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Central Government’s ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ completes 3 years

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Central government's 'One Nation, One Ration Card' completes 3 years

The Central Government’s scheme of One Nation, One Ration Card (ONORC) completed 3 years of its operation on August 9, 2019. It is implemented all over the country with Assam being the last state (36th) to join the initiative in June 2022.

  • It is implemented by the Department of Food & Public Distribution, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013.
  • The scheme empowers all NFSA beneficiaries to become AtmaNirbhar for their food security anywhere in India.

What is the ONORC scheme?

i.It was launched on August 9, 2019 as a pilot project in four states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

ii.It enables NFSA beneficiaries, particularly migrant beneficiaries, to get access to highly subsidized foodgrains under public distribution system, from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) in India.

  • It ensures portability of around 240 million ration cards.

iii.The migrant ration-card-holders can get grain entitlement by using the ration card issued in their home states or Union Territory (UT) after biometric authentication on electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) devices installed at the FPS.

  • This system allows all NFSA beneficiaries to claim either full or part of their entitled food grains.
  • The system also allows their family members back home, if any, to claim the balance food grains on the same ration card.

iv.The Central government also rolled out the ‘MERA RATION’ mobile application which provides a host of useful real-time information to the beneficiaries and is available in 13 languages.

Ration Card:

It is a 10 digit number wherein the first two digits denote the state code. Along with 10 digits, a set of another two digits was appended with the ration card number to create unique member IDs for each beneficiary in a ration card.


i.The applicant must be a bonafide citizen of any of the present federal states of India.

ii.The minimum age to apply for the ONORC ration card is 18 years.

iii.Applicant must belong to the underprivileged section of the society i,e. Economically weaker section, Migrant laborers, Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Disabled person, etc.

Key Data:

i.Since the launch of ONORC in 2019, 710 million portable transactions; 436 million under NFSA; and 278 million under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyana Anna (PMGKAY) transactions have taken place.

ii.Subsidized food grains worth Rs 40,000 crore is delivered to beneficiaries through portability.

iii.A monthly average of about 3 crore portable transactions are being recorded under this scheme.

iv.As per estimates, 60 million people migrate seasonally to various states in search of livelihoods.

v.Around 80 million people are intra-state migrants, moving from one district to another in their home state.

vi.Under the NFSA, the Centre is providing 5 kilograms of food grains per person every month to nearly 80 crore eligible beneficiaries at a highly subsidized rate of Rs 2-3 per kilogram.

vii.To provide relief to poor, the Centre is also providing an additional 5 kilograms of food grains per person each month ‘free of cost’ to 80 crore people.

Recent Related News:

i.Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan (GKRA), a scheme for migrant workers who were affected during COVID-19 has completed two years.The scheme was launched by the Government to provide immediate employment and livelihood opportunities for migrant workers in India. It was launched on 20th June in 2020.

ii.The Foreign Investment Facilitation Portal (FIF Portal), under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has turned five years since its inception by abolishing the erstwhile Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) on 24th May 2017.

About Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution:

Union Minister– Piyush Goyal (Constituency- Maharashtra)
Ministers of State– Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti (Constituency- Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh); and Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Constituency- Buxar, Bihar)