PLUGGING THE LEAKS: IMPROVING REACH AND
EFFICIENCY OF THE PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
1. Amal George Appadan
2. Harikrishnan R Varma
3. Malavika Gopalakrishnan
4. Meera K
5. Niranjan S Shenoy
Institution: Government Engineering College, Thrissur
TOWARDS BETTER PDS: MLCCC
WHAT IS PDS?
The PDS in India is an important
public invention for enhancing food
security. The PDS provides subsidized
food grains (and other commodities)
through a network of ‘fair price shops’.
Major commodities distributed include
staple food grains such as wheat, rice,
sugar and other commodities like
kerosene through ‘Ration shops’
established in several states across the
country. The Food Corporation of
India, procures and maintains the PDS.
According to a reliable survey, it has
been revealed that 91 million
households enjoy PDS. Right to food is
a basic human need, and is of top
priority, the reason why we chose this
Procurement of grains from farmers: The
intervention of middle men prevents the effective
reach of MINIMUM SUPPORT PRICE(MSP) to the
Storage of grains: Unhygienic conditions and
inappropriate surplus management leads to food
spoiling in a nation where millions go hungry
Transportation of grains: Improper tracking results
in black-marketing and other malpractices.
Fair Price Shops: Low commissioning of goods
prompts the dealers to indulge in corrupt ways such
as overcharging and under weighing.
Beneficiaries: Unauthentic ration cards and its
misuse leads to eligible beneficiaries from availing
their rightful entitlements. Lack of awareness adds to
THE WAY IT ALL WORKS THE WAY IT ALL LEAKS
As long as humans exist, ensuring safe food to every empty stomach becomes the chief duty
of governments all over the world. The Public Distribution System, being one of the
organized means of reaching at a common man, should remain as corruption-free as
possible. As in every practical case corruptions at all levels overlap which in turn builds up
to become a real challenge to the system of democracy. This serious evil needs rectification
and checking at every levels of functioning. We propose the mechanism of ML3C which can
be summed up as :
MULTI LEVEL CORRUPTION CHECKING CHAIN –
ML3C OR MLCCC
FARMER END PROBLEMS
As per the current execution strategies
of PDS, grains are procured from
farmers through middlemen and in
most cases the effective reach of the
declared Minimum Support Price
(MSP) is not ensured.
The graphs indicate the Govt policies to ensure MSP
Sometimes the support price is so low that
it can only attract low quality produce; the
rest goes to the open market. The Govt tries
to avoid this by upping the support price.
Even though the graph pretend to be a
liberal one to farmers, role of middlemen
leads them to sell in the open market.
• Middlemen corruption
Wipe out the middlemen corruption by the direct
procurement through Government agencies.
• Inefficiency of Long Distribution Chain
Food supplies go diverted at each stage of the
process. If the local administration takes the
charge of procurement (unless certain foods are
not available in the locality) the ease of collection
and distribution can be enabled.
TAGGING AND BARCODING
Item-level tagging is the tagging of individual
products, is used to track individual items in
order to better control inventory, by providing
retailers with the ability to tag individual items
on the retail floor. Tags ARE used to track pallets
of merchandise, rather than individual items,
through the supply chain. With the use of printed
tags, retailers are now able to track inventory at
the item level, scan the tag, and know the
location . If they know where an item is at all
times then it easier to move it to where it is
supposed to be. By doing this we gain added
shelf visibility and it drives down wasteful
Item-level tagging provides a quick, automated,
cost efficient and accurate way to track inventory
through the supply chain and in the retail
environment. Benefits to item-level tagging
include better visibility and control of inventory
and an expansion of customer experience
capabilities. Item-level tagging is critical in order
to determine how much inventory is on the floor,
what sizes and colors need to be restocked and
what inventory is available in stock rooms.
*Issue of Surplus Management and
Hygienic Storage ---
After the safe procurement of grains
the hygienic storage at godowns
needs to be ensured with timely
monitoring of Health Department
and timely grain supply should be
made to check stacking of spoiled
The idea is to implement a
Real Time GPS Enabled
Vehicle Tracking And
Monitoring System in its stock
transportation vehicle fleet.
