The Supreme Court said states and union territories must implement "one nation, one ration card" (ONORC) scheme as it allows migrant workers to get ration at the place of their work in other states as well where their ration cards are not registered.

What

  1. The top court also took strong note of the delay in development of a software meant to register workers of unorganized sector to create a national database and posed queries to the Centre as to how the benefit of free food grain till November this year under the 'Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna' would reach to migrant labourers having no ration cards.
  2. A vacation bench comprising justices Ashok Bhushan and M R Shah also reserved its verdict on a fresh application filed by activists - Anjali Bharadwaj, Harsh Mander and Jagdeep Chhokar – seeking directions to the Centre and states to ensure food security, cash transfers, transport facilities and other welfare measures for the migrant workers on grounds that they are in dire need for help as the crisis is bigger this time.
  3. The application was filed in the pending suo motu case of 2020 on the issue of problems faced by migrant workers due to curbs clamped in the country amid a resurgence of Covid-19 cases.

Flashback

  1. Under the National Food Security Act, 2013, about 81 crore persons are entitled to buy subsidized foodgrainrice at Rs 3/kg, wheat at Rs 2/kg, and coarse grains at Re 1/kg — from their designated Fair Price Shops (FPS) of the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).
  2. In the present system, a ration cardholder can buy foodgrains only from an FPS that has been assigned to her in the locality in which she lives.
  3. However, under the ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ system, the beneficiary will be able to buy subsidised foodgrains from any FPS across the country.
  4. The new system, based on a technological solution, will identify a beneficiary through biometric authentication on electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) devices installed at the FPSs, and enable that person to purchase the quantity of foodgrains to which she is entitled under the NFSA.