Projects-TPDS- Computerization of Targeted Public Distribution System

Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) is one of the important poverty alleviation schemes of Govt. of India. TPDS scheme was launched in June, 1997 and is operated under the joint responsibility of Central Government and State Governments/Union Territory (UT) Administrations. The Central Government is responsible for procurement, allocation and transportation of food grains up to the designated depots of the Food Corporation of India (FCI). The operational responsibilities for lifting and distributing the allocated food grains within the States/UTs, identification of eligible Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, issuance of Ration cards to them and supervision over distribution of allocated food grains to eligible card holders through the Fair Price Shops (FPSs) are that of the State/UT Governments. Primarily, TDPS helps to achieve twin objectives. It provides subsidized food and fuel to the deserving segment of the society (in the recommended proportions) and it helps to provide price certainty to the farmers for their farm outputs, through Minimum Support Price (MSP).

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In the current scenario in TDPS, paper ration cards are issued to beneficiary families and commodities are being offered at subsidized prices as per their eligibility recorded in the ration cards.  The record of eligibility and transactions is maintained manually in a way which is not infallible and is prone to human errors and tampering.  Also, if we look at the allocation and stock movement under TPDS, food grains are transferred from FCI depots to States and then to regional levels warehouses. There is no system to monitor or keep a track of the entire process and the entire process is carried out manually. In the absence of no foolproof central monitoring system there are lots of pilferages at every level. The most important of all which aggravate the entire issue is lack of information availability both at the department level and in public domain to enforce corrective measures in TPDS. In order to overcome all these issues there is a strong need for computerization of TPDS operation and to build a strong information dissemination system which will provide information related to PDS operation to department and public users.
The objective behind computerization of PDS is to carry out the automation of TPDS process and to build a strong information dissemination system will act as a strong tool towards addressing issues pertaining to lack of transparency and creating much needed awareness amongst the people and empowering them with important information thereby encouraging beneficiary participation by means of social audit mechanism.

 

To achieve the above objective in TPDS the Honorable Supreme court has directed to adopt the approach of Single unified information system which should be developed to meet the above mentioned requirements. To enhance the efficiency of Public Distribution System it is important that the delivery and management of the system is completely automated and transparent. In order to implement the PDS system across the country, the Honorable Supreme court has suggested carrying out the end to end computerization of TPDS in two components and along with the same the prioritization of the implementation Strategy to ensure smooth rollout. Under this project following are the functions involved.

  1. Allocation of Commodities
  2. Commodity Stock Movement
  3. Ration Card Management
  4. FPS Automation
  5. Transparency Portal and Grievance Redressal