ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Biometric Electronic Point of Sale Machines and Food Security

We evaluate the impact of the electronic point of sale machines installed in fair price shops in India in improving the nutritional status of the beneficiaries using statewise data from the National Data and Analytics Platform. Through the treatment effects model, the results highlight that the use of technology in the public distribution system can also improve the condition of children and aid genuine beneficiaries apart from reducing the leakages.

The authors thank the reviewer for their helpful comments regarding the methodology used in the article.

It is an ongoing debate among academicians and practitioners that the targeted programmes towards alleviating poverty would substantially improve the welfare of the poor, especially the nutritional status of the beneficiaries (Kochar 2005). One of India’s most extensive anti-poverty programmes is the public distribution system (PDS). However, in 1997, because of a lack of budget, the government introduced targeted PDS (TPDS) by refocusing only on poor households. One serious concern is that the TPDS programme fails to provide benefits for the poor because of the various leakages (primarily the misuse of above-poverty-line quota) in the system (Drèze and Khera 2015). The national food security act enforced the use of biometric electronic point of sale (E-PoS) machines in fair price shops to ensure transparency in the TPDS (Masiero and Prakash 2015). The existing literature does provide several insights regarding the digitisation of TPDS and its functioning and ability to reduce leakages (Masiero 2015). However, an evaluation of the impact of the E-PoS in TPDS in improving the nutritional status of the beneficiaries is still missing. Thus, the primary goal of this article is to fill this gap by studying the relationship between E-PoS and children’s nutritional status, as assessed through anthropometric measurements. Further, the methodological goal of this article is to evaluate the nutritional quality of the beneficiaries before and after the introduction of E-PoS.

Data and Methodology

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Updated On : 21st Aug, 2023
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