What is a Ration Card?
In India, state governments offer ration cards to households that qualify for the National Food Security Act’s subsidised food grain purchases through the Public Distribution System (NFSA). For many Indians, they also function as a typical form of identification. According to the NFSA, all state governments in India are required to identify families that qualify for receiving ration cards and purchasing food grain at a reduced price from the Public Distribution System.
Types of Ration Cards
According to the NFSA, there are two types of ration cards:
Priority Household (PHH) ration cards- Households that satisfy the requirements established by their state government for eligibility are given Priority Household (PHH) ration cards. A monthly allocation of 5 kilos of food grain per person is allowed for each priority family.
Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) ration cards- the “poorest of poor” households, ration cards are given out under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY). 35 kilos of wheat grain are allotted to each AAY household each month.
Eligibility for Ration Card
Anyone who is a true Indian citizen may apply for a ration card. Children under the age of 18 are considered minors and are covered by their parents’ card. A person above the age of 18 can, however, apply for a second ration card.
What are the Procedures for Acquiring Ration Cards?
- Log in to the application portal of the respective state in which you need the ration card.
- To access the application, click it.
- Include all of your personal information in the form, and check twice to make sure there are no mistakes.
- After entering all the information, select the “apply online” option and then upload all the supporting papers.
One Nation One Ration Card Scheme
The national ration card portability programme “One Nation, One Ration Card,” launched in 2018, uses Aadhaar to assure food security for everyone, including Indian citizens who migrate inside the country. The Aadhaar card of the recipient was utilised for the beneficiary’s online verification. Through the inter-state mobility of ration cards, it allows migratory workers and their families to obtain PDS benefits from any Fair Price Shop anywhere in the nation. This ensures food security. 20 states have already enrolled in the programme by March 2021, while the remaining nine were in the process of doing so.
How are Fake Ration Cards Eliminated?
Prior to digitization, there were several issues with the PDS ration system, including millions of invalid and counterfeit ration cards and millions of poor households without a ration card. In cooperation with government authorities, many PDS store owners diverted the subsidised gasoline and food supplies to the illicit market. Those who hold cards in the names of fictitious, duplicate, or deceased individuals inflate their card numbers. To eliminate phoney ration cards and stop fraud, the following steps have been implemented.
- Checking eligibility through Aadhar card – By matching the service delivery database with other databases, applicant eligibility is verified. For instance, the PDS database and the LPG database are compared to see if PDS kerosene is eligible. If an LPG subsidy is found for that household, the subsidy on kerosene allotment is decreased. The validity of ration cards is cross-checked against other relevant, Aadhaar-linked databases. This strategy aims to increase efficiency, avoid corruption, and strengthen the audit trail. It allows qualified individuals to get benefits directly and prevents corruption, saving billions of rupees every year.
- E- ration service- Applicants can receive ration cards, verify their expenses, and view the availability of food grains online with the use of the e-Ration service. This would ensure that cards reach the needy and put a stop to the dishonest practise of hoarding back rations. E-ration cards may be applied for by Aadhaar card holders. Information about the food security plan’s eligibility is available on the website of the Department of Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs.
- Beneficiary with Aadhaar capability – The Aadhaar numbers of eligible recipients are connected to their bank accounts and ration cards. By seeding (linking) a bank account to an Aadhaar number, one can allow the bank account as an AeBA. The NPCI payment gateway, which handles the subsidy payment, stores mapping information thanks to seeding. By preventing duplicate and fictitious people from enrolling, seeding aids in the identification of real and qualified recipients. Through ATM self-service kiosks, the Internet, bank websites, telephone, or by giving a copy of the Aadhaar letter to a bank, customers can link a bank account as a self-service option.