A ration card serves as a proof of identity and address and can be produced to officials while applying for voter ID, domicile certificates, Aadhaar cards etc.
What is Ration Card
An officially valid document issued by individual state governments to avail specific benefits is termed a ration card. Ration cardholders can buy subsidized food items and other essential commodities like food grains, kerosene, and sugar at subsidized prices from fair price shops through this card. It is specifically beneficial to economically poor classes and people belonging to BPL (Below Poverty Line) groups to meet their daily essentials of commodities amongst other goods.
Types of Ration Cards
Respective state governments own the responsibility of distributing ration cards to eligible citizens. Under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), the government undertakes to offer essential items to eligible people at subsidized prices. Eligible households are identified through the ration card to avail of this subsidy under the public distribution system. There are five commonly distinguished rashan cards issued to the public based on certain classifications. It is explained below here:
- Priority Household (PHH): The state governments set the eligibility criteria for issuing this category of cards. Eligible households possessing the Priority household ration card are privileged to receive 5 kilograms of food grains every month per cardholder.
- Antyodaya (AAY): Households categorised under the ‘poorest of poor’ slab are entitled to receive benefits from the Antyodaya ration card scheme. Every month, 35 kilograms of food grains are given to households with this card type.
- APL (Above Poverty Line): Households living above the poverty line shall be issued APL cards to claim benefits from the state government.
- BPL (Below Poverty Line): Households living below the poverty line are entitled to receive Below Poverty Line ration cards and claim suitable benefits from the card.
- Annapurna Yojana (AY): Applicants below 65 years of age with very low source of income can apply and get benefits under the Annapurna Yojana ration card.
Here, specific cards like APL, BPL, and AAY existed before the National Food Security Act was implemented in the country. Under the Public Distribution System, the state government identifies eligible households entitled to receive food grains at subsidized rates. For this purpose, two types of ration cards are provided to eligible households under the NFSA.
Benefits of Ration Card
The importance of ration cards is explained below in detail:
- Most of the households in India apply and receive rashan cards, and it serves as an essential document for the citizens. The respective state governments are entrusted with the responsibility of providing ration cards to eligible persons.
- Nowadays, ration cards can be applied, processed and obtained through online mode in a simple and efficient manner. Ration card status can also be checked online in a fast-paced and transparent manner.
- Ration cards serve as an important document for the identity and address of the cardholders. When a person intends to apply for a domicile certificate/ birth certificate, voter ID card etc., the ration card can be produced as a supporting document.
- A person who is a ration card holder automatically gets entitled to receiving food, fuel, goods and other essential commodities by the government of India. Primarily these households get subsidized food grains like wheat, rice, sugar and other commodities like kerosene.
- These cards are issued as part of the Public Distribution System; they ensure smooth form filling and compilation of documents. The entire process is carried out quickly, efficiently, and robustly. This leads to fewer loopholes and greater transparency and helps reach the right citizens in the most effective delivery mechanisms.
Eligibility for Rashan Card
Candidates have to meet certain criteria to fulfil the conditions for availing of a rashan card.
- The person himself has to apply for the ration card. Nobody on his/ her behalf can apply and avail of the card or the benefits under it.
- No member from the same household can benefit if a person from the same family has already had an existing ration card.
- The applicant should be a citizen of India.
Below we have provided the list of documents required to apply for a ration card:
- Application form to apply for ration card [state-specific]
- Proof of identity [ Voter ID, driving license, passport, any other government issued ID card]
- Proof of residence [ Electricity bill, telephone bill, LPG receipt, passbook issued by bank, rental agreement of house]
- Latest photograph of the family head member.
- Applicant’s annual income supporting document.
- Any previously surrendered or cancelled ration card [ if applicable]
How to Apply for Ration Card
Ration cards can be applied in both online and offline modes. We are explaining both modes separately here:
- Eligible candidates can visit the official website of the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs department of the respective state in which they reside.
- Fill in the required application form and submit it by attaching the requisite documents.
- Soon an authorised government representative shall contact the candidate to assist him/her on further process.
- After document and form verification, the concerned ration card shall be posted to the candidate through the post to his address.
- The same process can be initiated and completed through third party websites also. They also need the same form filling process, document submission, application verification and card issuance. But it is recommended to carry out the process through government authorised websites.
- In a specified format, an SMS can be sent to the Food, Civil Supplies and consumer affairs department of the respective state authority. An SMS response shall be forwarded containing the detailed instructions to be followed to apply for a ration card. Candidates can also visit the official website to know more about the detailed application procedure.
- On the respective state government website, candidates can also take the respective toll-free number or customer care number to know more about applying for a ration card in detail.
- The candidate can personally visit the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs department of their respective state government division and apply by filling up the requisite application form and attaching the suitable documents and submitting it to the concerned official.
