Aadhar usage in Public Distribution System



The Public Distribution System (PDS) in India has grown considerably over the past decade. Recently, Government has decided to link aadhar with PDS.


  • Leakages in PDS with dealer selling the food grains in the external market. 
  • The dealers give less food grains to the actual beneficiaries and pocket the rest. 
  • Corruption in PDS has gone up to 90 percent in some states. 
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The pioneer to plug this leakage in PDS was Chattisgarh State. The PDS system was made transparent through
  • Computerization 
  • Strict control to check leakages through intermediaries in the state. 
This became a successful model and other states followed.

Jean Dreze PDS study

  • The study was conducted in nine states of Chattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh 
  • The study reveals that PDS integrated with aadhar system is working efficiently 
  • Nearly 85% of BPL families get their food grains from the PDS on time. 


There are some pitfalls in this approach.
  • The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered Aadhar as not mandatory 
  • Central government is making it mandatory in PDS which is a direct violation of the SC order. 
  • This adoption of POS and Aadhar link will help eliminate only the bogus cards and quantity frauds. 
  • The leakages and corruption will not be plugged. 

Way Forward

  • The success of Direct Benefit Transfer in the case of LPG subsidy has to be extended to the Public Distribution System. 
  • The food grains will be sold at market prices in PDS shops 
  • Subsidies will be transferred to the beneficiary bank accounts like the gas subsidy 
  • Technology based end to end solution in PDS 
  • Leakages will be arrested to a considerable extent by tracking discrepancies through digitalizing PDS information. 


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