Why in News?
On 29 June 2021, the Supreme Court directed all States/UTs to implement the One Nation, One Ration Card (ONORC) system by July 31, 2021.
What is One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC)?
- One Nation One Nation Card is a system which ensures availability of dry ration to beneficiaries under National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013 and other welfare schemes, especially the migrant workers and their families at any Fair Price Shop (FPS) across the country.
- This ONORC scheme, overcomes the short comings of previous ration scheme.
- One of the main advantages of the scheme is that, resident of one state can purchase food grains from other state’s FPS (e.g., the ration cardholder of Bihar can have a food grains from FPS of Maharashtra).
- It was launched in August, 2019.
- At present, 32 States/UTs have implanted the ONORC, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and West Bengal have not implemented this system.
Objectives of ONORC
It can be summarized as follows:
- Reforms in the Public Distribution System (PDS).
- Access of food-grains to each beneficiary through Annavitran portal.
- Integration of all Indian States/UTs in scheme by March 2021 through Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS) portal.
Working of ONORC
- It is based on technology that involves details of beneficiaries on ration card, Aadhar number, and electronic points of sale (ePoS).
- ONORC identifies beneficiary through biometric authentication.
Under the National Food Security Act, 2013, about 81 crore people are entitled to buy subsidized foodgrains – rice at Rs. 3/kg, wheat at Rs. 2 kg. and coarse grains at Rs. 1 kg. from designated fair price shops.
- There are about 5.46 lakh fair price shops4.89 lakh POS enabled FPS and 23.64 crore ration card holders across the country, as on July13, 2021.
SC decision regarding Public Distribution System through fair Price Shops by means of One Nation One Ration Card System is the need of the hour. Challenges regarding lack of data on migrants must be addressed by Labour Ministry as soon as possible. Absence of ePoS and other shortages must be fulfilled by the states/UTs concerned.