One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) Policy – Benefits, Goal, Features, Characteristics & Challenges!

In response to the COVID-19 epidemic, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman created the (ONORC) One Nation One Ration Card Policy to offer critical food commodities at reduced prices to the country’s population that belong to a poverty background. Those who have ration cards and (NFSA) National Food Security Act recipients can utilise this program to buy subsidised food from any Affordable Price Shop that is a part of the (PDS) Public Distribution System around the country. All of the nation’s union territories & states are eligible to use this ration card.

The ONORC's Features are as follows:

  • Current ration cards will be changed to “one nation, one ration card.”
  • Each recipient enrolled under NFSA will receive a universal ration card.
  • A recipient who relocates can purchase subsidised food grains from the fair price shop in the destination city using the ONORC, regardless of where they originally came from.
  • The electronic Point of Sale (EPoS) devices will use biometric authentication to identify the beneficiaries. These gadgets will be put in place in every fair price store.
  • The technological foundation for countrywide mobility of ration cards will be provided through the (IM-PDS) Integrated Management of Public Distribution System site.
  • The Annavitran portal will house the information on how food grains are distributed throughout a state using ePoS devices. This will make it easier for recipients to acquire free meals inside a state (inter-district).
  • Ration cards will be planted into Aadhar Cards so that recipients may use the same ration card to receive their rations.

Reason for Introducing ONORC Policy

According to the 2013 National Food Security Act, 80 crore people in India have a right to affordable food and grains. Only 23 crore ration cards, however, have been delivered, making it impossible for beneficiaries to use their neighbourhood PDS (Public Distribution System) to purchase discounted food and grain. For immigrants who had relocated to other cities in search of jobs, this presented a problem. A person could use an ONORC card to purchase discounted food from any FPS (Fair Price Shop) retailer in any area or city.

The goal of the One Nation One Ration Card Policy

The following are the ONORC Scheme’s Goals:

  • Program for interstate ration card mobility, ONORC is focused on the beneficiaries.
  • Through the removal of geographic barriers and an inter-state ration card transfer mechanism, the plan makes it possible to target recipients under the NFSA.
  • The goal of the ONORC is to enable all NFSA recipients or card holders to become AtmaNirbhars for their food security wherever they may be in the nation.
  • By utilising their ration card number or Aadhaar number, beneficiaries may claim all or portion of their subsidised food grains from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) dealer nationwide.

Problems Faced while Implementing ONORC Scheme

  • Exclusion errors have recently occurred after Aadhar linkage, which presents challenges for the implementation of the ONORC Exclusion Error. Leakages might be decreased after the PDS operations have been digitalized through smart cards and Aadhar connectivity.
  • Lack of Information: Information on people relocating to other cities for employment is lacking. As a result, it is harder to identify the beneficiaries when they migrate to new places.
  • Domicile-Based Social Sector Schemes: In addition to the PDS, the majority of welfare programs and food security initiatives were built on the historical domicile-based access model, which restricted welfare and entitlements to residents’ homes. This eliminated any possibility that members of the non-native population would be able to access these benefits.

What is ONORC's Importance?

Making Right to Food Possible: Until recently, only the designated Fair Price Shop (FPS) in the relevant state allowed holders of ration cards to access their right to food grains that were subject to subsidies under the NFSA (National Food Security Act).

However, a recipient would have to register for a new ration card in the new state if they moved.

Because of this, ONORC hopes to enable the right to food and remove the geographic barrier to social justice.

Supporting a Third of the Population: Migrant workers make up around 37% of the total population. Therefore, adopting the plan should be considered by anybody who intends to move from one place to another.
Leakage Reduction: Because deduplication is a key element of this system, the ONORC can reduce leakages.

This will stop one person from receiving benefits in two different regions of the country.

The technology is also linked to Aadhaar and fingerprints, which completely removes the likelihood of any corruption-related issues.

How well has the plan performed thus far?

This unique citizen-cantered program, which was started in August 2019 and was promptly implemented in a short period to benefit around 80 Crore individuals, is the first of its type in the nation.

Since the beginning of 2019, around 71 crore portable transactions have been performed, giving food grains worth about Rs 40,000 crore in food subsidies.

Currently, on average, 3 crore portable transactions are being recorded, providing beneficiaries access free and subsidised (Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana) PMGKAY foodgrains wherever flexibility.

Advantages of ONORC Policy

The following are some advantages of the ONRC:

  • It increases India’s interstate food delivery system’s effectiveness.
  • The One Nation One Card (ONORC) program would assist almost 45 crores, Indian internal migrants.
  • It aids in comprehending the nation’s migratory patterns.
  • It will assist in lowering or removing the number of people who receive multiple benefits or dual ration cards.
  • It is a technology-driven plan to stop food from Fair Price Shop (FPS) from leaking into the public realm.
  •  It lessens beneficiary exploitation and corruption in the public food distribution system.
  • Because interpersonal interaction will be a significant component of the ONORC system, women and other underprivileged groups of society will gain from it.

The ONORC Program's Key Elements

  •  It is being carried out as part of IMPDS, or Integrated Management of PDS.
  • The ONORC program now has 65 crores of beneficiaries.
  • The program has reached 80% of the NFSA participants who have been registered.
  • The plan includes participation from 25 states and UTs.
  • Once all states and UTs are included in the program, it is estimated that 81 crore people will receive benefits.
  • A hotline number will be established by the government to support recipients.

