Explained: Ration card reform, so far

Source: Indian Express

What is the News?

The Supreme Court has directed all states and Union Territories to implement the One Nation, One Ration Card (ONORC) system by July 31st,2021.

What is One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC)?
  • The ONORC scheme is aimed at enabling migrant workers and their family members to buy subsidized ration from any fair price shop anywhere in the country under the National Food Security Act,2013.
  • For example, a migrant worker from Uttar Pradesh will be able to access PDS benefits in Mumbai, where he or she may have gone in search of work. On the other hand, members of his or her family can still go to their ration dealer back home.
How does ONORC work?
  • ONORC is based on technology that involves details of beneficiaries, ration card, Aadhaar number, and electronic Points of Sale (ePoS). The system identifies a beneficiary through biometric authentication on ePoS devices at fair price shops.
  • The system runs with the support of two portals —Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS) (impds.nic.in) and Annavitran (annavitran.nic.in) which host all the relevant data.
  • When a ration cardholder goes to a fair price shop, he or she identifies himself or herself through biometric authentication on ePoS, which is matched real-time with details on the Annavitaran portal.
  • Once the ration card details are verified, the dealer hands out the beneficiary’s entitlements.
  • While the Annavitaran portal maintains a record of intra-state transactions — inter-district and intra-district — the IM-PDS portal records the inter-state transactions.
Incentives to States:
  • To promote ONORC reform in the Public Distribution System(PDS), the Government of India has provided incentives to states.
  • The Centre had even set the implementation of ONORC as a precondition for additional borrowing by states during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

How many States have implemented ONORC?

  • To date, 32 states and Union Territories have joined the ONORC, covering about 69 crore NFSA beneficiaries.
  • Four states are yet to join the scheme — Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, and West Bengal.
Print Friendly and PDF