UBI Current Affairs - 2019
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The ruling party of Sikkim, Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) has assured the implementation of the universal basic income in Sikkim by 2022. If things go as per plan, Sikkim would become the first state in the country to implement the Universal Basic Income (UBI).
Universal Basic Income (UBI)
Universal Basic Income (UBI) refers to a programme wherein the people are provided with a fixed amount of money irrespective of their income, resources or employment status.
Resources for Funding the UBI
The state of Sikkim aims to mobilise the resources for funding the UBI through the following avenues:
- Sikkim is a power-surplus state. Sikkim produces 2200 MW and the requirement of the state is only 200-300 MW. The power generation capacity would further go up to 3000 MW in a few years. The revenue from the selling of the surplus power would provide extra revenue, which the government plans to divert to implement UBI.
- Sikkim also plans to subsume other subsidies and allowances in order to provide a particular amount every month to people.
Benefits of UBI
The 2017 Economic Survey had proposed UBI as a conceptually appealing idea which could be a possible alternative to social welfare programmes targeted at reducing poverty.
The advocates of the UBI praise the concept as futuristic which will allow the people to look into the future without worrying too much about income to sustain themselves.
The pilot programmes for the UBI has been successfully implemented in the states Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and tribal belts with fairly large samples.
The Union Bank of India (UBI) has launch an Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) based *99# mobile application for their customers for basic banking needs.
It was launched in partnership with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organisation for all retail payments system in the country.
- *99# mobile application can be downloaded in an android smartphone from the Google Play Store by the bank customers.
- It can be used even without any internet connection as it does not require any data and is available in 10 languages.
- It provides basic banking facilities like checking account balance, sending money, Mobile PIN (MPIN) management.
- Besides, it provides value added services like checking Aadhaar linked overdraft status and PMJDY account overdraft status.
About Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD)
- USSD is a GSM based technology i.e. used to send text between a mobile phone and an application program in the network.
- It is sometimes referred to as Quick Codes or Feature codes. It is a protocol used by GSM cellular telephones to communicate with the service provider’s computers.
- Unlike Short Message Service (SMS) messages, USSD messages create a real-time connection during a USSD session. So they are more responsive than services that use SMS.
- It can be used for prepaid callback service, WAP browsing, mobile-money services, location-based content services, menu-based information services etc.