What is SMART-PDS?

The Union Minister Piyush Goyal urged all states and union territories to implement the SMART-PDS to ensure the smooth operation of the public distribution system.  The Scheme for Modernization and Reforms through Technology in Public Distribution System (SMART-PDS) was proposed by the Department of Food and Public Distribution.

What is SMART – PDS System?

It is a system in which smart ration card is issued to the citizens. Individuals shall carry these cards to the ration shop. The card is screened for a code there. Upon verification, they place their fingerprint over a fingerprint scanner to double-check their identity.

What is the main objective of Smart PDS?

The aim of the SMART-PDS is to leverage Cloud and new-age technologies to transform the Public Distribution System’s information technology to standardize the operation and implementation. Under this initiative, Smart Ration Cards are issued to make rations accessible at fair-price shops. Fingerprints of the beneficiaries are also recorded to ensure transparency in all transactions. Apart from this, the Food Corporation of India is in the process of upgrading its grain storage godowns into 5-star facilities.

Working of the Smart PDS system

The smart PDS is a joint operation of the central and state government. However, it is the responsibility of the state governments to issue smart cards. Funds should also be allocated by the state governments. Because according to the National Food Security Act, ration cards are issued by the state government.

The operational responsibility of the ration cards also lies with the state government. The Centre will only allocate rice, wheat, kerosene, and sugar to the state government and Union Territories under this scheme. It is the duty of the state governments to distribute the allocated food grains among the citizens.

Way Forward

With technological advancements, it is essential that the ration shops become digitalised for easy and quick transactions. It will also keep the entire process transparent and reduce corruption.



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