Recently, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India, released the first State Ranking Index for implementation of the National Food Security Act, 2013. Among the 20 big states and Union Territories (UTs), Odisha topped the list while Goa came last.
What is the NFSA Rankings?
- The 1st edition of ‘State Ranking Index for NFSA’ was launched by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.
- The index attempts to document the status and progress of implementation of NFSA and various reform initiatives across the country, post consultation with states.
- It highlights the reforms undertaken by States and UTs and creates a cross-learning environment and scale-up reform measures by all states and UTs.
Key features –
- It largely focused on NFSA distribution and will include procurement, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) distribution in future.
- It is built on three key pillars which covers the end-to-end implementation of NFSA through Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). These pillars are —
- Coverage of NFSA, rightful targeting, and implementation of all provisions under NFSA.
- The delivery platform while considering the allocation of food grains, their movement, and last-mile delivery to Fair Price Shops (FPS).
- Nutrition initiatives of the department.
- The index has been developed to create an environment of competition, cooperation and learning among states while addressing matters of food security and hunger.
- It has been developed to increase transparency in the system by publishing reliable and standard data in the public domain.
- It can also be utilised by the global and Indian agencies for research and analysis.
How did Odisha come in first place?
- Robust end-to-end computerisation of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) operations.
- A digitised beneficiaries database has been hosted in the public domain and updated in Ration Card Management System (RCMS) Centres.
- All the food storage depots of the Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare Department have been fully automated.
- Real-time electronic recording of doorstep delivery at FPSs across the State.
- All the Fair Price Shops are equipped with electronic Point of Sale (e-PoS) devices which ensure distribution to PDS beneficiaries through automated mode.
- One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) Programme has been implemented across the state from 2021. PDS beneficiaries are now availing of intra-state/inter-state portability of ration cards.
- Odisha has implemented the pilot scheme of ‘Supply of Fortified Rice under Public Distribution in Malkangiri district’ from 2021.
About the ‘National Food Security Act’ of 2013 –
- The NFSA, 2013 was notified to provide for food and nutritional security, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity.
- Legal right —
- It provides a legal right to persons belonging to “eligible households” to receive food grains at subsidised price – rice at Rs 3/kg, wheat at Rs 2/kg and coarse grain at Re 1/kg, under the under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).
- These are called central issue prices (CIPs).
- The Act covers up to 75% of the rural population and up to 50% of the urban population for receiving subsidised food grains (overall 67% of the total population).
- Special focus on the nutritional support to women and children —
- Women — It provides meals to pregnant women and lactating mothers during pregnancy and six months after the child birth. Such women will also be entitled to receive maternity benefits of not less than 6,000.
- Children — Up to 14 years of age will be entitled to nutritious meals as per the prescribed nutritional standards.
- Food security allowance — In case of non-supply of entitled food grains or meals, the beneficiaries will receive food security allowance.
- Grievance redressal mechanism — The Act also contains provisions for setting up of grievance redressal mechanisms at the District and State levels.