The End-to-End computerization project of the Public Distribution System is a revolutionary project that is envisaged to transform the Public Distribution System in Kerala and the food security scenario in the entire nation. The Civil Supplies Department is in a period of Transformation to an IT enabled Public Distribution System under the guidance of National Food Security Act, 2013. The end-to-end computerization of PDS and the Civil Supplies Department to facilitate this transformation has started and is progressing gradually. Our country has perhaps the most phenomenal Food Distribution System globally. Although originally stemming from the poor agricultural produce internally and the dependency on food grains on outside economies, subsequently after the green revolution which peaked into food self-sufficiency and as on date a food grain surplus nation with buffer stocks, the public distribution system is a umbrella effort incorporating procurement, movement, stocking and distribution. This mammoth framework has had a telling effect on the fiscal costs to the government and coupled with leakages and inefficient targeting of the subsidies, the drain on the exchequer buffeted with the fiscal prudence measures of curtailing the fiscal deficits had led to a fortuitous meeting of the horizons of Information and communication technology solutions to ensure an efficient’ accountable and smart Public Distribution system. Given the sheer volume involved the PDS computerization in terms of stakeholder numbers and geographic spread, coupled with a massive change management in the delivery mechanism it is indeed an extremely challenging assignment.
The Public Distribution System computerisation largely rests on four pillars- (a) Database digitisation of all stakeholders (b) Supply Chain Management (c) ARD Automation and (d) Transparency portal and Consumer Grievance Redress Mechanism. Each of these has its own intricate challenges that need to be surmounted. For instance the central server solution should cater for not just dynamic data base management and updation but also allow for the application end to cater to massive volumes in terms of hits for biometric validation and live capture of all transactions in the entire chain of distribution, while also simultaneously monitoring and capturing the logistics solution in terms of food grains in transit etc. We are also attempting to breal new ground in terms of cutting edge policy analysis tools like geospatial indexed decision support systems and feel privileged to have been part of the team that has conceptualised and commenced the implementation of the project.
Separately, our strategic partners the United Nations – World Food Programme has substantially contributed to the solution design and evolution of the implementation strategy and there is the while contribution of the lT Cell staff and the Senior Supervising staff in the Commissionerate of Civil Supplies and the SUPPLYCO Ltd. We all endeavour to be a part of this project and ensure
The objective of the end-to-end computerization in the state is to ensure a transparent, efficient and citizen responsive Public Distribution System based on AADHAAR.