Summary of Why India Is Ready for a Universal Basic Income

Looking for the article?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 5 minutes.

Why India Is Ready for a Universal Basic Income summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans




  • Controversial
  • Innovative
  • Applicable


It may not come as a surprise that wealthy countries like Finland, Canada and Switzerland have flirted with a universal basic income, but perhaps you didn’t know that India – where approximately 30% of the population lives below the poverty line – has, too. Economist Shamika Ravi leverages her expertise in development in India to argue that the country should replace its ineffective, corrupt welfare programs with a base income for all its citizens. getAbstract recommends this unexpected but well-reasoned argument to all invested in solutions to poverty in India and beyond.

About the Author

Shamika Ravi is an economist who specializes in India’s development and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute.



India’s welfare system repeatedly fails to help the nation’s poorest citizens. Take, for example, the massive public distribution system, which subsidizes food for poor families: Only 28% of its subsidies ever make it to India’s poorest families. The rest either goes to “nonpoor households” or never reaches any household at all. India could replace such inefficient welfare programs with a universal basic income. According to the Indian Finance Ministry, $4 per person per month could drive poverty rates down from 22% to 7%, and it would only cost the government roughly 2% of gross domestic product.


More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

Is a growing middle class good for the poor?
Women at the Core of the Fight Against COVID-19 Crisis
The New Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid
“They Eat Money”
Work for a Brighter Future
How Does Gender Equity Affect Women in Retirement?

Related Channels

Comment on this summary