In the early years, the Supreme Court ordered the implementation of the center’s one nation one ration card (ONORC) scheme in the whole country on 31 July. This scheme introduced that all the ration cardholders will get ration free of cost through biometric authentication at all the Fair Price Shops (FPS).

Under the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA), the beneficiaries having proper ration cards would get ration free of cost. The ONORC was initiated by the central government, which aimed at guaranteeing that the beneficiaries under the NFSA and other welfare schemes, especially the migrants, can collect ration from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) in the country.

The ONORC is based on technology, including the Aadhar card number and Electronic Points of Sale (epos). This system runs with the two portal support- Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS) and Annavitran, including all the relevant data.

Earlier, when biometric authentication system was not introduced at that time, duplicate cards were used by the people to get the benefit of the free ration and many needy people left without ration, so to target the duplicate ration cards, Aadhar cards were linked to the ration cards, and biometric authentication was introduced at the fair price shops (FPS) in the state.

Benefits of having a ration card

The beneficiaries who have a ration card are eligible to get food grains from fair-price shops. They can buy up to 5 kg of rice at Rs. 3/kg, wheat at Rs. 2/kg, and the coarse grains at Rs. 1/kg every month.

The previous process included that the migrants had to apply for new ration cards whenever they migrate to a new location to get the free ration as their cards were only linked to their residential places. But the new system introduced that migratory people can get free ration from anywhere in the country.

Eligibility criteria

Eligibility criteria for applying for ration cards include the applicant must not have a ration card. The couples who are just married can apply for a ration card, and those whose card has been expired can apply for a new ration card. And processing time for the ration card is of 30 days after the submission of the application.

Types of ration cards

The following are the types of ration cards with a different color to different categories for the family:

APL card (Above Poverty Line), these include the families who are above the poverty line. It includes a blue ration card for a double gas cylinder holder and a green ration card for a single gas cylinder holder. They are the general consumers.

BPL card (Below Poverty Line), this includes dark pink card, these are the families that are below the poverty line and are chosen by the municipality.

The states that have implemented the ONORC scheme

According to the union finance ministry, 17 states have successfully launched the One Nation One Ration Card scheme. The 17 states implementing the One Nation One Ration Card Scheme are Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttrakhand, and Uttar Pradesh.