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Special Content

Issue no 15, 09-15 July 2022

One Nation One Ration Card Ensuring Last Mile Food Supply

Assam has become the 36th State/UT to implement One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC). With this, the ONORC plan has been successfully implemented in all the 36 states/UTs, making food security portable throughout the country. This is one-of-its-kind Citizen Centric initiative in the country. During the last two years of COVID-19 pandemic, ONORC plan has significantly contributed in ensuring subsidized foodgrains to NFSA (National Food Security Act) beneficiaries, especially migrant beneficiaries.

What is One Nation One Ration Card?

The implementation of nationwide portability of ration cards through "One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC)" scheme, is an endeavour of the Department of Food & Public Distribution, to empower over 80 crore beneficiaries. This plan has been launched under the NFSA-2013, which aims to ensure that anyone can take their share of food grains from any district of any state of the country. Owing to the defined coverage of beneficiaries under the NFSA2013 in each State/UT, it was difficult for migrant beneficiaries to get a new ration card issued. And when they were able to get one issued, the duplicity of ration cards/beneficiaries in the country's Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) became an issue. This was depriving many other beneficiaries from getting included under the fold of NFSA. After the implementation of ONORC, while a migrant beneficiary is able to get ration at the destination he or she is working in, his/her family back home is also allowed to get their part of the entitled ration to support itself. ONORC also provides flexibility to all NFSA beneficiaries to lift their food grains from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) of their choice in most parts of the country, by using their same/existing ration card with biometric authentication of identity on an Electronic Point of Sale (e-PoS) device. This mechanism has plugged the leakage/diversion of un-lifted food grains in FPSs

What are its achievements?

The One Nation One Ration Card initiative has been developed fully indigenously with the technical support of National Informatics Centre (NIC). What is remarkable is that the broad based reform of portability covering nearly 81 Crore NFSA beneficiaries in all States/UTs is being achieved with minimal outlay of just Rs. 127 Crore, over a period of 5 years. Further, this is a one-of- itskind citizen-centric initiative in the country, swiftly implemented in all 36 States/UTs in a shortspan of time, after being sanctioned in 2018-19 and implemented from August 2019. All the States/UTs are integrated in a seamless portability platform, empowering the NFSA population with seamless food security anywhere in the country. In this way, portability of ration is making every NFSA beneficiary AtmaNirbhar.

Under the NSFA, almost 23.6 crore ration cards have been digitized. Almost 93.1% ration cards and 90.1% beneficiaries are Aadhaar-seeded at the national level. Online allocation orders for food grains for all FPS has been implemented in all States/UTs, besides Chandigarh and Puducherry. Supply Chain Management of food grains is computerized in 31 States/UTs for online management of stocks in god owns and its in-and-out movement. The Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) received the prestigious Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Public Administration, 2020 for its scheme 'One Nation One Ration Card' (ONORC).

How did ONORC help NFSA beneficiaries during COVID pandemic?

One Nation One Ration Card was helpful to NFSA beneficiaries in availing food grains from any location during COVID pandemic/lockdown period. This freedom of choice is a tremendous value-added service to each NFSA beneficiary. Portability is being operated at different levels i.e. Intra-State (Inter-District or Intra-District) and Inter-State. During the period 01-April-2020 to 31- March-2022, about 56.60 crore portability transactions under NFSA have been carried out across States/UTs, benefiting a large number of NFSA beneficiaries, mostly migrants, at the FPSs near to their location of work/temporary stay. Implementation of ONORC has made steady improvement during COVID pandemic period.

'Mera Ration' Mobile App

The Department of Food & Public Distribution in association with NIC has launched a mobile application "MERA RATION" for the benefit of NFSA beneficiaries, particularly migrant beneficiaries to take maximum advantage of the ONORC plan. The salient features of the app which can be easily accessed by beneficiaries using either their Ration Card number or Aadhaar number include the following:

a)      Registration of migrant NFSA beneficiaries: An optional feature for NFSA beneficiaries to register their migration details. This information helps the States/UTs in advance planning and provisioning of food grains under ONORC for those beneficiaries.

b)      Know your entitlement: Migrant NFSA beneficiaries as well as their families back home can easily know their available entitlements.

c)       Locate nearby FPS: The GPS-enabled feature is provided to assist the migrant beneficiaries to identify and locate the closest FOS when in a new State/district/ location and also to know whether the ship is open or closed at the moment.

d)      Aadhaar seeding: Through this feature, the status of Aadhaar seeding with ration cards can be checked instantly.

e)      My Transactions: The information of past transactions done on the ration card are available like a passbook on the app

f)       Eligibility criteria: The feature enables the beneficiaries to check their eligibility status for ration card portability

g)      ONORC status: Through this feature, the app provides the list of all States/UTs under ONORC.

h)      Suggestions/Feedback: An option for beneficiaries and stakeholders to share their suggestions and feedback with the Government

Currently, the 'Mera Ration' mobile application is available in 13 languages, namely Assamese, Bangla, English, Hindi, Kannada, Odia, Gujarati, Punjabi, Telugu, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil and Urdu, and can be easily downloaded from Google Play Store


Source: PIB

EN Team