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Food Security Card – Everything You Need to Know

Tanya Verma

| Updated: Jul 09, 2019 | Category: FSSAI Food License

Food Security Card

Concerned about the scarcity of food for poor people in India and how it will turn out to be in the future? Food Security Card is the answer. The Indian government has launched the concept of Food Security Card under the Food Security Act, 2013. Let us know what it covers and how it will help the sparse class population of our country. Also, we will see how it is different from the ration cards which you might own.

What is a Food Security Card and How it is Different from a Ration Card?

The Food Security Card is introduced by the Telangana Government, which ensures that every person gets foods that meet the dietary needs of a human body. It is a legal document that helps people under a specified/ prescribed category to buy commodities in a subsidized price. Moreover, it is a multipurpose card also used as a proof of identity just like the ration card. It even serves as an identity proof for the whole family.  

What is Ration Card?

A Ration Card is a document provided to households eligible to buy listed items from the public distribution systems. The state governments issue it under the National Food Security Act {NFSA}, 2013.

There are two kinds of Ration Cards under the National Food Security Act, 2013;

  • Priority Ration Card

Eligible households receive this card. The respective state government specifies the eligibility criteria. Cardholders can claim 5 Kgs of food grains per family member.

  • Antyodaya {AAY}

The “poorest of poor” households get this type of ration card. Each house carrying an AAY card is allowed to buy 35 Kgs of food grains.

A Brief Introduction of Food Security Act 2013

Parliament of India enacted The National Food Security Act signed into law on 12 September 2013. But it is retroactive to 5 July 2013. In short, this act ensures that no household stays hungry in India. You might know this act by the name Right to Food Act.

This act now covers the existing food security programs like Midday Meal Scheme, Integrated Child Development Services Scheme and the Public Distribution Systems

The main aims of this act are;

  • Providing food to all households
  • Ensuring a healthy life of people
  • Also ensuring availability, access, utilization, and stability of food

Some of the essential features of this act are;

  • Entitlement and coverage under the Targeted Public Distribution System
  • Revision of subsidized prices under TPDS
  • Identification of eligible households by state governments
  • Providing nutritional support to women and children
  • Providing maternity benefits to pregnant women
  • Entitlement of the eldest women above 18 years of age as head of the household for the Empowerment of women.
  • A penalty is imposed on the public servant/ concerned authority who fails to comply with the rules of this act. The State Food Commission imposes this penalty.
  • In the case of non-supply of entitled foodgrains, there is a provision for food security allowance to the entitled beneficiaries, etc.

Purpose/ Benefits of a Food Security Card

Basic features of food security card are as follows;

  • It ensures that the eligible category of people get the listed commodities like rice, fertilizers, sugar, kerosene, etc. in Telangana
  • It can be linked with AADHAR or bank account of the cardholder
  • It is accepted as a proof of identity of entire family members
  • The holder can buy listed items from fair price shops

The Concept of Beneficiaries for Food Security Card

The Telangana State Government has divided the beneficiaries into categories to ensure equitable distribution of Food Security Card. There are three categories of beneficiaries;

  • Above Poverty Line {APL}: TPDS does not cover these categories of households, and they are not provided with Food Security Cards.
  • Below Poverty Line {BPL}: This category is covered under TPDS, and they are provided the Food Security Card.
  • Anthodia Anna Yojna {AAY}: This category of FSC is for households which  are the poorest among the BPL families, for example;
    • Marginal farmers
    • Slum-dwellers
    • Destitute
    • Tribal households
    • Families consisting of a head who is terminally ill
    • Agricultural laborers who do not have their land
    • Rural craftsmen
    • Daily wagers

How to Get a Food Security Card?

Food Security Card

The procedure for a Food Security Card is as follows;

  • Visit the official website of the Government of Telangana
  • Download the Telangana New Food Security Card application form
  • Tick the checkbox next to FSC
  • Fill all the details required
  • Submit the filled form to the MeeSeva Centre near you
  • You need to submit Aadhar and Address proof along with application form mandatorily
  • The processing fee, including service and the statutory charge, is Rs. 35

How to Check the Status of Food Security Card?

You can check the current status of your application on the official EDPS website of Telangana. Let’s dig in deeper to know the steps:

  • Visit the official EDPS website
  • Log in into your account
  • Click on “FSC Application Search”
  • Select your district from the provided dropdown menu
  • Enter the application number. You receive the application number while submitting the application form
  • Click on the “Search” button to know the status of your application

Step by Step Procedure to download the Food Security Card

The steps to download the Telangana Food Security Card without going to the MeeSeva center are as follows;

  • Visit the official EDPS website
  • Log in into your account
  • Click on “FSC Application Search”
  • Select your district from the provided dropdown menu
  • Enter the FSR reference number/ Ration Card number to search for your card
  • Only the persons listed in the Telangana Ration Card list can apply for this card

Eligibility to apply for Food Security Card

Although the Food Security Card is for the betterment of the poor class and to ensure they get enough food, only the specified group of families are eligible. The eligibility criteria to apply for the same are;

  • Applicant should own a ration card
  • Also, the aspirant must not already possess an FSC
  • The applicant should be from the category as prescribed under the act
  • Recently married couples in Telangana are also eligible
  • Also, persons having a temporary or expired ration card can apply 

Also Read

Document Required to Apply For Food Security Card

There are several documents that you need to apply for a Food Security Card. These are namely;

  • Birth certificate
  • Photo of the applicant {head of the family}
  • Copy of expired/ existing ration card
  • Any government ID Proofs
    • Pan card
    • Passport
    • Driving license
    • Voter ID Card
  • Any address proof:
    • Telephone bill
    • Electricity bill
    • LPG bill
    • Copy of the Passbook
    • Copy of the rent agreement    

To Sum Up

In the end, we can say that a Food Security Card is provided to the sparse class population. It ensures that everyone gets healthy food, which is readily available to them. The Government of Telangana has taken serious steps to achieve the goals of the Food Security Act and provides every family with food. To make sure every family gets items listed on the card with ease, they introduced the concept of beneficiaries which grade people into categories based on their income.  Categorizing helps the government to distribute the FSC equitably.

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Tanya Verma

Tanya is working as writer & editor from past 2 years with experience in covering startup and technology related topics.

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