PDS Traceability and Blockchain

Subsidized rationing or Public Distribution System (PDS) forms the core of survival for many families. The manual ration distribution mechanism had some flaws that don’t guarantee ration access to beneficiaries while ensuring lack of transparency & grievance redressal mechanism and leakages in the supply chain of food grains, maximizing loss to the public exchequers. Digitization seemed to be the way forward to eradicate the overall inefficiencies.

Digitization of PDS was initiated to track the movement of food grains to their designated beneficiaries and weed out fake or duplicated ration cards from the system. This digitization also revolutionized the supply chain with automated public distribution supply by plugging in existing leakages.

A primary issue of the existing PDS is the lack of transparency in the entire supply chain process; most of the flaws or manipulations occur at different stages. Blockchain could manage ration supply more efficiently and crystal clear Transparency using distributed ledger technology (DLT). A decentralized platform could track and record the supply chain process from procurement till ration disbursement.

Challenges with the PDS System in India

  • Identification of beneficiaries: Studies have shown that targeting mechanisms such as TPDS are prone to significant inclusion and exclusion errors. This implies that entitled beneficiaries are not getting food grains while ineligible are getting undue benefits.
  • Leakage of food grains: (Transportation leakages + Black Marketing by FPS owners) TPDS suffers from significant leakages of food grains during transportation to and from ration shops into the open market. In an evaluation of TPDS, the erstwhile Planning Commission found 36% leakage of PDS rice and wheat at the all-India level.
  • The procurement issue: Open-ended Procurement, i.e., all incoming grains accepted even if buffer stock is filled, creates a shortage in the open market.
  • Issues with storage: A performance audit by the CAG has revealed a severe shortfall in the government’s storage capacity.
  • Environmental issues: The over-emphasis on attaining self-sufficiency and a surplus in water-intensive food grains is environmentally unsustainable.
 

Problem Statement

Ability to Track and Trace Food grains in the Public Distribution System

Proposed Solution

Using emerging technologies such as Blockchain for additional security addresses the critical challenge of Transparency. 

The Need for Blockchain Technology

Introducing a Blockchain-based framework can be an effective solution for bridging loopholes in the Public Distribution supply chain. It will help design a structured and integrated process that can remove the inconsistencies with the provision of uniform procedures and solutions.

With Blockchain, a decentralized mechanism can be introduced to provide secured transactions and keep track of ration while creating a secured framework. Nodes at designated processes can review and verify the updates. Every transactional detail of the produce gets recorded in the digital ledger, simultaneously helping track the status.

TRST01 Platform

TRST01 blockchain-enabled traceability platform describes a digital platform that will gather verified data from the production to the distribution chain to allow customers to trace in details of the production process until the sales to have a quality and controlled product. The unified cloud blockchain platform ensures all data points in the supply chain to be securely stored and accessed. TRST01 platform’s primary goal is to create traceability throughout the entire chain, from end to end, with Transparency for the consumer as the main benefit.

Prospective Benefits:

  • Decentralized mechanism securing the whole system against network and system failures
  • Security from the prevailing several cyber threats 
  • Eradication of adulteration, black marketing, and theft of produce
  • Uniform system, facilitating migrants of service delivery across India
  • No fake sales bookings
  • Ease of monitoring and tracking for Governments
  • Effective logistical planning

The way blockchain technology (BCT) brings a revolution in the world can be a ray of hope for the Indian government. BCT stores every information in electronic format, and once the data is stored on a blockchain, it’s immutable (as it works on consensus algorithms). All the information is shared with the complete network and is accessible to all; thus, it inhibits fraud. 

Smart contracts are self-executed codes based on BCT that help eliminate intermediaries and maintain the process swiftly and as per the encoded information. If we design a smart contract for PDS or MGNREGA, identifying beneficiaries to disbursal subsidies, everything gets done using self-executed codes written on the Blockchain. The need for involving middlemen can be eliminated by adopting BCT.

Conclusion: 

The full potential of the food security scheme can only be realized if target homes are properly identified, the distribution system is modernized, and the food security program is effectively monitored. The lack of continuous monitoring of products can result in the delivery of counterfeit products to the customer. Hence the high level of traceability implementation using Blockchain can give all the sectors the competitive advantage and help manage their inventory better. TRST01 is determined to provide convergence technology through its solution platform for two critical goals of the public distribution system: food security and Nutrition Safety.

