Andhra Pradesh links PDS to Aadhaar card

Ration card holders can draw their ration by giving their fingerprints

In first such experiment in the country, the ration shops in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh have begun distribution of essential commodities to the beneficiaries by taking their fingerprints and tallying them with their “Aadhaar” card numbers.

The Aadhaar-linked ration distribution, launched as a pilot project in 47 ration shops in the coastal district, is expected to ensure that the subsidised commodities reached the genuine beneficiaries and also aims to cut down on  the procedures and paper work.

The ration card holders can draw their monthly ration by giving their fingerprints. The unique electronic equipment known as “PDS-point of sale” would screen the fingerprints of the beneficiaries online and accord clearance. It does not require internet connection as it uses GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) screen. The fingerprints of the card holder will be compared with the Aadhaar number data to authenticate the identity.

The equipment is integrated with high quality optical sensor, printer, GRPS connectivity and smart card interface. Along with fingerprint identification, it also issues two printed ration receipts.

 It enables the beneficiary to take delivery of the ration at any ration shop in the state through online portability facility, the officials said.

“After completing enrolment of ‘Aadhaar’ data close to 99 per cent, the East Godavari district was given the task of linking the public distribution system with the data collected through the Unique Identity (UID) exercise,” District Collector Neethu Kumari said. 

In AP, each BPL family is entitled to a monthly quota of 35 kg of rice from fair price shop at a subsidised price of Rs 1 per kg. Though 50 districts have been selected across the country for the pilot project, East Godavari is the first district to implement it successfully.

Initially, the impressions of all the ten fingers are being collected, from which the device detects the ‘best finger’ to access the ‘Aadhaar’ data. Any member from the cardholder’s family can draw the monthly ration, provided he or she is enrolled for the UID (Unique Identity) project.

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