PDS and TPDS - A Brief Overview

The Public Distribution System (PDS) which evolved as a system of management for food and distribution of food grains was relaunched as Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) in June 1997. This programme is controlled by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Government of India. TPDS emphasizes on the implementation and identification of the poor for proper arrangement and delivery of food grains. Therefore, the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) under the Government of India plays the same role as the PDS but adds a special focus on the people below the poverty line.

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The below-table will give a quick overview of Public Distribution System (PDS) and Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) in India

Difference between Public Distribution System and Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) Both PDS and TPDS have same role, TPDS focuses more on people below poverty line (BPL)
PDS relaunched as TPDS  In June 1997
Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) – Operated By TPDS is jointly operated by Central Government and State Government
Role of Central Govt in TPDS Procurement, Allocation, Transportation of food grains to Food Corporation of India (FCI)
Role of State Govt in TPDS Allocation, Distribution of Food grains, Identify beneficiaries, issue ration cards.
TPDS – Beneficiaries Beneficiaries Divided into 2 categories – Households Below Poverty Line and Households Above Poverty Line.

What is Targeted PDS?

Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) is jointly operated by Central and State Governments. The Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) came into operation in June 1997 under the Government of India with a focus on the poor. Under the operations of TPDS, the beneficiaries were divided into two categories:

  1. Households Below the poverty line (BPL)
  2. Households Above the poverty line (APL)

Central Government is responsible for

  1. Procurement of food grains
  2. Allocation of food grains
  3. Transportation of food grains to designated depots of Food Corporation of India (FCI).

State Government is responsible for

  1. Allocation and Distribution of foodgrains within the state.
  2. Identification of eligible beneficiaries.
  3. Issuance of ration cards.

Who Introduced the PDS System?

  1. PDS was introduced during the time of World War II. It was before the year 1960 that the distribution through PDS was dependant on imports of food grains.
  2. The Public Distribution System was then expanded in the 1960s to handle food shortages and take care of distribution.
  3. The Food Corporation of India and the Commission of Agricultural Costs and Prices were also set up by the government of India to improve domestic procurement and storage of food grains.
  4. It was during the 1970s when PDS evolved as a universal scheme for the distribution of food.

What is the Use of PDS?

There are several benefits of PDS

  1. It helps in maintaining the Food Security of the nation.
  2. It helps in making sure that food is available for the poor at affordable prices.
  3. Maintains buffer stock of food grains which will help during the lean season of crop production.

PDS – Recent News

  1. The protests against the Farm Bills have largely been seen as a farmers’ issue, especially in the States that formed the basis of the original Green Revolution: Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh. There were reports of fears that this affects the procurement system, and it could well impact the availability of foodgrains in the public distribution system, at a time when India ranks 94 out of 107 countries in the Global Hunger Index.
  2. Recently there were reports that Public Distribution System (PDS) has not yet reached remote bordering areas of Raisyabari causing problems for at least 3000 consumers in Dhalai district, in Tripura.
  3. As per recent media reports on PDS, the Covid-19 pandemic seems to have exposed gross irregularities in the public distribution system (PDS) in Cuttack district as 6,726 suspected ‘ghost’ beneficiaries had not availed their ration and lockdown assistance. 

Candidates can find the general pattern of the Civil Service Exam by visiting the UPSC Syllabus page.

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  1. Very useful. My concepts are clear now. Thank you BYJUS!