From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : NFSA
Mains level : Schemes related to food security
The Centre has launched a common facility to register names in ration cards on a pilot basis for 11 States and Union Territories.
- Ration Mitra’ Portal aims to enable these States to identify and verify the eligible beneficiaries for coverage under the National Food Security Act.
- Named as Ration Mitr, this software developed by the National Informatics Centre can be used to enrol people of any State.
- The portal is an enabler for States/UTs to complete their inclusion exercise under NFSA.
- The NFSA provides food security coverage for 81.35 crore persons in the country. The present NFSA coverage is about 79.74 crore.
About National Food Security (NFS) Act
- The NFS Act, 2013 aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two-thirds of India’s 1.2 billion people.
- It converts into legal entitlements for existing food security programs of the GoI.
- It includes the Midday Meal Scheme, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme and the Public Distribution System (PDS).
- Further, the NFSA 2013 recognizes maternity entitlements.
- The Midday Meal Scheme and the ICDS are universal in nature whereas the PDS will reach about two-thirds of the population (75% in rural areas and 50% in urban areas).
- Pregnant women, lactating mothers, and certain categories of children are eligible for daily free cereals.
Key provisions of NFSA
- The NFSA provides a legal right to persons belonging to “eligible households” to receive foodgrains at a subsidised price.
- It includes rice at Rs 3/kg, wheat at Rs 2/kg and coarse grain at Rs 1/kg — under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). These are called central issue prices (CIPs).