Role and Effectiveness of Public Distribution System in Assuring Food Security in India: An Appraisal

Sarbapriya Ray, Ishita Aditya Ray


Despite huge stocks of food grains and age old system of public distribution, hunger and malnutrition still persist in various parts of India. The difference across states has also complicated matters further to the detriment of the poor. At this very outset, India is facing the problem of food insecurity for quite some long period of time. Food security is one of the basic criteria for the formation and improvement of human capital and also productivity of human being. In precise term, food security is supposed to exist  when all people , at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient ,safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. The most important medium through which government ensures food security at micro level is the Public Distribution System (PDS). But, in India, the working of public distribution system and other government policies have not been successful in achieving food security at the desired level. In this backdrop, this paper tries to analyse the food security condition of the country during the last few decades and the working of PDS with some macro measures. More specifically, this paper tries to identify food insecure population of the country, analyse the availability, storage, procurement of food grain , assess the effectiveness of PDS, identify the discrepancies in the system, find ways to remove the anomalies and to make the delivery mechanism more effective.

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