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Kerala govt, WFP launch Rs 250 crore project to make ration shops paperless

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paper records no more?
paper records no more?

By NewsGram Staff Writer

The Kerala government, supported by the UN World Food Programme (WFP), has launched a Rs 250 crore project to ensure that the 14,000 ration shops in the state turn paperless, a Kerala minister said.

Speaking to IANS, State Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Anup Jacob said the pilot project in this regard has been launched and at the moment the computerization process has begun at 14 selected ration shops.

“We expect to finish the pilot project in a matter of three months and after that we will go for the state-wide implementation which we expect to finish in a year’s time. The funds for this project are not a problem as the Centre will provide them in instalments. Besides, the state government is also sharing the cost,” said Jacob.

Elaborating, Jacob said this is a project that will ensure that the state’s much-lauded public distribution system becomes more effective and transparent.

“As soon as an entry is made in a ration shop, it goes into the main server and gets accounted for in all concerned offices. All vehicles carrying food items for ration distribution would be monitored through a GPS system,” added Jacob.

The WFP is partnering the state government in its effort to improve transparency and efficiency in the delivery of food to 34 million people across the state.

“If this project to change the way food is delivered in Kerala is successful, it can be replicated in other parts of India. We are enthusiastic about this new project,” said Hameed Nuru, the WFP country director.

The WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger globally. On an average, the WFP reaches more than 90 million people with food assistance in 80 countries annually.

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Kerala Government Decides to Revise The List of Women Who Prayed at Sabarimala

The list of 51 women is not part of an affidavit but only referred to by the state government counsel in his arguments. Soon the list was highlighted in the media

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Image Source: Wikipedia Commons

Stung by widespread criticism over the numerous errors in the list of women who prayed at the Sabrimala temple, the Kerala government has decided to re-prepare the list.

A counsel of state government had presented the list in the Supreme Court on Friday, which reportedly had discrepancies in the age and names of women. The list was taken from the records of the online system, through which pilgrims register for having “darshan”.

The row erupted over flaws in the actual age of some of the 51 women, whom the counsel had referred to in the list as “banned” — on account of they being of menstruating age group of 10 to 50 years — who prayed at the temple this season.

State police chief Loknath Behera on Saturday asked senior officials to revise the list, which included even the name of men, besides several of the women above 50.

State Devasom (temples) Minister Kadakampally Surendran told the media that his department has no role in the preparation of the list, while the president of the Travancore Devasom Board – custodian of the temple, A. Padmakumar said they are not responsible for this as they do not prepare statistics of the pilgrims in the temple.

Kanam Rajendran, state secretary of the Communist Party of India – the second biggest ally of the ruling Pinarayi Vijayan government, said the entire responsibility of what has happened lies with the state government.

Sabarimala
Kerala to revise list of women who prayed at Sabarimala.

But the Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan, the closest aide of Vijayan, defended him by saying that it is not just 51 women, but so many women have had “darshan” at the temple.

Kanaka Durga and Bindu Ammini, both in the “banned” age group of 10 to 50 years, prayed at the Sabarimala temple.

It was after they approached the apex court seeking security for having safe “darshan” that a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari directed the state government to arrange adequate protection for them.

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The list of 51 women is not part of an affidavit but only referred to by the state government counsel in his arguments. Soon the list was highlighted in the media.

“This goof-up reveals the abject failure of the way Vijayan is running the state,” said state BJP president P.S. Sreedharan Pillai.  (IANS)