NCERT Class 9 Economics Chapter 4: Food Security in India Economy Completes Notes Part 4

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Food Security in India

Process of PDS for State

Process of PDS for State

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So here is how public distribution system works you have farmers or producers government, they provide the grains to Food Corporation of India who maintains the buffer stock. The Food Corporation of India in terms provide them minimum support price to farmers so this is one thing that is done. Now this FCI issues grains to states and the states in turn give the central issue price.

So this is the issue price that each and every states gives to the Food Corporation of India. This state would further distribute the grains to the fair price shops we also call these as ration shops and these ration shop it in turn provide the issue price back to the state so this is how the public distribution system works and it is very important it has been very important in a country like India where there is a severe problem of food availability.

Process of PDS

Process of PDS

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  • PDS

  • Antyodaya cards for poorest of the poor

  • BPL cards for those below poverty line

  • APL cards for all others

Now so if you try to explain the process again here you have the central government who would procure it will store it will transport it - located in bulks to the state then there will be a distribution that would be done by the state to the fair price shops or the ration shops and from the ration shops it would reach to the consumer.

Now under this PDS system there have been three important steps or three important types of categories that have been made first is the they are used now for the poorest of the poor, the next is BPL cards that is below poverty line card and all those who do not fall in the above two categories will be allocated with the APL card that is the above poverty line cards.

Rationing in India

  • Started in 1940s

  • Acute shortage in 1960s

  • 1970s – poverty by NSSO

  • three important food

  • Public Distribution System (PDS) for food grains

  • Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) - 1975

  • Food-for-Work (FFW) - introduced in 1977–78

  • Poverty Alleviation Programs (PAPs) - mostly in rural areas

  • National Food for Work Program - November 14, 2004 in 150 most backward districts of the country

  • Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) - poorest of poor

  • Annapurna Scheme (APS) – 2000 – indigent senior citizens

Now how has being rationing done in India. It all started in 1940s. In 1960 there was an actual shortage of the food grain that occurred in 1970s. The poverty was analyzed by the NSSO and three important food systems were worked off the first was the public distribution system that we already talked about.

The next was the Integrated Child Development System 1975 and finally Food for Work Program in 1977-78 besides these there have been poverty alleviation programs. The food for work program that have been going on under the previous slide we have already talked about on providing the grains to the poorest of the poor and the important scheme that talks about the providing the food grains to the senior citizens.

Revamped & Targeted PDS

Revamped PDS

Revamped PDS

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Now this is we understand the schemes that have been launched and basic focus now PDS is the normal scheme that is being learned that is the public distribution in 1992 it was working then there came the revamped Public Distribution System started in 1992 specifically focusing on the backward blocks.

You have the issue price for both wheat and price under each scheme. So let’s say under PDS rice was a short at 2.89 but under our PDS it was issued under 3.77. So these are the kind of issue price and these are the volumes that they have been allocated then came the Targeted Public Distribution System started in 1997 and it was allocating food grains to both poor and non-poor Antyodaya Anna Yojana that’s for the poor in 2000 and the APS the Annapurna Yojana for the senior citizens that provided 10kg of the food grains.

PDS Benefits

  • Stabilizes price

  • Food at affordable price

  • Price with poor households

  • Income security to farmers

  • Supply from surplus to deficit areas

Now next what are the benefits and the actual limitations that the system has been facing. Benefits are first of all it provides incentive to the farmers, it stabilizes the price, even the poor section of the society who cannot afford to buy the price and who cannot afford to buy the food grains at a higher price has the available of the foodgrains. It provides kind of security to the farmers who are producing the food grains because they are not aware whether this would be consumed in the market or not. So they get atleast kind of Minimum Support Price for that and again the most important things is the areas of productivity where there are high this could be supplied to the deficit areas; let’s say the desert areas of Rajasthan so that are the real benefits.

PDS – Limitations

  • Instances of hunger

  • Pest infestation

  • Deterioration in quality

  • High storage cost

  • Higher food stock than required

  • Diversion of grains to open market

  • Poor quality

However the system was criticized a lot and has is being criticized a lot for its limitations. The first of all is the instances of hunger are not decreasing as we can see another Global Hunger Index that has been released, then when you are storing the foodgrains there is problem of pest infestation so you have kind of you have to compromise on the quality of this stock that has been kept, again there has been large quality quantity of the stock that goes unused so it’s being wasted, there is diversion of the grains that are going for the ration shops for the poor which are being diverted to the open market at lower price.

Then the quality as we said and the storage cost is indeed very high so all these are the basic issues in PDS and because of which there is a kind of real tough going under Niti Ayog to revive this whole process of Public Distribution System. However as we say in starting public the food security comprises of two basic elements the buffer stock and the public distribution system so here is how we understand the stock that the government keeps and how the public distribution system goes on and on.