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Universal Basic Income

Topics Covered:

  1. Social empowerment.
  2. population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
  3. Effects of globalization on Indian society.
  4. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  5. Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.

 

Universal Basic Income

 

What to study?

  • For Prelims: UBI- key facts, achievements of Sikkim.
  • For Mains: UBI in India- need, concerns, challenges and alternatives.

 

Context: Sikkim’s ruling party, the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), recently declared to include the Universal Basic Income scheme in its manifesto ahead of the Assembly election in 2019 and aims to implement it by 2022. If everything goes according to the plan, it will be the first state to implement UBI in India.

Sikkim has set up examples in the country in different areas in the past also, some of them being:

  • Sikkim is the best state for women in the workplace, thanks to its high rates of female workforce participation, there’s less crime against women.
  • Sikkim’s literacy rate increased to 82.2% from 68.8% in 2001, among the country’s highest.
  • Sikkim is the least populated state in India, has its per capita GDP growing in double digits since 2004-05.
  • Sikkim also decreased its poverty ratio by 22% to 51,000 (8.2%) in 2011-12 from 1.7 lakh (30.9%) in 2004-05.
  • Sikkim also became the first fully organic state.

 

What is Universal Basic Income?

Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a programme for providing all citizens of a country or other geographic area/state with a given sum of money, regardless of their income, resources or employment status.

The main idea behind UBI is to prevent or reduce poverty and increase equality among citizens. The essential principle behind Universal basic income is the idea that all citizens are entitled to a livable income, irrespective of the circumstances they’re born in.

Sources: toi.

Mains Question: Examine the arguments in favour and against introduction of universal basic income.