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Centre expands Smart Card PDS across India
To address the issues of fake ration cards, the Government of India is planning to replace paper based cards with smart cards. The successful pilot projects in Haryana and Chandigarh are stimulating the nation-wide implementation.

After the success of its pilot smart card PDS project in Haryana and Chandigarh, the Centre is planning to expand it to other states to eliminate duplicate and bogus ration cards. 

"The noble scheme aimed at eliminating duplicate and bogus ration cards started on pilot basis in Haryana and Chandigarh last year is doing well. The government is planning to expand the programme in other states too," Ministry sources said.

Under the programme, the paper based ration cards have been replaced with smart cards. The shopkeepers have been provided with dealers cards.

The ration card data is first digitised and then field camps are organised to capture finger prints and photographs of card members, sources said.

Different colour schemes have been assigned to identify BPL, APL or AAY categories.

Entitlement and quantity drawn by the beneficiary during each transaction are also written on the card.

One smart card is also issued to each ration shop dealer which contains registration/licensing details of the dealer, list of beneficiaries attached to the FPS, sale policy and price, stock and transaction details to know the stock balances at any point of time.

The point of sale terminal has dual smart card readers one for FPS dealer card and other for beneficiary card and a printer to print the receipts.

Bogus ration cards are causing a big problem in efficient distribution of subsidised foodgrains across the country.

The government has detected crores of bogus ration cards in a nationwide drive.

Besides, diversion of food from ration shops to open market has also been widely reported from different parts of the country.

Seeing the success of the pilot project in three ration shops in Panchkula, the Haryana government is planning to implement it in four other blocks of the state before rolling it out in the entire state, the sources said.

In Chandigarh, the smart card system is in operation at 5 fair price shops.

The software application has been developed by the National Informatic Centre (NIC).

Source: DD News