(Sample Material) UPSC IAS Mains GS Online Coaching : Paper 3 - "Public Distribution System "

Sample Material of Our IAS Mains GS Online Coaching Programme

Subject: General Studies (Paper 3 - Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

Topic: Public Distribution System



• PDS means distribution of essential commodities to larger section of the society, mostly vulnerable people, through a network of fair Price Shops on a recurring basis. The essential commodities under PDS at present are wheat, rice, sugar and Kerosene.
• Today, with the network of around 5 Lakh fair price shops PDS is virtually world’s largest system of its kind. However, PDS was criticized for several reasons. .A few of them are as follows:
•  Its bias towards the urban consumers and inability to reach to the last corner of the country.
•  Some states such as Bihar and UP were virtually out of the PDS network.
•  There are no criteria of monitoring the high income group purchases more than low income purchases.
•  The coverage and network of PDS does not ensure that the poorest or the poor is benefited
•  The PDS has been untargeted and proved to be regressive in some parts of the nations.
•  Consumers get inferior food grains in ration shops. Because , the dealers replace good supplies received from the F.C.I, with inferior stock,
•  Issue of the bogus cards in large numbers which are used to procure the grains from the PDS and sell them in open market.
•  The dealers have little profit so indulge in malpractices.
•  In other words, despite of having world’s largest Public Distribution System, there are people dying in the country out of hunger.

Revamping the Public Distribution System PDS is operated under the joint responsibility: of the Central and the State Governments. The Central government, through FCI has following responsibilities:

• Procurement, storage, transportation of food grains
• Bulk allocation of food grains to the State Governments.
• The state government’s responsibility is operational. They are as follows:
• Identification of families below the poverty line
• Issue of Ration Cards
• Supervision of the functioning of FPS. The PDS commodities viz. wheat, rice, sugar and kerosene, are allocated to the States/ UTs for distribution by the Central Government. Cloth, exercise books, pulses, salt and tea, etc. are distributed of the state governments.

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