Topic – Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the
performance of these schemes
3) Direct income support has been cast as a panacea for ending mass poverty. Critically examine in this context the idea presented by Arvind Subramaniam and others regarding direct income support. (250 words)
Why this question
With elections round the corner, the issue of Direct income support has again come into the political limelight. This article examines the pros and cons of such a measure and will help you in building a perspective on the issue.
Key demand of the question
The question expects you to explain the contours of such a measure and thereafter, highlight the pros and cons of it. In the end, we need to provide a fair and balanced opinion about the utility of guaranteed basic income and discuss the way forward.
Critically examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic, get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any .When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Explain that Direct income support has become a major talking point and explain what it means.
- Explain the form that direct income support might take in the country. Explain the idea put forth by Arvind Subramaniam and others
- direct cash transfer to 60-80% of the rural poor that will work as an effective cushion against rural distress. Using an illustrative calculation, the article argues that annual transfer of ₹18,000 or ₹1,500 a month to three-fourths of the rural population can be covered at a fiscal cost of about 1.3% of gross domestic product (GDP), or ₹2.64 trillion in 2019-20 prices.
- Discuss the pros and cons of the idea of direct basic income. Highlight that the idea has been toyed around by members of Planning commission earlier.
Conclusion – Based on your discussion, give your opinion and discuss way forward.