UPSC MAINS 2019 : One Nation One Ration Card

One Nation One Ration Card

Topic : One Nation One Ration Card

Topic in Syllabus : General Studies Paper 3: Indian Economy

 

Context

One Nation One Ration Card

The union govt. is working on a plan to launch a “One Nation One Ration Card” scheme for beneficiaries to access to any PDS shop across the country.

 

Background:

What is One Nation One Ration Card?

One Nation, One Ration Card is to ensure no poor person is deprived of getting subsidised food grains under food security scheme when he shifts from one place to another in India.

 

Objectives

  • The ‘One nation, One ration card’ scheme will make sure that a beneficiary is able to avail herself of the Public Distribution System (PDS) – no matter which part of the country she may be in.
  • Under the scheme, the food ministry will create a central depository of all the ration cards, which would help in eliminating duplication.
  • The scheme is aimed at providing freedom to beneficiaries, as they will not be tied to one PDS shop.
  • The biggest beneficiaries will be migrant workers who move to other states to seek better job opportunities.

 

Implementation:

  • Currently, the Integrated Management of PDS, under which beneficiaries can avail food grain from any district, is operational in several states such as Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Telangana and Tripura, according to the statement from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
  • It was announced that the other states will also implement the Integrated Management of PDS (IMPDS) soon.
  • At present, over 75% of Fair Price Shops have been equipped with electronic PoS devices.
  • Various issues pertaining to efficient implementation of the National Food Security Act, end-to-end computerisation, transparency in storage and distribution of foodgrains, and synergising of all FCI, CWC and SWC depots with the Depot Online System (DOS) would be addressed.

 

Merits of the scheme:

  • The scheme, according to Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution would ensure that all beneficiaries can access PDS across the nation from any shop of their choice.
  • The biggest beneficiary of this, would be migrant labourers who move to other States to seek better job opportunities.
  • The scheme would provide freedom to the beneficiaries as they will not be tied to any one PDS shop and reduce their dependence on shop owners.
  • The objective is to ensure that this is implemented nationally in a time-bound manner.
  • The process also, aims to do away with manual recordings of transactions, thereby ensuring clarity of record keeping.
  • The work done by the PDS  fair price shops is a lifeline for 81 crore beneficiaries across the country.
  • There is 612 lakh tonnes of food grains stored in warehouses of FCI, CWC, SWCs and private godowns for distribution annually.
  • Around 78 per cent of Fair Price Shops in India have so far been automated by installing electronic PoS devices.

 

Challenges 

  • ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme which question its feasibility in the country.
  • There are 29 states and 7 union territories in India and every state has its own rules for Public Distribution System (PDS).
  • If ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ is implemented, it will further boost corruption in an already corrupted Public Distribution System.
  • A labourer migrates to any city leaving his family at a village, how will he receive his ration in the city and his family’s ration at the village.
  •  ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ will increase the woes of the common man and, the middlemen and corrupt PDS shop owners will exploit them.
  • Many ration shop owners under the PDS allegedly replace the Aadhaar number of beneficiaries with people known to them and thousands of fake Aadhaar cards are used to withdraw food grains of ration.
  • Different states have different PDS rates. Mismatching rates will be a big challenge.

 

 Sample Question

Do you think one nation One Ration Card scheme will curtail corruption, justify.

 


 

One Nation One Ration Card infograph