UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME: INDIA’S TRYST WITH UBI

Published On : 04 August, 2017

A universal basic income (UBI) or a basic income (also called unconditional basic income, basic income guarantees, Citizen’s income or universal grant) is a periodic cash payment or a form of social security which is paid on an unconditional basis to the citizens or the residents either from the government or any other public institution without test or work requirement. It is argued that a basic income is a much more transparent and simple welfare system than the one existing in the welfare states around the world today. Instead of several welfare programs, there should be a universal unconditional grant. Moreover, Basic income and growth (or BIG) allows for prospective economic growth and so it may encourage individuals to invest in themselves by acquiring greater skills which would broaden their employment prospects which, in turn, could trigger growth. 
What will happen in India if UBI is implemented?
Despite 950 Central sector and centrally sponsored schemes, and the ever increasing allocations directed towards their efficient functioning, poverty remains one of the major challenges that the country faces today. This coupled with the widening gulf between the rich and the poor has added to the complexities involved. As per the Economic Survey of India 2016-17, there are some points favoring UBI such as
UBI treats the individual and not the household as the focal unit of beneficiary, which could relatively enhance the position of women in the household.
UBI aims to serve the purpose of upholding social justice and equality by ensuring a basic standard of living for all individuals in an era of uncertain employment generation.

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