Odisha First state to implement One Nation, One Ration Card (ONORC)

What is in news?

It will implement Centre’s ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme on a pilot basis in Bhubaneswar from September 1, 2019

Who can avail the facility of One Nation, One Ration Card (ONORC)?

Beneficiaries collecting ration under the Public Distribution System (PDS) and covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) and the State Food Security Scheme can avail the facility of portability of ration cards offered by the ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme

 Beneficiaries will have to link their ration cards with Aadhaar numbers to avail the facility. Those who do not link their Aadhaar numbers with the ration cards will not get their rations Beneficiaries will have to give their fingerprints on a machine to avail rations.

 Beneficiaries, who cannot enroll themselves in Aadhaar due to some reasons, will continue to get the benefits by producing certificates issued by the authorities concerned

Testing on Pilot Basis in several States:

Though ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme will be implemented across the country from June 2020, several states has already started testing intra-state portability of ration cards on a pilot basis.

Benefits of One Nation, One Ration Card:

This will prevent those having multiple ration cards from procuring ration from two shops at different places.

Once implemented fully, it will enable the beneficiaries to procure ration from any fair price shop across the country.

The system, once introduced, would enable beneficiaries to get their quota of grains from any ration shop of their own choice across the country.

ONORC can shift the bargaining power from the PDS dealer towards beneficiaries. ONORC lets the beneficiaries choose the PDS shop that best delivers on the attributes.

 Across the three researched States — Bihar, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh — beneficiaries complained about discrimination by the dealers, especially against women and in terms of providing quality services. ONORC will give the beneficiaries the opportunity to opt for the dealer of their choice. If any dealer misbehaves or misallocates, the beneficiary can switch to another FPS shop instantly.

 ONORC will be particularly beneficial for women and other disadvantaged groups, given how social identity (caste, class and gender) and other contextual factors (including power relations) provide a strong backdrop in accessing PDS.

 The ONORC system is of considerable utility to migrants. Partial migration is a common phenomenon, ONORC, if combined with divisibility in entitlements, can benefit households even more. The migrant member can pick up grains at his location while the family staying back in rural areas picks their share there.

 Along with ONORC, digitalization would make the system more beneficial and self-correcting.

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