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Current Affairs

One Nation One Ration Card

Date: 04 December 2019 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Union Minister for Consumer affairs, Ram Vilas Paswan has said that the One Nation one Ration Card scheme will come into effect from June 2020.

 

Background

The central and state governments coordinate this complex public distribution system. While the Centre allocates and transports the foodgrain from Food Corporation of India godowns to the ration shops, the onus of ensuring that right beneficiaries get the subsidised foodgrain falls on the states and Union territories
 

Details

  • Under the initiative, eligible beneficiaries would be able to avail their entitled food grains under the National Food Security Act from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) in the country using the same ration card.

  • This would be made available after biometric/Aadhaar authentication on ePoS (electronic Point of Sale) devices.

  • This system would largely benefit the numerous migrant beneficiaries such as labourers, daily wagers, blue-collar workers etc. who frequently change their place of dwelling in search of employment or for other reasons across the country.

  • One Nation One Ration Card would offer public distribution system benefits from any of the ration shops with the help of a single digital card linked to the beneficiary’s Aadhaar.

Challenges

  • All fair price shops would need ePoS devices for seamless biometric authentication.

  • Getting the current location of the migrant worker to avoid duplication.

  • The other challenge is ending duplication of ration cards, whereby a beneficiary is denied foodgrain since someone else took away the quota using a fake card.

  • The government will have to make fresh estimates for foodgrain required to meet the demand due to seasonal migration and fluctuation in demand based on movement of labourers.

Way Ahead

There is no logic in giving foodgrain under PDS to food-surplus and infrastructurallybetter-off states such as Punjab and Haryana. It is time the government shifts to direct benefit transfer in such regions.
 

One Nation One Ration Card

Date: 23 August 2019 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

 

The government has launched a pilot project for the inter-state portability of ration cards between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, and between Maharashtra and Gujarat. This is part of ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme.

 

Background

 

A ration card is issued to the head of the family, based on the number of members in a family and the financial status of the applicant.

 It is used by households to get essential food grains at subsidized prices from designated ration shops (also called fair price shops) under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS)

 

Details

  • Ration cards are issued by state governments, which implied that beneficiaries could procure food grains only from the designated ration shops within the concerned state.
  •  If a beneficiary needs to shift to another state, he/she will have to apply for a new ration card in the second state.
  • The new scheme tries to address this problem and make ration procurement process easy for beneficiaries.

Importance

  • There are many complications in current scheme. For instance, after marriage, a woman needs to get her name removed from the ration card issued to her parents, and get it added to the ration card issued to her husband’s family.
  • This can be avoided under the new scheme. The scheme has been launched keeping in mind the internal migration of our country, since people keep moving to different states in search of better job opportunities and higher standards of living.
  • The ONORC scheme being implemented in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the beneficiary can buy food grains from ration shops located in either of the states. The same is the case with Maharashtra and Gujarat.