One Nation One Ration Card

To enable migrant workers and their family members to avail of the benefits of the public distribution system (PDS) from any fair price shop in the country , the system of ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ was announced in May this year and the national rollout of this scheme is scheduled to cover all the States by March 2021. Jammu and Kashmir too has joined the scheme which gives coverage to this ambitious scheme by 24 of the total States and UTs. Apart from providing hassles free access to the fair price shops to get the ration at subsidised rates, it is an improvement over the previous system whereby a ration card holder could buy food gains only from a Fair Price Shop ( FPS ) assigned to it in a particular locality where the card holder lived or stayed over a period. With the operation of the One Nation One Card (ONOC), wherever the beneficiary goes or stays , one would get the ration at any place at any of the designated FPSs. Needless to add, work on this ambitious project dates back to two years when the government launched Integrated Management of Public Distribution Method , say in 2018 when reforms were introduced in the public distribution system. That accounts for more than 65 crore beneficiaries comprising 80 per cent of the total beneficiaries getting covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) who can now get the subsidized ration from anywhere in these 24 States including in Jammu and Kashmir.
The new system is all about Ration Card portability which provides its intra-state and inter-state portability. Besides ruling out any type of difficulties in getting the due ration, One Nation One Ration Card was providing an emotive feeling and sense of belongingness to one country irrespective of regions or distances. One more advantage of the scheme is worth mentioning in that while one could buy the share of one’s food grains as per the entitlement under NFSA, the rest of the family members can purchase subsidized food grains from their ration dealer back home. There used to be a general view about FPSs about manipulations in the distribution system for the targeted sections of the society and most of such stocks were alleged to having been sold at more prices or siphoning the stocks off to other outlets for obvious consideration. Due to introduction of ‘Annavitran ‘ portal , the data of distribution of food grains and total stock at hand and other relevant information not only becomes readily available but there is little scope of any type of irregularity taking place. It is more or less , analogically speaking, like the Direct Transfer Benefit (DBT) under which benefits and subsidies of various social welfare schemes go directly in the bank account of the beneficiary.
Again, the use of latest technology has come handy to regulate the new system where a beneficiary would be identified through bio-metric authentication on particular devices installed at the Fair Price Shops. Seeding of the Aadhar card to identifying the beneficiaries is done by using the technological solution and ration card is issued . That prevents any type of hanky- panky in issuing such ration cards. One could without any difficulty purchase the quantity of food grains to the which one was entitled under the NFSA at any FPS. Besides, the card holder has not to establish one’s credentials time and again and has not to carry different cards or papers but only one original card issued. Since the facility is primarily for the migrant sections of the people who always remain in mobility in search of work and where acceleration of the migration was ‘pronounced’ for females, can lift their quota anywhere in the country from the FPSs. However, more data on migration was going to bring more eligible persons under the ambit of the scheme. The new system, after initial hiccups due to lack of full awareness and corona-virus pandemic constraints, has now been receiving an overwhelming response thereby underlining the urgency and the requirement of the ONOC.


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