The Honorable Supreme Court of India clearly directed the states and associated Union territories must exercise the One Nation, One Ration Card (ONORC) program. This will come as a handy tool for migrant labor and workers to get the subsidized rations in every place even if they are outside from their home state. In this regard, High Court took serious note of the delay in the system development life cycle of the software. This software is essential to enroll laborers or workers in any sector even in the unorganized sector. It is the government’s mission to develop a complete national database. Both the honorable court asked the Government to explain its plan to deliver the free grain until November 2021. The overall purpose of such direction is migrant workers who mostly are in trouble due to not having ration cards.
Similarly, on a fresh application submitted by activists JagdeepChhokar, Anjali Bharadwaj, and Harsh Mander, the vacation bench concluded its verdict. The bench includes MR Shah and Ashok Bhushan. This application was to give direction to the government of the center and states regarding cash transfers, food security, transport/ travel facilities, and various social welfare steps or measures so that migrant workers can help out in this difficult pandemic situation across the country.
Further vacation bench asked the activists, states, and the center to file a written note in this regard. This hearing was in connection to the suomotu case filled in 2020 on account of the issues migrant workers are facing with specific reference to the corona pandemic prevailing in the country. Solicitor General Mr. Tushar Mehta was also present at the hearing. He was presenting the central government and explained to the honorable court that so far big states such as West Bengal, Assam, Chhattisgarh, and Delhi have not employed the scheme of ONORC (one nation one ration card).
However, the counsel for Delhi rejected the argument and said ONORC has been implemented in the state. But on the other hand, the West Bengal counsel replied that it has not been implemented yet due to seeding issues of the Aadhaar number. Over this argument, the bench criticized the state by saying that you are doing this since August last year and still you need time to complete the implementation. In such a difficult time of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a dire need to implement the One nation one ration card scheme as soon as possible. But the way states are working, this seems to be implemented even at the end of this year.
It is the government’s responsibility to provide welfare schemes to immigrant workers no matter where they exist at the moment. The scheme of ONORC can be implemented only if the Aadhaar number and ratio card numbers can be linked with each other. This will make ration card details accessible from Aadhaar number in any part of India. The immigrant workers can then utilize the welfare scheme of the government in any part of India due to central ONORC software.