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Biometric Ration Cards

Inaugurated by Rayagada district’s chief minister Naveen Patnaik, a pilot project was launched to introduce the biometric ration cards for bringing in clarity in the Public Distribution System (PDS). This project was launched at a function that was organized at the regional headquarters town of Rayagada. Recognized as a joint effort, this project involves Orissa government and World Food Programme (WFP). Using the hi-tech biometric registration system, this project aims to ensure that only the entitled lot receives subsidized food material. It is anticipated that this project will be adopted by 29 districts of the state by next year.

The representative of WFP, Mihoko Tamamura said that they pride of their partnership with Orissa government in their effort to accelerate the competence of the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). She focused that the need of the hour was precisely targeting the welfare programmes since hunger was on peak while the resources continue shrinking. This project shall ensure that the food goes only to those who are entitled to receive it and will generate savings which she is sure will help the state government in reaching out to many more under-privileged people who straight away need help. She also said that the project will make Targeted Public Distribution System heartier.

Using iris and finger prints as electronically saved biometrics, this new system gets the individuals registered. Thereafter these are used for preparing the bar coded coupons and ration cards for people living in countryside areas while smart cards for poor individuals living in urban regions of Rayagada district. This advanced biometric technology will help in identification while remove the replica registration of beneficiaries. This will also remove the invalid ration cards that are in distribution putting a lot of strain on the PDS system. The circulation of smart cards, bar-coded coupons, and biometric ration cards began with a formal inauguration in Rayagada district.

Because of this system, the transactions amid the fair-price shops and beneficiaries can now be found on Government website. This will certainly improve transparency in the PDS and put control on fraudulent deals that take place at fair-price shops. Sarada Prasad Nayak, the Minister of State for Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare, Jayaram Pangi MP of Koraput, and MLAs of Rayagada district were also present at the inaugural function. The inaugural function that was much in limelight was presided over by Lalbihari Himrika, Deputy Speaker.

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