What is the Public Distribution System?

  • The food procured by the FCI is distributed through g overnment-regulated ration shops among the poorer section of society. This is called the Public Distribution System (PDS).

  • Ration shops also, known as Fair Price Shops , keep stock of food grains, sugar, and kerosene for cooking. These items are sold to people at a price lower than the market price.

  •  Any family with a ration card* can buy a stipulated amount of these items (e.g. 35 kg of grains, 5 litres of kerosene, 5 kg of sugar, etc.) every month from the nearby ration shop.

Note: There are three kinds of ration cards:

  1. Antyodaya cards for the poorest of the poor
  2. BPL cards for those below the poverty line
  3. APL cards for all others
  • The introduction of Rationing in India dates back to the 1940s against the backdrop of the Bengal famine.

  • In the wake of the high incidence of poverty levels, as reported by the NSSO in the mid-1970s, three important food intervention programs were introduced:

    Public Distribution System (PDS) for food grains (in existence earlier but strengthened thereafter);

    Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) (introduced in 1975 on an experimental basis) and

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

  •  Employment programs greatly contribute to food security by increasing the income of the poor.


                             “The National Food Security Act, 2013”

This act provides for food and nutritional security lies at affordable prices and enables people to live a life with dignity. Under this act, 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population have been categorized as eligible households for food security.


Ask a doubt
Davneet Singh's photo - Co-founder, Teachoo

Made by

Davneet Singh

Davneet Singh has done his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He has been teaching from the past 14 years. He provides courses for Maths, Science, Social Science, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science at Teachoo.