The state government of Tamil Nadu has informed that all the activities related to the distribution of smart ration cards to the public are in full swing.
Here is a brief explanation how this would work out:
As per the smart card plan, all the rations shops have been provided with PoS (Point of Sales) devices. A ration card holder needs to go to the ration shop with his/her Aadhar card and apply for the smart ration card.
The Aadhar card will be scanned on the PoS device by the ration shop staff and register the details like telephone/mobile numbers. These details will also get registered in the state government department of food. After this, a smart card with a chip containing these details will be given.
The ration food/grocery items can be bought by swiping this smart card. The list of items bought will be sent to the SMS to the cell number given while applying for the smart card. It will also get registered simultaneously in the department of food. Further, one can know the availability/stock of items in the ration shop.
Also, one can use the App TNEPDS to know the above details.
Why is Aadhar card required?
The state government of Tamil Nadu has to register the eye, fingerprints, and photograph for the smart card. This will entail a huge expense amounting to several Crores of Rupees. As all these details are already available in the Aadhar card issued by the central government, the state government of Tamil Nadu is using Aadhar Card to cut down on this huge expense.
1.98 Crore persons hold ration cards in the state of Tamil Nadu. However, the task of providing Aadhar card for the entire Tamil Nadu is not yet completed. So, the state government cites this as the main reason for the delay in the distribution of smart ration cards.
The background behind the scheme
The Central Ministry of Consumers announced the scheme of smart ration card in digital format in the year 2010. The ministry decided to carry out this project in phases. In the 1st phase, it decided to implement the smart card scheme in Tamil Nadu and a few other states. The ration card, currently used, was distributed in the year 2005.
During the year 2011, the state government of Tamil Nadu announced the scheme of smart ration cards. So, the government started the routine of fixing additional sheets inside the ration card booklet. This practice has been followed over the last 6 years.
Now, the state government has announced that in the 1st p phase, smart ration cards would be distributed in a few cities.