Author: Babu.A, IAS, Collector, Krishna District, AP, Time: 01 November 2016 02:07 pm


  1. Introduction

Aadhaar enabled Public Distribution System is a unique attempt piloted in Krishna District in improving the quality of services under the public distribution system. The PDS program in Krishna leverages the Aadhaar platform in delivering the food commodities to the eligible beneficiaries.

The Aadhaar enabled Public Distribution System (AePDS) is implemented in entire Krishna district since May 2015 covering 50 mandals (blocks) in 1254 villages through with 2161 Fair Price Shop outlets. The percentage of population covered The Aadhaar enabled Public Distribution System in Krishna involves 11.9 lakhs ration cards comprising 36.6 lakhs units (beneficiaries), which is 80.4% of the total population of the district - 45,17,398 (as per 2011 census).

  1. Objectives
  1. To issue food rations to the genuine and eligible card-holders in time
  2. To make a fool proof PDS System, free from hoarding, stock diversions and corruption,
  3. To monitor the movement of PDS stocks right from the FCI godown to fair price shop point until it reaches the consumers
  4. To improve service delivery through online real time transactions


  1. Biometric Authentication

            The PDS services are provided to beneficiaries based in biometric authentication.    Each FP shop is provided with an electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) device that has a finger-print and Iris scanner. This enables for identification of the beneficiary based on his/her fingerprint or Iris.

  1. Pilot and Scale-up

            A pilot was initially conducted In Feb-Apr 2015 to test the Aadhaar enabled Public   Distribution System (AePDS) in Krishna. The pilot was done choosing 1-2 fair price outlets in every mandal (block) in the district. Based on the learnings from the pilot, the program was scaled up to the entire district in May 2015.

The following process-flow was followed in implementation of AePDS:-

  1. The AePDS program was piloted in 2 FP outlets of all the 50 mandals of Krishna district initially.
  2. Seeding of ration cards with aadhaar numbers and digitization of databases
  3. Establishment of Computerization at all outlets and Mandal level Stocking (MLS) points
  4. Organizing training program to all stakeholders involved at district, divisional, mandal and village levels.
  5. Execution of the pilot from Feb-Mar 2015
  6. Conciliation of the pilot learnings and replication of the program in all outlets across the district by May 2015.
  7. Organizing training programs regularly 
  1. Coverage
    1. Total No. of Mandals(Blocks) in Krishna District : 50
    2. Total No. of Mandals(Blocks) in AePDS : 50
    3. Total population covered: 36.6 lakhs
    4. Total No. of Ration Cards: 11.9 lakhs
  2. Main impacts of AePDS:

    AePDS has been successfully able to improve the PDS services in Krishna district.

    1. Last mile delivery: More than 3 million beneficiaries at every nook and corner of the district, receive their food rations in time without     causing any delays.
    2. Savings in subsidy: The program has been able to save upto Rs.90 crores worth subsidy of food grains so far since its implementation in the district.
    3. Timeliness: More than 80% of the PDS disbursion happens within 10th of every month
    4. Efficiency Enhancement: There has been an improvement in enhancing efficiency in PDS. The volume of transactions processed i.e., 14,158 tonnes of rice and 547 tonnes of sugar, 1174 tonnes of wheat and 1174 tonnes of wheat flour, etc on a monthly basis to the beneficiaries are delivered with zero pilferage. The practices of improperr closing balances (earlier shown as 0 every time) are now completely prevented. New stocks are replenished to the outlets based on the sale made as per the previous month and only the differential stock is supplied.
    5. Number of trips required by a beneficiary to avail rations have reduced from 4-5 to 1. Also the time taken to process each transaction has been drastically reduced.
    6. Accuracy: The beneficiary details are constantly updated so that there is accuracy of output. The server has been constantly updated with all the changes required from the beneficiaries end including their biometrics. Hence there the database is completely saturated with latest details. Therefore the accuracy of the output is precise to 100%.

All the above were achieved at zero cost to the user in availing the service. In fact the costs of services rendered, are borne by the government.

NOTE: For specially-abled or disabled beneficiaries, rations are delivered at their door step by FP shop dealer taking their biometrics.

7. Uniqueness of AePDS: The main unique features of AePDS are its replicability and interoperability

            a. Inter-operability: This means a beneficiary can withdraw his ration from any    part of district irrespective of his local fair price shop outlet. A beneficiary can withdraw his ration from any outlet within Krishna district. So far 1.3 lakh cards   have availed interoperability which is 10.83 % of total cards in Krishna.

            b. Replicability: The program can be replicated elsewhere with the availability of Aadhaar platform. It does not incur any major infrastructure for implementing the project. There is no security concern or issues with the technology used.

            c. Route Officer and GPS tracking facility: A unique innovation in AePDS is that a route officer is placed during delivery of the stock. A route officer is generally a staff from Civil Supplies Department. He, along with the dealer, biometrically authenticates the supply and receipt of stock, providing no chances for any misutilization later. Likewise, there is a GPS tracking mechanism for the trucks carrying food commodities facilitating online monitoring of their movement in AePDS.

8. Other Services – MDM, ICDS: The AePDS is also catering its services to Mid-day meals program, ICDS and Social welfare school hostels.  3157 primary, upper-primary and    high schools, 3812 Anganwadi centres and 113 hostels in Krishna District are availing their monthly food commodities from AePDS program. This eventually means that there are no pilferages in distribution of food commodities in these program as well.

9. Cashless AePDS: The AePDS program in Krishna is also leveraging the Jandhan –Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) trinity to facilitate Cashless transactions in PDS so that   beneficiaries can directly pay for their rations from their bank accounts.

10. Sustainability and Scalability: The AePDS program is very much sustainable and economically viable. This can be validated from the fact that Krishna district was      able to save Rs.88.9 crores worth of subsidy in the last 15 months from May 2015.Compared to this savings, the installation cost for setting up infrastructure like computers and peripherals, ePoS devices, Iris scanners is negligible. 

11. Replication in Andhra Pradesh

            The AePDS program, after its success in Krishna district, got replicated in all the 13 districts across the Andhra Pradesh in Oct 2015. All the 28,642 fair price shops in    Andhra Pradesh deliver ration through online aadhaar biometric authentication.This has provided a great impetus to effective delivery of services under PDS. The state government is able to save approximately Rs.1200 crores worth subsidy since its roll-out in the state.  Nearly 3.8 crore PDS beneficiaries in Andhra Pradesh receive their food entitlements in a hassle-free and comfortable way, importantly,   in-time from any fair price shop outlet of the state of their choice.

12. Recognition at National and International Level

            Ever since the implementation of AePDS program in Krishna district, the program   has been well appreciated among various levels of governance. Many senior dignitaries including the Chief Economic Advisor to the Honourable Prime Minister, Shri. Arvind Subramian visited Krishna to see implementation of AePDS. Senior   Financial analysts from World Bank, US Consulate, Secretaries of Central and State governments have visited Krishna for studying the program. A high level team of Tanzanian officials have also come for a field-level study the program. Implementation of AePDS is being documented by World Bank as one of success     stories with potential to be replicated in other countries as part of its ID4D –Identity for Development initiative.