Current Situation of ONORC Policy

Now that all 36 states and union territories have successfully adopted the One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC), food security is portable across India.

Currently, the NFSA distributes 5 kilograms of food grains per month to 80 crore qualified consumers at a heavily subsidised price of Rs 2-3 per kilogram.

Through the (PMGKAY) Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana program, the Centre additionally gives an additional 5 kilograms of food grains per person every month to 80 crore people.

For Rs 44,700 crore, the program would give free food to 80 million people through December 2022.

Registration or Application Procedure - Offline

  •  If you’re interested, visit the local Fair Price Shop with your Ration Card.
  • Beneficiaries can provide either their Aadhaar number or their ration card number to the dealer at any Fair Price Shop location across the nation.
  • Anybody living in the home who has added their Aadhaar information to their ration card is qualified to go through an authentication and collect their ration.
  • Beneficiaries can use their iris scans or fingerprints to validate their Aadhaar cards, so they don’t have to show them to the ration dealer to collect the benefit.

Who Is Eligible To Receive One Nation One Ration Card Benefits?

  • Any citizen of India who falls below the poverty line (BPL) is qualified to benefit from ONORC.
  • Beneficiaries are registered with the aid of Aadhaar-based identification. An electronic point-of-sale service is used to carry out this type of identification.

Way ahead

The next steps for putting the ONORC program into action are as follows:

  • To promote internet usage, every Fair Price Shop (FPS) has to be connected to the BharatNet Project.
  • States should get adequate food quotas from the federal government to cover their demands for food security.
  • The creation of an AI-based, specialised ONORC e-platform that might be used to forecast and issue cards to migrants.
  • To more closely adhere to WTO regulations, the PDS may eventually be replaced with a food voucher system or direct benefit transfer.
  • There is general agreement within the government on the need for a unified service delivery model based on identification and technology at the principle level.
  • The demand of the hour is for a single service platform that combines all citizen-centric services based on a few identity-related characteristics and other technological indications.
  • The government may enhance PDS through strictmonitoring and regulation using ONORC in conjunction with a rating system based on experiences similar to the Uber/Ola system. PDS dealers who do well may receive bonuses.

List of States Participating in the Portability of One Nation, One Ration Card

The official launch date of the ONORC, according to sources, was June 1, 2020. However, as of right now, 17 states have agreed to implement the ration card’s interstate mobility under the NFSA. These are the 17 states and the Union Territories.

  • Gujarat
  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Goa
  • Haryana
  • Jharkhand
  • Kerala
  • Pradesh
  • Madhya
  • Karnataka
  • Rajasthan
  • Tripura
  • Maharashtra
  • Uttar
  • Telangana
  • Pradesh
  • Bihar
  • Pradesh
  • Himachal
  • Punjab
  • Nagaland
  • Daman & Diu
  • Mizoram
  • Dadra & Nagar Haveli
  • Odisha


ONORC has the potential to enhance results, especially for subaltern communities. However, like any delivery mechanism, the system’s whole value chain has to be continuously monitored and supported by infrastructure. To prevent entitlement compromises, point of sale (PoS) system accessibility and functionality at PDS stores must be guaranteed. This will be beneficial even once the coronavirus epidemic is finished. Because of unemployment, migration will inevitably pick up again. The PDS cards, which are valid across India, must be carried by migratory workers when they reboard buses and trains for their final destinations.

FAQs for ONORC Scheme

What are the advantages of the ONORC scheme?

Those who are ONORC-adept will obtain discounted food from any Affordable Price Shop in the nation, which will be quite helpful to immigrants who live around the nation. With the scheme, the same fair rations are available to all recipients from one state in the other states where the ration card was issued.

Why is India’s ONORC Program necessary?

One Nation One Ration Card is required to guarantee that migratory workers and their families would have access to subsidized food grains. This will be accomplished through the mobility of ration cards across the country.

Who is protected by the NFSA?

(AAY) Antyodaya Anna Yojana and priority families are covered by NFSA to the extent of up to 75% of the rural and 50% of the urban populations.

When did the One Nation One Ration Card Programme begin?

On 1st Aug 2019, interstate ration card mobility under the (ONORC) One Nation One Ration Card program began in the four states.

What statute oversees the One Nation One Ration Card Programme?

A ration card system known as ONORC is governed by the (NFSA) National Food Security Act. Under the NFSA, the ONORC is implemented everywhere. Cardholders may access their PDF advantages wherever they are by using the card to log in.

How does the One Nation One Ration Card give migrant families access to food security?

A ration card bearer may be a beneficiary from any state under the One Nation One Ration Card policy. This implies that migrant families are exempt from creating a unique ration card specifically for the state they moved to.

What does the “ONORC” Scheme entail?

One of India’s most well-known government programs is the ONORC program. It attempts to give food security to all societal groups, especially immigrant families. It guarantees that cardholders will receive complete or partial grains of food from any FPS that accepts cards with ID confirmation.

How can I obtain an ONORC Policy?

Through the authorised website of the Department of Food & Supplies and Consumer Affairs, people can apply for the One Nation One Ration Card. By visiting the website and submitting the necessary information and documentation, you may apply for the card.