Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Sudhanshu Pandey, today launched Mera Ration mobile app in a press conference on the “One Nation One Ration Card” (ONORC) plan. The mobile app is expected to benefit those ration card holders who move to new areas for livelihoods.
While briefing the media, the Secretary said that the system which was started initially in four states in August 2019 has been swiftly rolled out in 32 states/UTs in a short span of time by December 2020. Further, the implementation of the plan in the remaining four states/UT including Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and West Bengal is expected to be accomplished in a few months.
According to Pandey, currently, the ONORC covers nearly 69 crore National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiaries which account to about 86 per cent of NFSA population in the country. A monthly average of about 1.5 to 1.6 crore portability transactions have been recorded under ONORC.
Besides this, he informed that the ONORC has proved to be a tremendous value-added service to each NFSA beneficiary during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly migrant workers as it allowed them to avail the benefit of subsidised foodgrains with the flexibility to collect ration from any location during the lockdown. The freedom of choosing any fair price shop (FPS) was not available earlier. In the time of the COVID crisis from April 2020 to February 2021, a total of about 15.4 crore portability transactions have been recorded under ONORC.
In addition, Pandey said that the integration of the Migrants’ Portal with the ONROC system is undertaking with the support of the Ministry of Labour & Employment. Also, ONORC has been made a part of PM SVANidhi program under the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs.
A vigorous awareness generation campaigning – in Hindi & Regional Languages is being carried out through audio announcements on more than 2,400 railway stations across the country and Radio Spots on 167 FM & 91 Community Radio Stations with the Prime Minister’s message, Bus Wraps on State Transport Buses across all States/UTs under ONORC, Outdoor Publicity and display of banners, posters, etc. at the FPSs. Moreover, Social Media platforms like Twitter, YouTube, MyGov are also being leveraged for public outreach. Furthermore, in-depth online training and capacity building of district level officials, field functionaries and FPS dealers is also being carried out by the department.
The ONORC system allows all NFSA beneficiaries, particularly migrant beneficiaries, to claim either full or part foodgrains from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) in the country through existing ration card with biometric/Aadhaar authentication in a seamless manner. The system also allows their family members back home, if any, to claim the balance foodgrains on same the ration card.
(With inputs from PIB)