|The Union Governments Rs. 75,000 crore income top-up for small and marginal farmers is not, in the truest sense of the term, a Universal Basic Income (UBI), but it has revived interest in UBI or, in the context of making it affordable, a modified UBI for the bottom 20 or 30% of the population.|
|Many have argued that a UBI, or even a modified UBI which promises a reasonable sum of money, is unaffordable and that it has unfortunate side effects in terms of the money being squandered, for instance.|
|The idea of a universal basic income was originally suggested by some French thinkers in the nineteenth century. This is very much on the agenda of green parties in Europe today. This is even more important in India because government mess up on distinguishing the poor from others.|
|Below poverty line (BPL) lists in most states exclude many poor people while many well-off families manage to bribe their way in. The move towards universal transfers can avoid the inefficiency and corruption in classifications such as BPL.|
|Going by the results of the Sewa Bharat-INBI pilot in Madhya Pradesh in 2012-13, and a follow up of it five years after it was over, suggests this may not be correct.|
|Sewa-INBI took up two types of villages in Madhya Pradesh for their pilot, one was a normal Indian village while the second was only inhabited by tribals.|
|In each case, a set of 'control' villages was identified where no UBI was given while the other set got a UBI for 12 to 17 months. Over 6,000 people got the UBI of Rs. 200 per adult and Rs. 100 per child; after a year, this was raised to Rs. 300 and Rs. 150-respectively-in the normal villages. In the tribal villages, the sum was kept at Rs. 300 and Rs. 150 in the 12-month period.|
|Since the pilot was done in the period of 2012-13, there was no government-induced push to PSU banks to open Jan Dhan Yojana accounts for people. Even at that point, however, 70% of the women in the UBI villages said they had no problem opening a bank account as compared to 44% in non-UBI or 'control' villages.|
|Similarly, while 61% of households in non-UBI villages said they faced considerable difficulty in withdrawing their money, only 27% in UBI villages faced difficulties.|
|And, though this was prior to the Swachh Bharat days, about 16% of the households in the UBI villages said they had made changes to their toilets by the end of the project, compared to only 10% in the control villages; amongst the households that had no toilet at the outset in the general pilot, more than 7% reported building a new toilet as compared to 4% in the control villages.|
|Also, 24 of the UBI households had changed their main source of energy for cooking or lighting in some way in the previous 12 months, compared to less than 11% in the non-UBI villages.|
A) Universal basic income is a good idea to support farmers
B) Universal basic income is a bad idea
C) Universal basic income is neither good nor bad but diners from country to country
D) Universal basic Income should be sufficient enough to take care of all family needs.
Correct Answer: B
Solution :(b) Many have argued that a UBI, or even a modified UBI which promises a reasonable sum of money, is unaffordable and that it has unfortunate side effects in terms of the money being squandered, for instance.
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