How to Check Ration Card Status
The online website is a one-stop point for candidates to gather all the requisite information under one roof. In this section, we explain the procedure to check the rashan card application status easily:
- Visit the official website of the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs department of the respective state portal.
- Traverse to the ‘E-services’ tab on the portal.
- Locate the option to check ‘Ration Card Application Status.
- On the login page, enter your credentials correctly, and the status shall be displayed.
- Alternatively, the government keeps updating the list of applicants who recently applied for a ration card and displays their application status on the dashboard itself in PDF format.
How to Check Ration Card List
You can check your name on the ration card list online by following the simple steps below.
- Visit the official website of the National Food Security Portal, i.e. nfsa.gov.in
- Click on the ‘State’ or ‘Union Territory’ link where you reside.
- You will be directed to the respective State or Union Territory official ration card website.
- Enter the Captcha
- From the drop-down menu, select your District, DFSO and Scheme
- Enter Your Date of Birth
- Finally, Click on ‘View Report’
How to Transfer Ration Card
When a situation arises where the candidate needs to relocate from one state to another due to job change or personal reasons, the rashan card must also be transferred to the respective state. He could re-apply to obtain a ration card transfer in the new jurisdiction where the candidate relocated. The process for transfer requires the following documents:
- A written application stating the candidate’s relocation and requesting for transfer of the card.
- Submit proof of new address.
- Submit the requisite transfer fee that is applicable as per the new jurisdiction rules.
In another situation where a woman leaves her maternal home after marriage to relocate to her husband’s place, deletion and inclusion should be initiated. For this purpose, a requisite letter stating the aforesaid event should be explicitly mentioned, and a request placed to delete name in maternal household and include in the new husband’s household. The letter here should be attached and a valid marriage certificate to carry out the process smoothly.
How to Download & Print Your Ration Card Online
In this section, we explain the steps to be followed to download and print rashan cards online.
- Once a candidate receives intimation about ration card approval on his mobile phone, he can go ahead and download the same in his system. He could take a hard copy printout of the document for future uses.
- To check ration card status, candidates can visit the official portal and check the status under the E-services section.
- If the application has been duly approved, candidates can take a printout.
- If the card is still pending, candidates have to wait for confirmation from the authorities.
- The printed card is a necessary document containing all relevant and crucial information, and using the card; the household can buy ration items at subsidized prices.
What is e-Ration Card
Some state governments have recently initiated the distribution of e-ration cards through an advanced EPDS or Electronic Public Distribution System network. This robust framework of distribution network facilitates candidates to quickly locate their specific ration card status and follow it up accordingly through the EPDS portal.
Ration Card List (States & Union Territories Wise)
|Andaman and Nicobar Islands||Andhra Pradesh||Arunachal Pradesh|
|Chhattisgarh||Dadra and Nagar Haveli||Delhi|
|Himachal Pradesh||Jammu & Kashmir||Jharkhand|
|Uttarakhand||West Bengal||Daman and Diu|
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the ration card number?
A ration card number is a unique numeric code printed on your ration card. It is used by the relevant authorities for identification purposes and allows you to secure food items at subsidised rates.
2. What is the National Food and Security Act?
Under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), the National Food and Security Act [NFSA] allocates 75% ration subsidy to rural households and 50% to the urban population. They are entitled to receive food grains and essential commodities under subsidized prices under this system. The alarming rate of food shortage and food security issues in the country is directly addressed under the TPDS by implementing NFSA with the right measures.
3. What to do if my ration card is lost?
If you lose your ration card, you can file a First Instance Report (FIR) regarding the same. Alternatively, you can visit the nearest District Food and Supplies Controller and apply for the same. You will need to take a handful of documents with you and the applicable penalty fee.
4. Can a ration card be used as address proof?
Yes, your ration card can be used as address proof.
5. Can I add my family members as beneficiaries to my ration card?
Yes. With the addition of new members into the family like spouse, children and daughter-in-law, their names can also be included in the ration card. By making an application and attaching suitable documents, and paying the requisite fee either offline or online, the inclusion can be successfully made.
6. Can I apply for a ration card if my family member already has a ration card?
No. The ration card is meant for a particular household, and the card clearly states the list of members and number of members. A person belonging to a household with a ration card cannot apply once more for a fresh ration card as he is already an existing beneficiary.
7. Should I link my ration card with my Aadhaar card?
Yes. According to government stipulations, linking ration cards with Aadhaar Card has been made mandatory in recent times. This new feature assures there is no duplication of candidates, thus ensuring transparency. Also, desirous candidates are not left out from the benefits offered by the government scheme. It curbs scenarios where one household keeps multiple possessions of ration cards, thus misusing the benefits offered by the government.