During the recent nationwide lockdown due to corona crisis, millions of migratory labourers in megacities like Delhi and Mumbai faced serious survival issues due to inability to pay for food and accommodation. As a result, a large number of migrant workers literally had to walk thousands of miles to their native villages in Bihar, UP, Jharkhand, West Bengal etc. Unfortunately, the central and respective state governments had then failed to take immediate actions to help migrant workers with necessary food and accommodation at their locations of work.
The One Nation One Ration Card facility is an ambitious plan and endeavour to ensure the delivery of food security entitlements to all beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, irrespective of their physical location anywhere in the country, by implementing nation-wide portability of ration cards under the ongoing central sector scheme on ‘Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS)’ in association with all States/UTs.
The One Nation One Ration Card facility was started as inter-State portability of ration cards in 4 States w.e.f. August 2019. Since then, a total of 20 States/UT have been integrated together into a seamless national portability cluster w.e.f. June 2020. Thus, this facility is currently enabled for NFSA card holders in 20 States/UTs. These States/UTs are Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Sikkim, Mizoram, Telangana, Kerala, Punjab, Tripura, Bihar, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Now, trial and testing in 4 more States/UTs of Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Nagaland and Uttarakhand have been completed for enabling national portability features under One Nation One Ration Card in these states very shortly. Besides, the required web-services for inter-State transactions and their monitoring through Central Dashboards have also been activated for these States/UTs. All other States/UTs are targeted to be integrated before March 2021.
The One Nation One Ration Card facility is an ambitious plan and endeavour of Department of Food & Public Distribution to ensure the delivery of food security entitlements to all beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, irrespective of their physical location anywhere in the country, by implementing nation-wide portability of ration cards under the ongoing central sector scheme on ‘Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS)’ in association with all States/UTs.
Through this system, the migratory NFSA beneficiaries, who frequently change their place of dwelling in search of temporary employments, etc. are now enabled with an option to lift their entitled quota of foodgrains from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) of their choice anywhere in the country by using their same/existing ration card with biometric/Aadhaar based authentication on an electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) device installed at the FPSs.
Thus, installation of ePoS devices at the FPSs and Aadhaar seeding of beneficiaries for biometric/ Aadhaar authentication are the main enablers of this system, which can be accessed by beneficiaries by quoting either their ration card number or the Aadhaar number to any FPS dealer across the country. Anyone in the family, who have seeded Aadhaar in the ration card can undergo authentication and lift the ration. There is no need to share or carry the ration card or Aadhaar card with ration dealer to avail the benefit. Beneficiaries can undergo Aadhaar authentication by using their finger prints or iris-based identification.