One Nation One Ration Card – The Road Ahead

To build upon the digitization of the Public Distribution System (PDS) and with a focus on beneficiary-centric reforms, the government launched a new scheme – Integrated Management of PDS (IM-PDS), also known as One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) or portability, in April 2018. Recently, the Finance Minister announced that the scheme will be rolled out by March 2021. Under ONORC, PDS beneficiaries can lift their entitled food grains from any fair price shop (FPS) across the country with their existing ration cards. ONORC builds on the reforms under end-to-end computerization of PDS to digitize beneficiary database and supply chain mechanisms, among others. While ONORC remains a work in progress, several states have implemented intrastate portability (within the state). The adoption of portability in a state is primarily dependent on their readiness and progress under end-to-end computerization of PDS. However, national portability will need integration of existing PDS portals of states/UTs with the central PDS portal. This means that all the states participating in interstate portability (between states) must have basic digital readiness.

Themes: Beneficiary Identification, Targeting, Onboarding, COVID-19