In India, presently the most important document that is considered as a proof of identity is Aadhaar Card. We hear this word every now and then in our everyday lives where it is needed very often to do certain important activities. But what is an Aadhaar? And why is it so important? Let us see the same below in brief.

What is an Aadhaar and why is it important?

Aadhaar Card is a 12-digits unique number that is issued to Indian citizens by UIDAI, together with the children as well as the infants, based on their biometric data like fingerprints, eye scan, etc and demographic information. Applying Aadhaar is voluntary and is free of cost. Any individual, irrespective of his or her gender and age, being a resident of the country, may willingly enrol to obtain an Aadhaar number. Aadhaar number is verifiable online as well as cost-effective. Aadhaar’s exclusiveness helps to remove duplicates and untruthful identities and is used as the main enabler for rolling out many Government welfare programs for improved service distribution. Universally this is the primary step of its kind, where a digital online Id is provided free at a large scale to Indian residents. Aadhaar identity comes with its inherent features of uniqueness, authentication, financial information and e-KYC. Another important document in India is the Ration card which is again an important document. Let us see what a Ration Card is.

What is a Ration Card?

Ration card is an authorized document issued by the particular State Governments in India to the households that are entitled to buying subsidized food grain from the PDS System- Public Distribution System under the National Food Security Act. It also serves as a common way of identification for several Indians.

Scope of Ration Card

Ration Card is a voluntary document and it is not a compulsory one for every resident Indian to own one. Ration cardholders are entitled to purchase subsidized food grains from the Public Distribution System. Ration cards have manifold groups and are issued basis the earning capacity of the concerned individuals in a particular household. Different states follow diverse schemes and they are issued on the basis of the yearly income of the holder, number of members in the household, etc. According to the National Food Security Act -NFSA, state governments across the country must identify those families which are eligible for buying subsidized food grains from the Public Distribution System and must offer them ration cards. Currently, there are two types of ration cards under the NFSA.

Rationale behind the concept of having a Ration Card in India:

Ration cards are used by people to get the food at a subsidized rate as mentioned above. But, in reality, it’s been observed that in certain cases, a person gets more than one ration card because of which other eligible families are not able to avail of the benefits. To tackle such instances, the government has decided to link aadhaar to the ration card. Ration card is the oldest document that is treated as proof of residence in India and therefore, the ration card aadhaar link will not only help to obtain a range of benefits but also it will help to stop fraud. 

Here we will talk more about the ration card aadhaar link and understand the same.

How to link aadhaar to ration card?

There are two ways by which you can link aadhaar to ration card. One is online and the second one is offline. Let us see the process one by one in detail as below.

  1. Online Process

    You need to follow the below-mentioned steps to link aadhaar to ration card via online mode: 

    1. Visit the official website of UIDAI – Aadhar Card
    2. Click on the option ‘Start Now’ 
    3. After the above step, fill your address details with the respective district and the state
    4. Choose the type of benefit as ‘Ration Card’ from the options available
    5. Select the scheme name as ‘Ration Card’
    6. Now, you need to enter your ration card number, aadhaar number, e-mail address, and your mobile number
    7. A one-time password or OTP will be sent to your cell number which you need to enter in the respective space
    8. Enter the OTP and after this, you will receive a notification that will be shown notifying the completion of your application procedure
    9. After you complete the above step, your application will be substantiated and after successful authentication, the process of ration card aadhaar link will be completed
  2. Offline Process

    You need to follow the below-mentioned steps to link aadhaar to ration card via online mode: 

    1. You need to visit your next-door Public Distribution System or PDS Centre or Ration Shop
    2. Bring duplicates of the aadhaar card for all your family members, a passport-sized photograph of the head of the family and the ration card
    3. If your bank account is not linked with your aadhaar, you need to submit a copy of your passbook
    4. Submit all the applicable documents at the PDS shop together with a copy of your aadhaar card number
    5. Respective officers will capture your biometric details like your fingerprints and will verify the same for Aadhaar authentication
    6. After the completion of the above step and after you submit all the documents, an SMS would be sent to the registered mobile number in your Aadhaar. You will get an additional SMS once the ration card aadhaar link is completed

Documents required for ration card aadhaar link

The documents for the ration card aadhaar link are very simple and easy. All you need to do is to carry a couple of important documents. You would need the below documents to do a ration card aadhaar link

  1. Copies of all Aadhaar cards for all the family members 
  2. Copy of Aadhaar card for the head of the family 
  3. Passport size photograph for the head of the family
  4. Copy of the Ration card with the original one as well that will be needed for authentication
  5. If your bank account is not linked with your aadhaar card, then bank passbook copy will be needed

Why is the ration card aadhaar link important

There is a major reason why the Government of India has taken this initiative to do ration card aadhaar link. By doing the aadhaar card link to the ration card, the government will be in a position to stop those occurrences where people get multiple ration cards. Furthermore, the government will also be able to prevent individuals who are unentitled to get a ration card as their income is greater than the ration limits. By doing this, the government wants to make sure that subsidized fuel or the food grains are received by only deserving people and they are not deprived of getting the benefit. 

The second and important reason is that the ration card also acts as a proof of identity and address in addition to other vital documents like a passport or a PAN card. Elimination of duplicate ration cards.

Pros and Cons of ration card aadhaar link

Advantages

  • Removal of duplicate ration cards 
  • Issuance of numerous ration cards under one name can be easily cancelled
  • Deviation and seepage of PDS ration can be controlled 
  • Linking of Aadhaar Card with a Ration Card helps to stop the fake activities
  • Biometric empowered supply system will assist the PDS to recognize the true beneficiaries and thereby helping in rationalizing the benefits consequently
  • Aadhar card helps in making an audit track in the PDS thus detecting and eradicating dishonest middlemen and this certainly help in having more efficiency in the entire distribution framework

Disadvantages

Although, there are several advantages of the process of ration card aadhaar link, however, the process has some disadvantages as below:

  • If there is any unauthorized access to the biometrics of any individual, then someone else might misuse it to avail the benefit
  • Since, all the records are maintained centrally, there might be a situation where some stringent rules are levied which might cause inconvenience to the people
  • Poor people may find it difficult do this, as most of the population is uneducated and they are not aware or rather understands the entire process 
  • Additionally, there are many rural areas where the facility of Aadhaar is still yet to reach and hence individuals from these zones are deprived of obtaining the benefits connected with Aadhaar

Things to remember for doing a ration card aadhaar link

  1. You must remember to carry your original as well as the photocopies of the ration card
  2. Individual with a higher earning capability as pre arranged by the individual state government will not be able to get rations at a subsidized cost
  3. Using the Aadhaar registered mobile number is needed
  4. Since, the system is biometric based, you must make sure that right person is giving his or her biometrics in order to rightly avail the facility of getting subsidized food

So, now we know the various aspects of ration card aadhaar link, let us make sure to link aadhaar to ration card and help the PDS system to be transparent and focus on distributing the benefits to the deserving candidates.


FAQ’s

No, it is not mandatory to link aadhaar to the ration card.


Yes, it is a must as doing this will authenticate the details of you as an aadhaar holder and this will help to complete the process of ration card aadhaar link.


Priority Ration Card is issued to those families that meet the eligibility condition as established by the particular state government. Under this, each household is eligible to obtain 5 kilograms of food grains for each member. Priority Ration Cardholders also may link aadhaar to ration card, however, they will get the benefit only as set by the government.


AAY or the Antyodaya card is issued to those families who are considered as the “poorest of the poor”. All AAY families are eligible to obtain 35 kilograms of food grains.


Yes, any Indian Citizens can hold a ration card.