supports operator specific applications e.g. monthly passes, season tickets etc.
- CDAC was entrusted the task of finalization of NCMC specification for AFC system including the interface with Bank server.
- CDAC worked in collaboration with NPCI to complete this activity. Thereafter, BEL was roped in for making Gates & Reader.
- NCMC Ecosystem offers the value proposition for customers as they need not to carry multiple cards for different usage.
About Automatic Fare Collection System
- AFC System (gates, readers/validators, backend infrastructure etc.) is the core of any transit operator to automate the fare collection process.
- The major challenge associated with AFC system implementation in India till now is the lack of indigenous solution provider.
- Till now, AFC systems deployed at various Metros are from foreign players.
- In order to avoid the vendor lock-in and create an interoperable system, there was a need to develop indigenous standards and AFC system under Make in India initiative.