IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

‘One nation, one mobility card’

30th December, 2020 Polity

Context: Prime Minister launched the ambitious National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) service for the Delhi Metro’s Airport Express Line.

  • This inauguration falls under the umbrella of the ‘One Nation One Card’ initiative.
  • NCMC can be used at all transit locations making all new metro and transit payments interoperable via one card.


  • The idea of NCMC was floated by the Nandan Nilekani committee set up by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • The five-member committee under Nilekani, the former chairperson of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIAI) has also proposed a host of measures, including all payments by the government to citizens through the digital mode, to reduce the number of cash transactions in the country.

About NCMC:

  • NCMC will allow passengers with RuPay debit card, issued in the last 18 months by 23 banks, including SBI, UCO Bank, Canara Bank, Punjab National Bank etc, to be swiped for Metro travel.
  • This facility will become available on the entire Delhi Metro network by 2022.
  • NCMC is an automatic fare collection system.
  • It will turn smartphones into an inter-operable transport card that commuters can use eventually to pay for Metro, bus and suburban railways services.
  • NCMC service is slated to cover the entire 400km stretch of Delhi Metro.
  • It will allow entry and exit from Metro stations with the help of a smartphone, known as the automatic fare collection (AFC) system.
  • In the upcoming Delhi Metro Phase-IV project, the AFC system will fully accept NCMC, which can also be used in any city across the country.
  • To make AFC compliant indigenous gates for metro stations the government has engaged Bharat Electronics Limited. Eventually, all Metro stations will be fitted with AFC gates.
  • The Nilekani committee had suggested that NCMC should contain two instruments – a regular debit card which can be used at an ATM and a local wallet, which can be used for contactless payments, without the need to go back to the server or additional authentication.
  • Banks mandated by the department of financial services have been asked to make their debit cards NCMC compliant, to ensure availability of service.