Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government has taken a number of steps for the technological upgradation of the Public Distribution System (PDS) in the country. According to the government, multiple reforms and steps such as Depot Online System, user credentials, e-mail gateways, digitization of beneficiary database have been taken to ensure that the system’s leaks are plugged in. CR Chaudhary, the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution highlighted these in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.
He also said that Board of Directors of FCI have agreed to the proposal for upgradation of Institute of Food Security (IFS) Lab, Gurgaon, purchase of equipments, National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accreditation and outsourcing of testing of chemical parameters to fulfill Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) requirements till the up-gradation of IFS lab is completed. The board has further decided to upgrade all the Zonal Labs to equip those with testing of chemical parameters, he said.
We take a look at some steps taken for the technological upgradation of PDS:
1) Depot Online System has been launched. This is operational at 377 depots across the country. 30 of these are pilot depots. Additionally, user Credentials have been created at 494 depots. These have been shared with the concerned depots and district offices along with the link for accessing the application for login in.
2) E-mail gateway has been provided by NIC and the System Integrator has integrated this with the application. Hardware has been delivered at 494 depots and 117 district offices. A redressal mechanism and transparency portal has been introduced to bring transparency & public accountability in the implementation of TPDS.
3) Training for the implementation of the application at depots other than Pre-Pilot & Pilot Depot has been conducted by System Integrator, at 164 FCI District Offices, 25 FCI Regional Offices and 5 FCI Zonal Offices.
4) Digitization of beneficiary database for PDS has been implemented. This will enable correct identification of beneficiaries and ensure removal of bogus cards. It will also help in better targeting of food subsidies.
5) Computerisation of supply chain management is meant to take care of timely availability of foodgrains to intended beneficiaries at FPS. This will check leakages and diversion.