Why in News: 

Assam is the latest and 36th state to adopt the One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) system. 

With this, the scheme now covers all the states and UTs, making distribution of subsidised and free foodgrain security portable throughout the country.

Focus: One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) 

The goal is to enable migrant workers and their families to purchase subsidized rations at reasonable prices at any PDS store nationwide. 

All eligible distribution cardholders or beneficiaries subject to the 2013 National Food Safety Act (NFSA) can access their claims from anywhere in India.  

The facility was established in four states as a interstate portability of ration cards in August 2019 These four states were Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat and Maharashtra. 

Department of Food and Public Distribution is the nodal body responsible for implementing this program. 

Key Features  

  • The beneficiaries under the system are ration cardholders who are eligible to get food grains from fair-price shops (FPS).
  • Ration cardholders can buy up to 5 kg of rice at Rs 3/kg, wheat at Rs 2/kg, and coarse grains at Rs 1/kg per month.
  • This was mandated under the NFSA passed in 2013.
  • These beneficiaries can claim either full or part foodgrains from any FPS in the country.
  • This can be done through existing ration card with biometric/Aadhaar authentication in a seamless manner.
  • The scheme also allows their family members back home, if any, to claim the balance foodgrains on same the ration card.

How does ONORC work? 

  •  ONORC is based on technology that includes beneficiary ration cards, Aadhaar numbers, and electronic point-of-sale (ePoS) details. 
  • The system identifies the beneficiary through biometrics on the FPS ePoS device. 
  • The system runs with support of two portals that host all  relevant data. They are - 
  • Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS) ( and
  • Annavitran (


  • Trouble-free distribution for migrants - Previously, a qualified person with a ration card could only get subsidised food and grain from the PDS assigned to him in his community. For this reason, migrants migrating to other cities for work faced many problems. 
  • Beneficiary approval - Beneficiaries now have the opportunity to choose their own dealer. Due to the many discrepancies, beneficiaries can immediately switch to another FPS shop in the event of a foul. 
  • Steps to meet the SDGs - It will also help India reach its goal of ending hunger (SDG-2) by 2030. It also aims to address the exacerbation of India's hunger. 
  • Increased efficiency - Seeding  Aadhaar with the ration card will remove the issue of duplicacy. In addition, the use of technology has made the  PDS network more efficient.