Ration Card is among most critical government documents in India. It is primarily used for getting subsidies in foodstuffs distributed by the government through PDS scheme at fair price shops. It can also be used to avail discounts for other distributed commodities like LPG, Kerosene at the same stores. These cards are being used since the time of World War II. Over the time they have seen various amendments both at inner as well as outer level (i.e. scheme level changes as well as changes in processing part). With the launch of Digital India, people are waiting for the entire ration card process to get digitized. State level governments in India have started working towards their mission to automate the entire ration card process so that basic facilities can be accessed anytime anywhere through online channels. Here we will review digital ration card process in India and will try to figure out how far have we come till now.
Review: Ration Card Digitization in India
Ration Card in India is not the sole property of central government only. In India, it becomes the responsibility of respective state government when it comes to a ration card. Because of this reason, ration card digitization process can’t be in sync always. There are states which have already achieved full 100% ration card digitization and at the same time there are some states which are yet to start.
Digital Ration Card: Services and Features
What one can expect with digital ration card (e ration card)? Will it eradicate the offline process to roots, or will there be any sync between offline and online activities? Well, e ration card is not going to eradicate the offline process completely. However, it will replace some of the essential offline features with online processes. Once the digitization completes, users will be able to:
- Register online for new ration card applications
- Can apply for amendments online
- Can check and track status live
- Can upload crucial documents online to save database
- Can search and extract detail of any particular ration card as per card number or by address
- Online stamping
- E-register of ration card activities (maintaining the in-outs on online database)
- Lot more
When ration card digitization will be completed in India?
Although there are no fixed timelines for ration card digitization completion but the pace with which the work is progressing, it seems like India is going to evidence ration card digitization very soon. Gone will be the days when you will have to stand in big queues for any queries related to the ration card. It will save time and money at the same time.
Digital India is aiming at building right set of digital infrastructure to host all such activities successfully. As of now, it appears like it will require some time to build a proper network across the country so till then we will have to wait and stick to existing offline services. But once we have proper network and facilities, we will see a paradigm shift in ration card activities in India.