DMPQ- What is the concept of Universal basic income ? Critically evaluate it’s viability for India.

Universal Basic Income is a radical and compelling paradigm shift in thinking about  both social justice and a productive economy. A universal basic income is, like many  rights, unconditional and universal: it requires that every person should have a right  to a basic income to cover their needs, just by virtue of being citizens. The time has  come to think of UBI for a number of reasons:

From an economic point of view there are three principal and related objections to a  universal basic income. The first is whether UBI reduces the incentive to work. This  argument is vastly exaggerated. For one thing, the levels at which universal basic income  are likely to be pegged are going to be minimal guarantees at best; they are unlikely to  crowd incentives to work. One school of thought would argue that it truly is a diminution  of human dignity to suppose that the only motivation for which people work is necessity;  take away the yoke of necessity and they will be lazy. The same kinds of arguments used to  be made against high wages: that if wages rise beyond a certain level workers will choose  leisure over work. There is very little evidence to sustain that proposition.

The second concern is this: Should income be detached from employment? The honest  economic answer to this concern is that society already does this, but largely for the rich and privileged. Any society where any form of inheritance or accepting non-work  related income is allowed, already detaches income from employment. So, receiving a  small unearned income as it were, from the state should be economically and morally less  problematic than the panoply of “unearned” income our societies allow.

The third is a concern out of reciprocity. If society is indeed a “scheme of social  cooperation”, should income be unconditional, with no regard to peoples contribution  to society? The short answer is that individuals as a matter of fact will in most cases  contribute to society, as stated above. In fact, UBI can also be a way of acknowledging  non-wage work related contributions to society.

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