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News Analysis


NFSA Ranking 2022

  • 11 Jul 2022
  • 9 min read

For Prelims: National Food and Security Act, State Ranking Index, One Nation, One Ration Card (ONORC)

For Mains: Importance of NFSA Index Ranking, National Food and Security Act, 2013 , Buffer Stocks & Food Security, Government Policies & Interventions

Why in News?

Recently, the first edition of the State Ranking Index for National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 was released.

What is the Index all About?

  • About:
    • The index seeks to document the status and progress of the implementation of NFSA across the country and various reform initiatives after consultation with the states.
    • It highlights the reforms undertaken by the States and Union Territories and creates a cross-learning environment and scale-up reform measures by all the States and Union Territories.
    • The current index is largely focused on NFSA distribution and will include future buyouts, PMKGAY (Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana) distributions.
  • Basis of the Assessment:
    • The index for ranking of States and UTs is built on three key pillars, which cover end-to-end implementation of NFSA through Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). These pillars are-
      • NFSA- coverage, targeting and provisions of the Act
      • Delivery platforms and
      • Nutrition initiatives

In what ways did the states Perform?

  • General Category States:
    • Odisha is ranked first followed by Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh in second and third position.
  • Special Category States:
    • Tripura ranks top among the special category states (the North-eastern States, Himalayan States, and Island States).
    • Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim are in second and third place, respectively.
  • Worst Performers:
    • Punjab, Haryana and Delhi are among the states at the bottom five.

What is the significance of the Index?

  • The findings from the exercise revealed that most states and union territories have fared well in digitization, Aadhaar seeding, and ePoS installation, which reiterates the strength and scale of the reforms.
    • However, states and union territories can improve their performance in a few areas. Exercises, such as conducting and documenting social audits thoroughly and operationalizing functions of state food commissions across states and union territories, will further bolster the true spirit of the Act.
  • It will lead to healthy competition among States to further their enhance performance.

What are the Issues Related to the Index?

  • It excludes projects and schemes carried out by other ministries and departments within the NFSA.
  • The Index merely indicates the efficiency of TPDS operations; it does not reflect the level of hunger, malnutrition, or both in a certain state or union area.

Why Odisha Ranking Matter?

  • Odisha has followed the adoption of the NFSA in the state in 2015 with robust end-to-end computerization of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) operations. 
  • A 3.25 crore digitized beneficiaries database has been hosted in the public domain and is dynamically updated at 378 ration card management system (RCMS) centers, one in each of 314 blocks and 64 urban local bodies (ULBs).
  • Furthermore, the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department's 152 food storage facilities have been totally automated, with real-time electronic recording of 1.87 lakh MT foodgrains sent to 12,133 fair pricing stores across the State.
  • From July 2021, the One Nation, One Ration Card (ONORC) programme was introduced across the state. 
    • After its implementation, PDS beneficiaries can now choose any fair pricing retailer of their choice and convenience to get their monthly benefits.
    • Every month, approximately 1.10 lakh families receive rations through the intra-state facility and 533 families through the inter-state programme.

What is NFSA?

  • Notified on: 10th September, 2013.
  • Objective: To provide for food and nutritional security in the human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantities of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity.
  • Coverage: 75% of the rural population and upto 50% of the urban population for receiving subsidized foodgrains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).
    • Overall, NFSA caters to 67% of the total population.
  • Eligibility:
    • Priority Households to be covered under TPDS, according to guidelines by the State government.
    • Households covered under existing Antyodaya Anna Yojana.
  • Provisions:
    • 5 Kgs of foodgrains per person per month at Rs. 3/2/1 per Kg for rice/wheat/coarse grains.
    • The existing AAY household will continue to receive 35 Kgs of foodgrains per household per month.
    • Meal and maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000 to pregnant women and lactating mothers during pregnancy and six months after the child birth.
    • Meals for children upto 14 years of age.
    • Food security allowance to beneficiaries in case of non-supply of entitled foodgrains or meals.
    • Setting up of grievance redressal mechanisms at the district and state level.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Q. With reference to the provisions made under the National Food Security Act, 2013, consider the following statements: (2018) 

  1. The families coming under the category of ‘below poverty line (BPL)’ only are eligible to receive subsidised food grains
  2. The eldest woman in a household, of age 18 years or above, shall be the head of the household for the purpose of issuance of a ration card. 
  3. Pregnant women and lactating mothers are entitled to a ‘take-home ration’ of 1600 calories per day during pregnancy and for six months thereafter.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

(a) 1 and 2 only 
(b) 2 only 
(c) 1 and 3 only 
(d) 3 only 

Ans: (b) 


  • Issue of food security has been addressed by the Government through the Public Distribution System and the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). The National Food Security Act (NFSA) enacted on July 5, 2013 marked a shift in the approach to food security from welfare to rights-based approach.
  • Salient features of National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013
    • Upto 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population will be covered under TPDS with a uniform entitlement of 5 kg per person per month.
    • Pregnant women, lactating mothers and children in the age group of 6 months to 14 years will be entitled to meals as per prescribed nutritional norms under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and Mid-Day Meal (MDM) Schemes. Higher nutritional norms have been prescribed for malnourished children upto 6 years of age. 
    • Pregnant women and lactating mothers will also be entitled to receive maternity benefit of not less than `6,000. 
    • Prior to the implementation of the NFSA, there were mainly three types of ration cards issued by State Governments such as Above Poverty Line (APL), Below Poverty Line (BPL), and Antyodaya (AAY) ration cards distinguished by different colours o p t e d  by the concerned State Government. According to NFSA 2013, APL and BPL groups have been re-classified into two categories – Non-Priority and Priority. Hence, statement 1 is not correct. 
    •  Eldest woman of the household of age 18 years or above is to be the head of the household for the purpose of issuing of ration cards. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
    • Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers are entitled to food supplement of 600 calories of energy and 18-20 gms of protein per day in the form of Micronutrient Fortified Food and/or energy-dense food as take away home ration. Hence, statement 3 is not correct. Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.

Source: BS

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