Ration Card

Ration Card

Ration cards are an official document issued by state governments in India to households that are eligible to purchase subsidised food grain from the Public Distribution System under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). They also serve as a common form of identification for many Indians.

Under the NFSA, all state governments in India have to identify households that are eligible for purchasing subsidised food grain from the Public Distribution System and provide them with ration cards. There are two types of ration cards under NFSA namely Priority Hosehold (PHH) Ration Card and Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) Ration cards.

Ration Card
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Ration Card Details

Why is a Ration Card important?

  • Ration Card is amongst one of the most important documents for every person in India; this document is provided on an order or authority of the State Government. Now, you can apply for ration card online very easily in simple and also you can check ration card status online.
  • Ration card details provide an important proof of Identity and Residence of citizens, it also used as proof of applying for making a Domicile certificate, Birth Certificate, Voter ID card etc. you can also check ration card details by name
  • Ration cards offer identification as well entitle the holder to a ration of food, fuel, or other goods issued by the Government of India. They are primarily used when purchasing subsidized foodstuffs (wheat, rice, sugar ) and kerosene.

Ration Cards Under NFSA, 2013

  • Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) –

    This type of ration card is given to impoverished families identified by the state governments. Persons who do not have stable income are issued this card. Unemployed people, women and old aged people fall under this category. These card holders are eligible to receive 35kg of food grains per month per family.
  • Priority Household (PHH) –

    The state governments identify priority household families under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) according to their exclusive, inclusive guidelines. The PHH cardholders receive 5kg of food grains per person per month.

Ration Cards Under TPDS

  • Below Poverty Line (BPL) - Families that have BPL cards are the ones who are living below the poverty line specified by the state government. BPL families receive 10kg to 20kg food grains per family per month at 50% of economic cost.
  • Above Poverty Line (APL) - Families that have this card are the ones who are living above the poverty line as specified by the state government. APL families receive 10kg to 20kg food grains per family per month at 100% of economic cost.
  • Annapoorna Yojana (AY) - AY ration cards are given to older people who are poor and above 65 years. Cardholders receive 10 kgs of foodgrains per month under this card. State governments issue these cards to the older people who come under this scheme as specified by them.

Ration Card Application Process

The process of applying for a ration card across the various Indian States.

The process of applying for a ration card, whether digital or otherwise, changes based on the Indian state that an applicant is applying from. Each state has their own systems but the basic foundation and structure are quite constant.

Initially, the process of getting a ration card was tedious where applicants traveled to the office and purchased application forms. They then had to fill them out, gather the supporting documentation and submit everything while paying a small fee. They would have to make a third trip in about a month to see if their ration card were ready to be picked up.

This process changed for the better with different states uploading application forms on their official ration card websites. This saved time and allowed people to begin gathering all the information they needed at their leisure. They would then have to pay their fee at the office, along with the applications and forms. This was the peak of digitization for some states, while others pushed for an even better system.

Other states, went a step further and allowed applicants to upload all their information on the official ration card website. These details included documents, personal information, supporting papers, etc. They then received an update with the date when their ration card would be dispensed. Applicants then received it at their doorstep, through the Indian postal system.

This process was further improved when some states moved to a digital ration card, changing the entire infrastructure, making room for the future. The entire process of getting one was online, while a few states had an offline procedure. This worked well for states who were a little more technologically developed but forced other states to improve.