The Ministry of Food & Public Distribution Government of India has introduced and approved, a Central Sector scheme "Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS)" which would be fully funded by the Central Government for implementation during 2018-19 and 2019-20.
The total cost of the scheme is Rs.127.30 crore. The objectives of the scheme are as under:
2. The scheme would comprise the following key components and activities
Fragmented systems and non-uniform implementation of PDS modules across States/UTs pose a challenge in introducing National Level Portability, National Level De- Duplication of ration cards and a comprehensive Management Information System (MIS). Public Distribution System Network (PDSN) will be envisaged as back-end platform for integration of the disparate databases without impinging on the States' domain of responsibilities. Its main features are as follows
It is primary and most important requirement for achieving national level portability, national level de-duplication and national level Dashboard/MIS system. It is envisaged that Central repository will keep master reference data and beneficiary level FPS transaction data. For this purpose, high end servers and storage capacity would be provisioned at NIC cloud to store the ration card data of beneficiaries and Po S transaction details of ration card holders. This repository would be utilized as an information database and this data would be analysed by central team. Results would be shared with concerned States/UTs for further necessary action.
Presently PDS applications of States/UTs are deployed either in NIC Cloud or State Date Centre. These application have been developed and deployed in such a way that data exchange / inter linkages among them are very limited or non-existent. This bottleneck needs to be addressed by establishing linkage with State Data Centre and periodic retrieval of information through Web Services. There will be technological challenges such as different platform, data & application security, network, staging and most important challenge would be to tackle willingness of States/UTs to share information.
After creation of Central Repository and integration with States/UTs, data synchronization with States will not be a big challenge. There will be an agreement with States/UTs to make the data available on staging system in the agreed frequency. Proposed system will ensure automatic retrieval of relevant data from States/UTs in the agreed frequency and stored in the central repository for MIS generation purpose.
There is strong need to have robust communication to broadcast and get quick response from States/UTs on progress of various Key Performance Indicators. There is no common platform available with Department of Food and Public Distribution GoI that allows direct communication with States/UTs. A platform to be designed which will enable DFPD, States/UTs and other stakeholders to exchange information for various purposes. This platform would also be very useful for implementing portability at the national level.
A key activity under the scheme is creation of a platform to facilitate national level portability that will ensure food- security to the NFSA beneficiaries all year round, such that NFSA beneficiaries can avail their entitlements from any of the states during short term migration without the process of surrendering and reissue of the ration cards, since existing application architecture and hardware deployment model across States/UTs may not support vision of National Portability. For ensuring the National Level Portability, DFPD would create data repository at national level and develop state-of-the-art solution which would enable States/UTs to handshake and transmit food grains allotment/lifting information across other States/UTs.
The scheme End-To-End computerization has enabled states to .perform online management of beneficiaries' data and seed the Aadhaar number against each individual. In order to ensure that same Aadhaar number is not seeded against more than one beneficiary in the ration card database anywhere at national level And to enable States/UTs to check the uniqueness and eligibility of applicants before issuing new ration card, Aadhaar based de-duplication, national level de-duplication will be run on central repository of Ration cards/ PDS beneficiaries. Identified de-duplicated data would be shared by the department/NIC with the States/UTs for further necessary action at their end.
In order to improve reliability/quality and maintain the accuracy of the central repository and state ration card database, advance data analytics would be carried out to highlight inaccuracies in the data. MIS reports generated based on gap analysis of NFSA beneficiary data using advance data analytic techniques would support the State govt. to monitor and improve the quality of beneficiary data,
Advance web and mobile based applications would be developed to enable the stake holders to view the PDS systems created under computerization schemes.
In the plan scheme on End-to-End computerization of TPDS operations a provision was made to meet the funds requirement of Central Project Monitoring Unit (CPMU) set up in DFPD and MC, the technical partner of the project.
It is necessary to have a Central Technical Expert Team in Department of Food & PD for the development and operationalization of PDSN, prepare effective MIS for centralized monitoring, data analysis, facilitating national portability, de-duplication of ration cards across the country and other technical and administrative advice for resolving issues/problems faced by the department and states/UTs for smooth running of computerization scheme.
NIC would provide support to DFPD as Technical partners for implementing the scheme across the country. For this purpose MC would be provided funds to engage manpower for development of Applications/ Software utilities for performing the following activities:
A MoU will be signed between this Department and MC in this regard.
Under the earlier scheme on 'End-to-End Computerization of TPDS Operations' provision was made for setting up of SPMUs in states/UTs for a period of 3 years to help State/UT? Food & Civil Supplies Departments for implementation of the scheme, monitoring of progress, reporting, bid-process management, etc. Each SPIMU had one Consultant/Project Manager & One Junior Consultant Technical support at State/UT F&CS headquarter for smooth operation of activities under the scheme is necessary. It is therefore proposed to have at least a Project Manager at headquarters of each state/UT and an additional Junior Project Manager in bigger states with district more than 30. The resources posted at State/UT Headquarter will also function as nodal officer to coordinate issues between DFPD/NIC and States/UTs. In addition to this, there would be a technical support staff in each district which will provide quick resolution of issues faced at local level for smooth operation of the scheme.
States/UTs (27) with up to 30 districts
States/UTs (9) with more than 30 districts
Project Manager at State/UT Headquarter
Junior Project Manager at State/UT
Technical Support Staff at District would be utilized by NIC as well as Food & Civil Supplies Department
One in each district
There will be a requirement of rigorous monitoring of the project implementation progress to identify the gaps and challenges and also the good practices, initiative to replicate proven systems at other places. It is envisaged to create a National Monitoring Team comprising the officers/consultants of the Department and the NIC officials drawn from the central and state NIC offices for this purpose. This team will visit States on regular basis.
Computerized systems have begun to take roots, but there is need for sustained efforts to build the capacity of the field level functionaries and deepen the understanding of the new initiatives at the level of dealers/ vigilance committee members, etc. It is proposed to provide financial assistance to the States for carrying out training programmes at district/ sub-district