Public Distribution System | PDS | EPDS | e-pds | Electronic pds
Between promises and inefficiency lies a gap where a poor is left to suffer. A benefit which is intended for the goodwill of a poor, is being black-marketed on its way before it reaches the deserving beneficiary. The pilferage and inefficiency of the errant officials leaves very little to reach to the poor.
But now with automated food supply chain, PDS, in place with the aegis of Gaya District Administration, a common resident of Gaya district is relaxed these days. They no more have to be the victim of dealers’ malfunctioning. For the first time, state has enough in its warehouses to disburse to dealers. And dealers have enough to disburse to allocated beneficiaries.
The public mood and sentiment is ensuring and they are thankful to the district magistrate of being considerate of such an important issue touching the life of every poor resident of the district.
Gaya public distribution system (PDS) is one of the most well organized public distribution systems in India. Gaya PDS is fully automated and computerized with inventory and asset management to contain storage loss, pilferage, theft and black marketing. All Food Corporation of India warehouses have computerized weight bridges and MIS to efficiently track and manage food grains and to be able to retain the right level of food grain stores. All State Food Corporation warehouses in Gaya district too are fully computerized with electronic weight bridges and MIS to track outflow of food grains to Fair Price Shops from which the consumers can off-take their quotas.
The Gaya PDS is directly over-sighted by the Gaya District Administration which comes under the District Magistrate, managed through the District Supply Officer. Gaya administration currently provides coupons to all consumers against which they can buy their quota of grains. The coupons ensure that the grains are not lifted by unauthorized consumers and black marketed. Gaya administration strives hard to ensure that the food grain supply chain is managed to cut losses and theft to guarantee grains to consumers and new initiatives in that regards are being taken time to time.
The leakages and the thefts that cause the black marketing of civil supplies In the PDS supply chain results in less than half of the allocated benefits reaching the common man. The Gaya Administration realizing the need to rectify the problem have envisioned a whole new mechanism of food grain distribution by making the supply chain 'Smart and 'Automatic' where there is hardly any human intervention in dealing with the distribution and allocation which leads to removal of theft-points in the sys
With this Online Distribution Core, The Government connected with the food grain movement, allocation, distribution, thefts and grievances in real time. The cases of thefts as intercepted by a common man in the district can be instantly reported online or through mobile phones. The reported complaint then gets assigned to the authorized officials and actions are taken immediately. Unlike other system, in pdsonline.in, the complainant is kept in the loop in this whole process of rederresal by sending SMS alerts and informing as and when the action is taken on registered complaint. This helps in engaging the beneficiaries in partnering with the Government in managing the supply chain fairly and efficiently.
The foodgrain movement is monitored in realtime with the help of GPS devices. These GPS devices when mounted over the ferrying vehicles, sends out the route information back to the system in realtime. This helps in catching the datapoints about the entire planned journey.
The electronics weigh bridges are used in this electronics system of distribution that allowed the weights to be directly entered to the system automatically without any manual intervention so that the chances of error and thefts are eliminated.
Hitherto, manual and slow core of Public Distribution System is now automatic and instant. The opacity of the distribution is now transparent. Information and reports are open in public space and available on the click. The disbursal Vs Offtake report can be generated at every node of the distribution chain. Like one can generate report for entire district wise, blockwise, panchayat wise, dealer-wise.
To tightly couple all the nodes of PDS supply chain, and to remove manual intervention, system provides Point of Sale terminals to the dealers. This POS terminal reads the barcoded coupons and registers the offtake by the beneficiary on to the centrally located MIS wirelessly. Food grains are weighed electronically at FCI, then at SFC and then dealers’ disbursal to the beneficiary too is logged in to MIS through POS terminal. The disbursal Vs offtake data is managed at MIS for each dealer. Total disbursal Vs offtake data is available for various abstraction of district like for whole district, block, panchayat, etc.
PoS terminals are low cost, low power devices designed especially for rural demography where there is a shortage of power supply. These devices have the capability to reduce bandwidth requirement keeping in mind the intermittent internet connectivity in rural setup.
Apart from ensuring due entitlement of poor reaching to them, the automated PDS also becomes a source of employment generation. In pdsonline data center, young college passouts, men and women alike, can be seen generating the reports and resolving queries on toll free number.
When we contacted the developers of the system, Oglacs Software Pvt Ltd, they discussed their plan for the next phase where the system would be eco-friendly- a green solution. That would solve the problem interrupted power supply where devices and weighbridges shall be operated on solar energy. That make the solution not only eco-friendly but would also reducing a huge recurring cost incurred on alternate power supplies like generators.
“We plan to replace SFC and FCI laptops with low power devices like tablets those can be operated with the help of solar chargers. Similar is the plan for solar powered weighbridges. We intend to bring down the recurring cost substantially.” Engineering Director at Oglacs quoted as saying.
The Hon’ble Minister and the entire Gaya District Administration are hopeful that this State-Of-The-Art solution (pdsonline.in) shall certainly help in bringing transparency, accountability and better manageability in the system and as a result, the due entitlement of the poor people reaching them smoothly. At various nodes where the system is already functional, various incidents of theft and frauds have already caught with the help of this system. With increased coverage of this system, in a very short period of time, the hitherto one of the most inefficient department of public distribution system, shall be a very effective tool in social upliftment of the common man.
Planning Commission Success story:
Live project: pdsonline.in