The Centre has rolled out the ‘one nation, one ration card’ initiative in 12 states including Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said. Currently, the central government’s ambitious initiative is being implemented on a pilot basis in a cluster of six states. It wants to implement this facility across the country from June 1, 2020.
 
What
  1. Under the initiative, eligible beneficiaries would be able to avail their entitled foodgrains under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) from any Fair Price Shop in the country using the same ration card. 
  2. We have done ration card portability in 12 states. The beneficiaries can use the existing ration card to get the subsidised grains at same rate in any of these states, Paswan told.
  3. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Jharkhand and Tripura are 12 states where ration card portability has been implemented. 
  4. The beneficiaries can lift 50 per cent of their entitlement. Adequate supplies are made available at ration shops to meet the demand.
  5. Under the NFSA, about 75 crore beneficiaries have been covered so far against the target of 81.35 crore, as per official data.
 
Flashback
  1. The Centre has designed a standard format for ration cards as it moves ahead with 'one nation, one ration card' initiative and has asked state governments to follow the pattern while issuing fresh ration cards.
  2. In order to achieve the aim of national portability, it is necessary that ration cards issued by different states and union territories conform to a standard format. 
  3. Accordingly, a format for standardised ration card has been prepared for issue of ration card under the NFSA.
  4. A standard format for ration card has been prepared after taking into account the format used by different states and after consultation with other stakeholders.
  5. The state governments have been advised to use this new format whenever the state decides to issue new ration cards.
  6. For national portability, the state governments have been asked to issue the ration card in bi-lingual format, wherein besides the local language, the other language could be Hindi or English.
  7. The states have also been told to have a 10-digit standard ration card number, wherein first two digits will be state code and the next two digits will be running ration card numbers.
  8. Besides this, a set of another two digits will be appended with ration card number to create unique member IDs for each member of the household in a ration card.