As many as 65 crore beneficiaries in 24 states has now come under the ambit of “One nation One Ration card”, which enables all eligible ration card holders and beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) to access their entitlements from anywhere in the country.
The 24 states have come under an integrated cluster from August 1. This forms about 80 per cent of the NFSA beneficiaries. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Odisha, Punjab, Sikkim, Rajasthan, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, J&K, Manipur, Nagaland and Uttarakhand have come under the ambit of “One nation One Ration card”.
The implementation of One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) plan is one of the top priorities of Department of Food & Public Distribution, Government of India to provide an option to all eligible ration card holders/beneficiaries covered under NFSA to access their entitlements from anywhere in the country.
Under this plan, the distribution of highly subsidized food grains is enabled through nation-wide portability of ration cards through the implementation of IT-driven system by installation of ePoS devices at FPSs, seeding of Aadhaar number of beneficiaries with their ration cards and operationalisation of biometrically authenticated ePoS transactions in the State/UTs.
In the remaining 12 states, the Centre said that the whole process would be completed before the end of 2020. In Arunachal Pradesh, the centre said that installation of ePoS devices at FPSs has started and the installation would be completed by October 2020. Assam is planning to enable the national portability by December 2020. Chhattisgarh is also in the process of procuring ePoS devices for replacing old tablets and is planning to enable the national portability by December 2020.
Delhi Government are reinstalling the ePoS devices at all FPSs and would be ready by October, 2020. The Union Territory of Ladakh has already started testing of national portability transactions and is planning to enable it from September 2020. Lakshadweep is expected to enable the national portability by September 2020. Although connectivity issues may pose some challenges in some islands, its impact will not be significant, the Centre said.
Installation of ePoS devices has only started in Meghalaya in a phased manner, and is likely to be completed by mid of October 2020. Tamil Nadu said it was committed to roll out national portability by October 2020. While Andaman & Nicobar is planning the roll out by October 2020, Chandigarh is expected to start by November 2020.
Puducherry is likely to roll out only by January, 2021. Meanwhile, West Bengal Govt. has not yet started the biometrically authenticated transactions for delivery of foodgrains. The government had indicated a target of March, 2021.