Sikkim is set to become the first state in India to launch Universal Basic Income (UBI). The idea of universal basic income has gained popularity in the western nations due to the threat of automation-induced job losses. In India, the idea gained ground due to the chronic poverty & inequality and the government’s failure to provide subsidies effectively to poor people. Moreover, the persistent farm distress and poor wage growth across occupations also highlight the need for an income support scheme in India.
Recently, the union government has introduced 124th Constitution Amendment Bill (10% Quota Bill) in the Parliament to provide for 10% reservation for economically weaker sections (EWS) among the general category candidates in higher education and government employment.
Recently, the Lok Sabha has passed the Surrogacy (Regulation) bill, 2016 which prohibits commercial surrogacy and allows only altruistic surrogacy. The bill seeks to protect the rights of the surrogate mother and the child born from surrogacy and promotes ethical surrogacy. However, it falls short of addressing certain key concerns regarding the surrogacy in India.
Recently, the Lok Sabha has passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 with some amendments. The bill aims at empowering the transgender community in the country by giving them a separate identity. The main objective of the bill is to define transgender and prohibit discrimination against the transgender community. However, it falls short of addressing certain key issues being faced by the community.
According to the Asia-Pacific wealth report, Japan’s richest persons have the largest wealth accumulation in the Asia-Pacific region, however, Chinese millionaires are also catching up to them. Meanwhile, Indian millionaires are adding wealth at the fastest in the region, which India can take pride in it. But the reality is that the bottom 60%, the majority of the population, owns less than 5% of the country’s wealth. This growing inequality threatens to destroy the fabric of Indian democracy.
Recently, NASA’s InSight probe was successfully landed on the Red Planet to study its deep interior and make it the only planet apart from Earth to be examined this way. InSight is the first outer space robotic explorer to study the interior of Mars – its crust, mantle, and core.
Recently, an American self-styled adventurer and Christian missionary was allegedly killed by Sentinelese tribes of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, when he was trespassing into their restricted island. This incident highlights the shameful practice of tribal tourism, which was prohibited by the Supreme Court of India but still remains in practice and continues to haunt the reclusive tribes of the Andaman Islands.
Recently, Maharashtra Cabinet approved the proposal to grant reservation to the Maratha community under a newly created “Independent” category. It will have implications on other communities demanding reservation like Kapus in Andhra Pradesh, Jats in Haryana and Patidars in Gujarat.