Context: The government of India has announced that the free grain distribution under the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) will be extended by five months till the end of November, with an additional estimated outlay ofRs.90,000 crore.

More on the news:

  • According to the government, PMGKAY within days of the nationwide lockdown amid Covid outbreak had ensured that the poorest of the poor were not left hungry.
  • Population(80 crore) twice that of the European Union, 12 times the population of the UK, and two and half times the population of the United States was provided free grains by the government. 


  • Considered as the world's largest food security scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana aims at ensuring sufficient food for the poor and needy during the coronavirus crisis.
  • Part of the scheme, the food needs to be provided to all the beneficiaries under the public distribution system (TPDS) for Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and priority household (PHH) ration cardholders.
  • Under this scheme, five kilograms of free rice or wheat, and one kilogram of chana will be provided free to 80 crore Indians for free of cost.

The Central government is working on a ‘one nation, one ration card’ initiative to make the scheme more systematic.

One Nation one Ration Card

Under this, the technology system is to be used for enabling Migrants to access PDS (Ration) from any Fair Price Shops in India.

  • Pilot scheme for portability of ration cards will be extended to 23 states. 
  • By this, 83% of the PDS population will be covered by National portability of Ration cards. 
  • 100% National portability will be achieved by March next year. 
  • Impact: 
    • This will ensure that the people in transit, especially migrant workers can also get the PDS benefit across the country.