Apart from tracking the
movement of the vehicle, the
tracking system will also
provide inputs on the fuel
consumption and the distance
covered by the vehicle.
Besides streamlining the grain
collection, the tracking system
is expected to help the
corporation to maintain a
proper audit record of the
expenses incurred in food
supply and storage.
Improving the Efficiency: Going Computerization
Formation of a network integrating all rural and urban areas under one network is a solution to the inefficiency of
distribution. By keeping records for every stage, transparency can be maintained. Timely updation of so called Ration
Cards is a solution for the loss caused due to misrepresentations.
Computerization: The Akshaya Model
Computerization of PDS
Lack of Electrification in Rural areas.
People can make use of Govt. offices like
Taluk office, Post Offices etc. for renewal and
Akshaya Model computer literacy programs.
Akshaya model Online facilitation centers.
Developments of elegant software.
As a successful model for computer-aided distribution access
system, the Akshaya Computer Mission of Kerala State
Government can be studied.
Basic accessing needs like Applications for Exams and jobs,
Railway Tickets are satisfied through these centers.
We propose a two fold system as a
solution which consists of:-
1. Aadhar Enabled Food
Assurance & Security Card
2. Online Visual Register
THE TWO FOLD SYSTEM
For ensuring Transparency and Regular Updation
OVR-Online Visual Register
The Centralised monitoring system achieved
through computerisation helps us in creating a
database or what we like to call an Online
Visual Register consisting of details of each
and every product, Fair price shops and eligible
beneficiaries . The main motive of this database
is for all the data to be transparent to the
common man so that he can be aware of what
he is entitled to . Otherwise FPS owners can
take advantage of them .By such a system he
can ensure that he is getting his right quota
from the FPS shops . Anyone can enter this
register by making use of their AEFAS Card
number as Login Id via internet . Also we will
setup an SMS system so that people from
places where even electrification haven't
reached can make use of this system by SMS
confirmation using their unique login id as
As far as the officials are concerned all the
details regarding tagging and tracking of
products are also entered here so that they can
keep a regular record and can identify where
the leaks are coming from and proper measures
can be taken to arrest such issues.
AEFAS CARD SYSTEM
The time for renewal of our existing ration cards have come
and gone. Most of the existing ration card doesn’t boast a high
percentage of accuracy regarding the beneficiaries and reports
have shown that more than 20 % of eligible beneficiaries are
still in the APL list and so are not able to receive what they
deserve . So we are introducing AEFAS- card or Aadhar
Enabled Food Assurance and Supply Card which will work
hand on hand with the OVR system . Availing of PDS
commodities can only be done with AEFAS card when this
whole system is implemented.
• A unique identification system interconnected with Aadhar Card in
which all the details of a family is added including income total
number of family members , where they are all right now etc.
• Mandatory Renewal of AEFAS Card once a year : Most of the
beneficiaries even now use the same card which they used years ago.
So they receive government facilities based on old data in which the
details of already died people may be too present and this leads to
the misuse of ration cards .So to take these all out of the equation
we are proposing to impose a new rule that only AEFAS cards that
are renewed once adhar can only avail the services .This Renewal
of Data can be done with the help of authorised Local Government
bodies and only in the presence of verified Income Affidavits and
Proof of Address Certificates .
Fair Price Shops
Challenges and risks of the proposed model
High MSP and procurement of the
whole of produced grains is
Farmers unwillingness to sell their
produce to Govt. agencies.
Involvement of middlemen and
private sector lobbies.
Lack of interest among the common
man in creating a computerized
system based on cards.
Cooperation between different
Procurement , stocking and
distribution more expensive
through public sector than private
Comparatively high operational
Computerisation of all PDS
agencies including those in remote
Awareness must be spread in a
Above all clear transparency in the system and a sincere effort to mitigate
corruption and leaks starting from individual level is required to make any system
including ours more effective and efficient.
Official website www.pdsportal.nic.in
Wadhwa committee report on public distribution system in
Performance evaluation of Targeted Public Distribution
Report of the Task Force on an IT Strategy for PDS and an
implementable solution for the direct transfer of subsidy for
Food and Kerosene.
A Study on the Effectiveness of Public Distribution System
In Rural Tamil Nadu