MoS Agriculture launches AI chatbot for PM-KISAN scheme

MoS Agriculture launches AI chatbot for PM-KISAN scheme

Union Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India launched an AI chatbot for the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme in New Delhi on Thursday. The AI chatbot launch marks a significant step towards enhancing the efficiency and reach of the PM-KISAN scheme and also providing farmers with prompt, clear, and accurate responses to their queries.

Launching the AI chatbot, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Kailash Choudhary said the initiative is in in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to bring positive change to the lives of farmers and improve governance through the use of technology. Chaudhary said the AI chatbot will help in accessing scheme information and resolving grievances. He also called upon the need to widen the service to link it with other related issues like weather information, soil conditions and bank payments. The minister complimented the ministry officials for onboarding the technology in a short span of time and added that it would ease the burden for agriculture officials at the Centre and states. Officials from the Government of India and the state governments gathered virtually to mark the launch event.

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Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, Department of Agriculture & Family Welfare noted that the AI chatbot would also be implemented for other major schemes of the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare in the coming months. Pramod Mehreda, Additional Secretary, Department of Agriculture & Family Welfare made a detailed presentation on the features of the chatbot and its benefits for farmers.

“The AI chatbot will act as a comprehensive guide for the beneficiaries, providing them with timely and accurate responses to their queries related to the scheme. This is the first AI chatbot integrated with a major flagship scheme of the Central government. It has been developed and improved with the support of EKstep Foundation and Bhashini. The introduction of the AI chatbot in the PM-KISAN grievance management system is aimed at empowering farmers with a user-friendly and accessible platform. In its first phase of development, the AI chatbot will assist farmers in seeking information related to their application status, payment details, ineligibility status, and other scheme-related updates. The AI chatbot, accessible through the PM-KISAN mobile app, is integrated with Bhashini, which offers multilingual support, catering to the linguistic and regional diversity of the PM-KISAN beneficiaries. This integration of advanced technology will not only enhance transparency but will also empower farmers to make informed decisions,” Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare informed.

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Currently, the AI chatbot is available in English, Hindi, Bengali, Odia, and Tamil. In a short period, it will be available in all 22 languages of the country.

“The PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme (PM-KISAN) is a Central sector scheme launched in February 2019 to support the financial needs of small landholding farmers in the country. The scheme offers an annual financial benefit of Rs 6,000 in three equal instalments to eligible farmers’ families through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode. Since its inception, over Rs. 2.61 lakhs crores disbursed to over 11 crore farmers so far. The PM-KISAN scheme has played a vital role in providing income support to small landholder farmer families across the country with cultivable land. The scheme’s direct benefit transfer has ensured timely financial assistance to millions of farmers, including women beneficiaries, contributing to their socio-economic well-being,” the ministry said.

“Government of India has also developed a mobile app with the feature of face authentication-based e-KYC. This Mobile App is very easy to use and is easily available for download on the Google Play Store. This app is a wonderful example of modern technology, through which, now the farmer can complete his e-KYC sitting at home even in remote areas of the country without any OTP or fingerprint, just by scanning his face. In addition, the Government of India has also extended the facility for completing e-KYC of farmers to state government officials, allowing each official to do e-KYC for 500 farmers,” the agriculture ministry informed.

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