One Nation, One Ration Card
According to news agency PTI, the Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered all states and union territories to implement the "One Nation, One Ration Card" programme by July 31. The Supreme Court has also issued a flurry of orders, including one directing the federal government to provide free dry rations to migrant workers until the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak diminishes.
The One Nation, One Ration Card programme is a national platform that digitizes ration cards, beneficiary information, and the monthly ration quota under the National Food Security Act of 2013, as well as allowing withdrawals through electronic point-of-sale machines, allowing ration benefits mobility. Under the NFSA 2013, India offers low-cost foodgrains to over 800 million people across the country.
On Tuesday, a Supreme Court panel led by Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice MR Shah issued orders to the federal government regarding the wellbeing of unorganized sector employees, who were among the groups hardest hit by Covid-19's second wave. The Supreme Court was hearing a request in this respect, which asked the court to issue directives to the federal and state governments to ensure food security, cash transfers, and other welfare measures for migrant workers who were experiencing hardship as a result of curfews and lockdowns across the country.
Activists Anjali Bharadwaj, Harsh Mander, and Jagdeep Chhokar submitted the petition. The court ordered the central government to seek the help of the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to create a gateway that will contain a repository for the enrollment of unorganised sector workers, as it will speed up the process of granting entitlements to these workers by July 31.
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