Governance Now Masterminds

Stories you must read over the weekend

We replug a list of five stories and interviews that you must read over the weekend

GN Bureau | February 3, 2017


#demonetisation   #Delhi pollution   #universal basic income   #UBI   #weekend stories   #SBI  
Weekend stories
Weekend stories

From Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram to corporate talkshop Davos, it’s creating a buzz everywhere. If nothing is stronger than an idea whose time has come, then people in more and more countries are likely to start getting free pay cheques every month from governments. It’s called universal basic income (UBI) – an old notion of state welfare that has been rediscovered in the increasingly anxious West to counter joblessness and automation. After a failed start with a Swiss referendum last year (result: no), several European counties are starting pilot projects to deliver to all citizens a nominal amount of money not tied to any conditions or any health or pension scheme. Just plain free money. 
 
 
Pilot projects in some villages of Madhya Pradesh found UBI making a big difference. The projects were launched in 2011, funded by Unicef. Implementation and coordination was by SEWA Bharat. 
 
 
Also read interview with Renana Jhabvala, SEWA Bharat: “Basic income should have maximum inclusion”
 
 
An IIT-Bombay study says that air pollution caused 48,651 deaths in Delhi in 2015, more than doubling from about 20,000 in 1995. Such deaths are a worldwide occurrence. The WHO estimated that outdoor air pollution in cities and rural areas caused 3 million premature deaths in 2012. Of these, 72 percent died of ischaemic heart disease or stroke, 14 percent of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or lower respiratory tract infection, and 14 percent of lung cancer. Death is literally in the air.
 
 
Flush with funds after demonetisation, State Bank of India has trimmed its lending rate to revive credit demand. In an interview with Governance Now, Rajnish Kumar, managing director (national  banking group), SBI, explains how the bank plans to steer its way now.
 

 

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