One Ration Card system The Ration card holders in Kerala and Karnataka, as well as in Rajasthan and Haryana, will be able to buy subsidized food from ration shops in the neighboring State from next month, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Tuesday. It has been decided to implement inter-State/National Portability on a pilot basis in few States About One Nation One Ration Card system Objective The main objective of the scheme is to introduce nation-wide portability of ration card holders under National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA), to lift their entitlement food grains from any FPS in the country without the need to obtain a new ration card, by integrating the existing PDS systems/portals of States/UTs with the Central systems/portals, etc. Why this scheme?

  • Earlier, ration cards are issued by states under the National food security act but they lacked universal access. (Access to issuing state alone).This has affected migrant workers and women, who shift to different states post marriage.
  • According to Census 2011, Some 4.1 crore workers migrate out of their states seasonally for work.
Developments related to intra-State portability of ration cards
  • With effect from October 1, these two new clusters will join the existing State pairs of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana, as well as Maharashtra and Gujarat as pioneers in inter-State portability of ration cards,
  • By January 1, 2020, the Centre hopes the eight States in these initial experimental clusters, as well as Jharkhand, Punjab, and Tripura, can be clubbed into a single grid. This means that migrants from these 11 States can access their rations guaranteed under the National Food Security Act in any of the other State within the grid.
  • These 11 States have already achieved the first step of implementing intra-State portability, where NFSA beneficiaries can use their ration cards in any ration shop within their own State, not just the shop where the card is registered.
  • By March 2020, intra-State portability will be implemented in another 13 States and Union Territories: Tamil Nadu, Goa, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Sikkim, Jammu and Kashmir, Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
  • There is only 70% coverage of ePOS in West Bengal, 33% in Uttarakhand and 15% in Bihar.
  • In the north-east, (Meghalaya, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, and Assam), as well as in Delhi, there is no coverage at all.
  • Apart from ePOS coverage, Aadhaar authentication and online supply depot management are also critical for the implementation of the system. For example, the reason why Tamilnadu, unlike other southern states, was not added in the early clusters for inter-State portability
  • Need to take measures to prevent misuse of the portability system.
  • Even when a person migrates for a shorter time span the beneficiary data needs to be updated.
About National food security act
  • Government of India enacted National Food Security Act (NFSA) in July 2013 which gives legal entitlement to 67% of the population (75% in rural areas and 50% in urban areas) to receive highly subsidized food grains.
  • Under the Act, food grain is allocated at 5 kg per person per month for priority households category and at 35 kg per family per month for AAY families at a highly subsidized price of Rs. 1/- Rs. 2/- and Rs. 3/- per kg for Nutri-cereals, wheat, and rice respectively.
  • Coverage under the Act is based on the population figures of Census, 2011.
  • The Act is now being implemented in all 36 States/UTs and covers about 81.35 crore persons.
  • The annual allocation of food grain under National Food Security Act and Other Welfare Schemes is about 610 Lakh Metric Tons.
Also read: One Nation, One Ration Card And The Hurdles Ahead Government to launch ‘One Nation One Ration Card’