Computerization of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) has been taken up in consultation with States/Union Territories (UTs) with a view to ensure correct identification of beneficiaries, distribution of TPDS commodities to deserving beneficiaries, elimination of bogus/duplicate ration cards, etc. It would also enable timely availability of foodgrains at Fair Price Shop (FPS) level, check leakages/diversion of foodgrains, introduce transparency and public accountability in implementation of TPDS, etc. .
The Government has initiated implementation of Component-I of the scheme for End-to-end Computerisation of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) Operations, which comprises digitization of ration cards/beneficiary and other databases, computerization of supply-chain management, setting up of transparency portal and grievance redressal mechanism. Details of the present status of implementation of TPDS as reported by States/UTs from time to time are annexed. As per the timelines stipulated under the scheme, digitization of beneficiary database is to be completed by March, 2013 and computerisation of supply-chain management is to be completed by October, 2013 by all States/UTs.
Computerization of TPDS is being implemented as a Mission Mode Project (MMP) under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) by the Central Government. As per MMP guidelines, a dedicated institutional mechanism by way of an Empowered Committee (EC) and a Central Project e-Mission Team (CPeMT) for computerization of TPDS has been set up. States/UTs have also been requested to establish a two-tier structure at their level comprising a State Apex Committee as well as a State Project e-Mission Team (SPeMT). Detailed guidelines for end-to-end Computerisation of TPDS have been issued to all States/UTs. Action Plan for computerization of TPDS have also been received from all States/UTs. The application software prepared by National Informatics Centre (NIC) has been shared by it with State Information Officers (SIOs) of NIC. To ensure the implementation of Computerization of TPDS, the progress is also being reviewed in various meetings, conferences, etc.
End-to-end Computerisation of TPDS inter-alia envisages use of biometric information of the beneficiaries through Aadhaar/ National Population Register (NPR) for their identification for issuance of foodgrains, weeding out of bogus and ineligible ration cards/units, etc. However, use of biometric information for FPS level transactions is not covered under Component-I of the scheme. There is no specific proposal for use of Radio Frequency Identification devices, cash for food, etc. at present.