BLOCKCHAIN VERIFY

 By Ananth Iyer  Management Trainee TRST01 

Write to us journey@trst01.com

Share Blog on:

Sailaja

Sailaja is a successful entrepreneur who believes in her passion and dedication. She has a master in business management from Herriot Watt University. She worked as a CEO for a Pharma chain in Hyderabad, and years later, she pursued her dream for pastry and got a degree in pastry from Le Cordon Bleu College, London. She started and established her patisserie in Hyderabad, getting the tastes from Global travel, infused her finesse to products taking her brand a notch higher.

Sheetal Srikanth

Sheetal is a Go-To-Market Management professional backed by over 15+ years of professional experience in building and maintaining relationships with company’s client; identify customer needs and exceed client expectations by prioritizing and meeting critical deadlines. Focus on achieving Customer Success, in various roles starting with Customer Acquisition, Account Management, Client Partner and Partner Management. Experience in working with fortune 100 companies, on Multicultural teams globally deployed globally. Sheetal has been supporting customers directly across NA, Canada, APAC regions and has experience working in Consumer Products, Services, Hi-Tech, Public Sector, and Manufacturing. She Has enriching experience working within the start-up ecosystem to deriving required results, ensuring seamless communication with Customers, Partners and Internal stakeholders. Sheetal is an Alumni of Macquarie Graduate School of Management- MGSM, Sydney with a Post Graduate Degree in computer Applications.

Krishna Vallapu

Krishna Vallapu is a technology evangelist and Entrepreneur, graduated from Nagarujuna University and trained in IIM, Ahmedabad. Proven track record in building futuristic products, surpassing goals, and expectations for quality. Superior expertise with developer supervision and client relations. Out of box thinker who thrives in collaborative environments, working across business and technical teams.

Inder Davalur

Inder has an MBA in Finance in India. Utilizing his Finance background he rose through the ranks in the banking sector in the US and then after receiving his MS in Healthcare Services Administration he started his career in healthcare at the Tufts Medical Center, Boston. 

Inder’s growing understanding of the expanding role of technology in healthcare caught the attention of the bureacracy and was invited to work on the Patient Privacy and Electronic Records Committee for the State of Massachusetts and later on at the State of Georgia Department of Health and Human Services. These were in the years immediately preceding the development and roll-out of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Sensing a rise in ERP movement, Inder joined a software company and worked on managing ERP solutions projects in the manufacturing sector where his clients included the Coca Cola Company, Sara Lee, International Paper, Siemens (Canada) etc .

In 2008 he came to India with the aim of realizing his cherished dream of working in India. He served as the CEO of a EMR software company, and later on led the Digital Transformation at several hospital groups as a group CIO and Vice President. Inder has to his credit, several published articles in national and international healthcare technology management and as an invited speaker at various private and government conferences. He has also been cited in several articles and studies including one at the National Library of Medicine in the USA. 

In his spare time Inder indulges in travel and reading.

Puru Modani

A versatile and passionate leader with 20+ years of expertise in IT Business & Product Strategy, Market Access & Distribution models and Talent Acquisition. Seasoned Investor.  Founded multiple successful businesses & Angel Networks.

An IIM – K alumnus, before embarking on his successful multi sector entrepreneurship journey, Puru served various Fortune 500 companies in Senior Leadership roles. His last corporate stint was with Bank of America.

Suraj Teja P.

Suraj is an entrepreneur, with more than 2 decades of experience in creating various successful enterprises, a seasoned investor funded multiple startups, specialize in creating healthcare delivery infrastructure, board member and strategic advisor, skilled in Healthcare, Telecom, IT Strategy and Market outreach.

Naveen Kadiyala

A Technology Leader and Entrepreneur with a proven track record of building and managing innovative solutions in digital content delivery. Demonstrated history of delivering strategic solutions in Cable, Media & Entertainment industries. Expertise in building interactive ad solutions, advertising platforms, Live Streaming(QAM, OTT, PPV), subscription-based Video (SVOD, AVOD, TVOD) services, Cloud DVR, and Broadband/WiFi services at scale across a multitude of infrastructure options(On-Prem, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Native, Cloud Agnostic). A strong business development professional and an entrepreneur at heart with a Master of Technology focused in Computer Science from Birla Institute of Technology.

Prabir Mishra

An Investment Banker, Startup coach, Mentor, Strategic planner. Sector expertise  Social, Agritech, Edutech, Healthcare, eGov Strategic Planner, M&A, Transaction Structuring, negotiations and valuation, An IIM-A Alumni with more than two decades of experience.