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Current Affairs

Ration card reform

Date: 01 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The Supreme Court of India has asked all states and union territories to implement One Nation One Ration card (ONORC) scheme by July 31.

 

Background

The one Nation One Ration Card scheme was announced in the year 2019. Since then it has been experimentally implemented in some states.

 

Details

  • The one Nation One Ration Card scheme will allow migrant workers and their families to get subsidised grains from any ration shop in the country.

  • The families are liable for subsidised grains under the National Food Security Act, 2013. This is said to be a  revolutionary step for migrant worker welfare.

  • The migrant worker living away from his hometown gets his quota of food grains from a ration shop in a migrant city, whereas his family members can get their share in their hometown.

  • The union government will provide incentives for states to implement One Nation One Ration Card scheme.

  •  Implementing this scheme is a pre-condition set by the union government for additional borrowing during Covid times.

 

Working of ONORC scheme

  • Technology involved in the scheme is based on ration card number, linked Aadhar card number and makes use of electronic Points of Sale (ePoS).

  • Two online portals in the form of  Annavitran (annavitran.nic.in) and Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS) have been set up.

  • The data hosted on these portals is cross verified by biometric data generated by the beneficiary at the fair shop using electronic Points of Sale (ePoS).

  • The data on inter-district, intra-district and inter-state transactions will be maintained on  Annavitran portal. This is collected during distribution to the beneficiary.

 

Need for ONORC scheme

  • Migrant beneficiaries were not able to get their share of food grains from areas and shops that were not the one assigned to them.

  • The PDS is historically suffering from inefficiency and leakages. The new measures will likely help in containing the problems and improve the system.

 

Coverage of the scheme

Currently about 32 states and union territories have joined the scheme. The states of Assam, Delhi, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal are yet to come on board.