Far from what is needed to realize its ambitious vision, the Survey proposes a cash transfer with a dubious ability to compensate beneficiaries for the transition costs of moving to a new system, and one that would be financed by an indiscriminate culling of existing welfare schemes.
While there is much uncertainty about its final form, it is clear that the quest for universal basic income involves navigating the tricky waters of weak state capacity and the urgency of improving India’s existing welfare architecture.
Public debate around a universal basic income—periodic and unconditional cash payments to all citizens—has grown significantly after the 2016-17 Economic Survey outlined such a scheme for India.
Several commentators have remarked that Universal Basic Income functions as a Rorschach test for the welfare state, given that it draws its support from a diverse ideological coalition that sees it as mediating their own preferred versions of an ideal society.
The idea of a universal basic income (UBI)—periodic and unconditional cash payments to all citizens—has gained renewed attention amid growing concerns about technological unemployment in advanced economies.
Building a more conducive regulatory environment for businesses has been a critical reform area for India, particularly in an innovation-led economy increasingly dependent on entrepreneurship.
The Indian, Japanese, and U.S. effort to connect the Pacific and Indian Oceans could be an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative and enhance the bargaining power of small countries vis-a-vis Beijing.
When the Doing Business report comes out this month, the nuances inherent in the data will likely be neglected by commentators looking to score points for one side or the other. Calmer heads should keep certain points in mind.
Having drawn up the intent and will to develop the Andamans, New Delhi will now have to build its smart islands with cooperation from its maritime partners. The strategic development of these islands is no longer an option but a necessity.
The government has been working to effect a radical shift in Indian energy production and consumption patterns to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.