Ration Card

A Ration Card is an official document issued by the government of a country that entitles a household to obtain essential food grains and other basic provisions such as sugar, kerosene, and cooking oil at a subsidized rate from government-run ration shops. Ration cards are primarily meant to ensure that the poor and the economically weaker sections of society have access to essential food and supplies at affordable prices. In India, for example, Ration Cards are issued by the state governments to households below the poverty line or to those who belong to economically weaker sections of society. There are three types of ration cards issued in India: Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) cards for the poorest households, Priority Household (PHH) cards for those above the poverty line but still economically vulnerable, and Non-Priority Household (NPHH) cards for those above the poverty line. The type of card issued depends on the income and other criteria specified by the state governments. (Let see our other Gov eServices article)

Ration Card as a Gov Services


Aim of Ration Card

A ration card is a government-issued document that provides subsidized food and other essential commodities to eligible households. The aim of a ration card is to ensure food security for the poor and disadvantaged sections of society by providing them with a minimum amount of essential commodities at affordable prices. The ration card also serves as proof of identity and address for the cardholder, making it easier for them to access government services and subsidies. The primary objective of the ration card system is to ensure that no one goes hungry or faces starvation due to lack of access to affordable food.

Need of Ration Card

A ration card is a document issued by the government that enables the cardholder to purchase essential commodities such as food grains, sugar, kerosene, etc., at subsidized rates from the Public Distribution System (PDS). The PDS is a government-sponsored program that provides food and other essential items at affordable prices to the economically weaker sections of the society.

The primary need for a ration card is to ensure that the needy and deserving sections of the society have access to basic food and other essentials at affordable rates. The ration card serves as a tool for identifying the beneficiaries of the PDS and prevents the diversion of subsidized goods to the black market.

Apart from this, a ration card can also serve as a proof of identity and address for various government schemes and services. It can be used as a valid document for availing benefits such as subsidized LPG connections, electricity and water connections, and scholarships for students from economically weaker sections.

Overall, the ration card plays a crucial role in ensuring food security and providing social welfare benefits to the needy sections of society.

Features of Ration Card

A ration card is a document issued by the government that enables the holder to purchase essential food items at subsidized rates from government-run fair price shops. The features of a ration card can vary depending on the country or state issuing it, but some common features are:

  1. Identification: A ration card typically includes the name, address, and photograph of the cardholder.
  2. Family Details: A ration card may also include the names of all family members living with the cardholder.
  3. Card type: Ration cards are typically classified into categories based on income and family size. The card type will be mentioned on the card.
  4. Ration shop details: The name and address of the fair price shop where the cardholder can purchase subsidized food items will be mentioned on the card.
  5. Food entitlement: The type and quantity of food items that the cardholder is entitled to purchase at subsidized rates will be mentioned on the card.
  6. Validity: The validity period of the ration card will also be mentioned on the card.

It’s important to note that these features can vary from country to country, and even from state to state within a country.

Official Poster

List of Documents

  • Ration Card Form
  • Form fill on the name of “Head of family meber” (Suggest Ladies)
  • a family photo
  • Aadhar of every member

Application Procedure

The application procedure for a ration card may vary slightly depending on the state or territory you live in, but generally, the process involves the following steps:

  1. Obtain the application form: You can get the application form for a ration card from your nearest Public Distribution System (PDS) office or from the official website of your state government.
  2. Fill out the form: Fill out the application form with all the required details, such as your name, address, family details, income details, and any other information as required.
  3. Attach documents: Attach the required documents, such as proof of identity, proof of residence, income certificate, and other supporting documents, as per the instructions on the application form.
  4. Submit the form: Once you have completed the application form and attached all the necessary documents, submit the form to the nearest PDS office or online as per the state’s guidelines.
  5. Verification: After submission of the application, the authorities will verify the information provided in the form and the attached documents.
  6. Receive the Ration Card: Once the verification process is complete, you will receive your ration card.

Note that the time taken to issue a ration card may vary depending on the state and the verification process. You may also have to pay a fee for the application or the card itself, as per the state’s regulations.


A ration card is a government-issued document that enables eligible households to purchase essential food items at subsidized rates from designated Fair Price Shops. Here are some of the benefits of having a ration card:

  1. Subsidized food items: Ration cardholders can purchase food items like rice, wheat, sugar, and kerosene at subsidized rates. This helps to ensure that even low-income families can access essential food items.
  2. Priority in emergencies: During natural disasters or other emergencies, ration cardholders are given priority in the distribution of relief materials like food and water.
  3. Identity proof: Ration cards also serve as a valid form of identity proof, which can be useful when applying for other government schemes or services.
  4. Eligibility for other schemes: Ration cardholders may also be eligible for other government schemes and programs like healthcare benefits, education scholarships, and housing subsidies.
  5. Prevention of hoarding and black marketing: Ration cards help to prevent hoarding and black marketing of essential commodities, as the government can keep track of the quantities of food items distributed through the ration shops.


In summary, a ration card can provide access to subsidized food items, priority during emergencies, identity proof, eligibility for other schemes, and help prevent hoarding and black marketing.

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