One nation one ration card: All you need to know about this scheme

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  • The government’s new initiative ‘one nation one ration card’ scheme will enable ration card holders to get their supply of food grains at any fair price shop across the country.

  • This project will be a boon to segments like migrant workers employed in different states of the country.

  • The beneficiary verification through Aadhaar authentication will happen on the electronic point of sale (e-POS) devices.
On January 20, 2020, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan announced that the NDA government’s ambitious project ‘one nation one ration card’ scheme will be rolled out to the whole of India from June 1, 2020. However, while the COVID-19 crisis has delayed the process but also made it inevitable.

On May 13, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the families will be allowed to procure pulses and food grains even if members are located in different states. This was announced as a relief measure for millions of India’s migrant workers.

Presently, 20 states in India have adopted this scheme and have implemented ration card portability in their jurisdictions. As per the latest statement issued by the government to the press, the scheme will be further extended to the remaining states by March 2021.

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As per the official data available, around 81 crore beneficiaries are covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) in all the states and Union Territories (UT).

What will change with the launch of the scheme?

Presently, around 23 crore ration cards have been issued to Indian families covering about 80 crore beneficiaries. As per the existing norms, every ration card is linked to a particular FPS in the locality where the family lives. Hence the given family can buy their supply of food grains only from the designated FPS. ‘One nation one ration card’ system will change this and when it becomes operational throughout the country, the beneficiaries will be able to buy food grains at subsidised prices from any FPS across the country.

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The beneficiary verification process

The new system will work with help from technology. The beneficiaries will be verified through biometric authentication i.e. Aadhaar, and electronic point of sale (ePOS) devices will be installed at the outlets.

How will the ration card portability system work?

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The technological platform required for the ‘one nation one ration card’ scheme will be provided by the Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS) portal ( http://www.impds.nic.in/). This portal will make it possible for the migrant workers to purchase food grains from any FPS located in any state of the country. The other portal that will host the data regarding the food grains distribution through ePOS within a state is annavitran.nic.in.

Once the ‘one nation one ration card’ system takes effect in a given state, the beneficiary family can purchase food grains from different locations. For example, a migrant worker staying in a different state can buy his or her share of the subsidized food grains from any FPS in the state where they work while the remaining family members will be able to buy their quota of the supplies back at home.



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