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News18 Daybreak | Congress Promises Basic Income For Poor If Voted to Power in 2019 Polls and Other Stories You Need to Watch Out For

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Updated:January 29, 2019, 9:01 AM IST
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What to Watch Out For

Congress promises basic income for poor if voted to power in 2019 polls

In a major game-changer, the Congress in a rally in Chattisgarh on Monday announced its decision to implement a minimum income guarantee plan for BPL families if it is voted to power in the 2019 elections.

What is the scheme about: Universal Basic Income is a social security plan where all citizens receive an unconditional sum of money.

In developing countries, the scheme is usually implemented through a direct cash transfer scheme wherein the cash or “income” is directly deposited in the beneficiaries' bank account.

Why it matters: Rahul’s move comes ahead of the February 1 budget in which the BJP-led government is expected to dole out their own version of an income scheme for farmers.

The government under PM Modi had been mulling over the idea of an UBI scheme ever since it was first brought up by the former chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian in the 2017 Economic Survey.

But, it wasn’t until BJP’s defeat in the recent Assembly Elections, particularly in the states of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, which signaled an unhappy rural electorate, that the plan was seriously considered. The Centre is now likely to make an announcement in the interim budget.

However, Gandhi clinched the first mover’s advantage, which many say could have dire ramifications on BJP ‘s chances in the polls.

He said, she said: Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram backed the move in an interview with CNBC saying that the scheme is possible to implement considering the fiscal situation of Indians.

The BJP however lashed out at the Congress with the Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad saying, “The people of India know the reality of the Congress and have seen through its games.”

In depth: Earlier, pilots of the minimum income guarantee plans were run by UNICEF in villages of Madhya Pradesh from 2011 to 2012. The pilot programme, in which cash transfers were made to the several villagers, yielded positive the results.

However, economists have pointed out that apart from the huge administrative and fiscal costs that would have to be borne, the scheme will also have a negative impact on the state’s impetus to deliver on other welfare schemes.

Critics have also highlighted that the resources going towards such schemes should instead be utilized to generate jobs to directly address the rising rate of unemployment.

Constitution bench to meet over petition against singing of Sanskrit hymns in KVs

A Constitution bench constituted by the apex court will be scrutinising the issues of imparting religious instructions in schools in the form of Sanskrit and Hindi hymns and verses. On Monday, a two-judge bench, led by Justice Rohinton F Nariman, heard a petition relating to the compulsory recitation of Sanskrit and Hindi hymns in the morning assembly of Kendriya Vidyalayas. The writ petition, filed by Jabalpur-based lawyer Veenayak Shah, has claimed that prayers at Kendriya Vidyalayas promote Hindu religion and violate articles 19 (right to freedom of speech and expression) and 28 (1), which prohibits the State from providing any religious instruction in an educational institution run on public funds.

Shiv Sena-BJP in backdoor seat-sharing talks despite Sena's taunts

Sources have told the CNN-News18 that the Shiv Sena and the BJP are in seat-sharing talks in Maharashtra for the upcoming polls. The BJP claimed that there has been an agreement on almost 90 percent of issues while the Sena has hinted that an alliance will be formed on its own terms. It is expected that the BJP will agree to a 50-50 seat sharing formula. Shiv Sena senior party leader Sanjay Raut on Friday however taunted the Devendra Fadnavis-led government after a strategy meeting and said, “"We are the big brother in Maharashtra, we were the big brother and will stay the big brother".

UP government to hold first cabinet meeting at Kumbh today, ministers to bathe at Sangam and watch ‘Uri-The Surgical Strike’ afterwards

The Yogi Adityanath-led government will be holding the first-ever cabinet meeting at the Kumbh Mela on Tuesday. The agenda of the meeting wasn’t disclosed but there are speculations that the 24-minister cabinet will be taking major decisions. Special security arrangements have been made around the integrated command and control centre in Sector 1 of the Kumbh Mela area where the cabinet meeting is slated to take place. After the meeting, the CM along with other ministers are likely to take a dip in the holy waters of Sangam and watch the recently released movie – ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’ which will be screened in a mobile theatre.

File photo of UP chief minister Yogi Adiyanath. (File Image: PTI)

All-party meeting to be held at Guwahati today after 64 organisations in Mizoram calls for 24-hour bandh on January 30

Meghalaya CM along with the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) will convene an all-party meeting on the issue of the Citizenship Amendment Bill at Guwahati on Tuesday. On Monday, 64 civil society organisations in Manipur called for a statewide 24-hour long ban on January 30 following a core committee meeting of the Manipur People Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (MPACAB). Meanwhile, an all-party meeting chaired by CM Biren Singh was held at the CM residence in which it was decided that a delegation comprising of representatives of all parties will be sent to pressure the Centre to include a clause in the bill protecting the state’s indigenous population.

Today’s meeting in Guwahati will be attended by CM Conrad Sangma, Mizoram CM Zoramthanga and representatives of political parties from Tripura, Arunachal, Manipur and Nagaland.

What You May Have Missed

Kumaraswamy willing to step down after Congress MLAs remarks on government projects

Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy on Monday said that he is willing to step down if the Congress does not control its MLAs. The CM made the remarks after MLAs of the Siddaramaiah camp criticised the government saying that no development work had taken place in the state since the government was voted to power. Congress’ C Puttaranga Shetty also declared that he still considers Siddaramaiah as the Chief Minister. Congress leader and former CM of the state, Siddaramaiah however denied there being any hostilities between the coalition partners and went as far as blaming the media for “creating trouble”. The conflict comes against the backdrop of weeks of anxiety over alleged poaching attempts by the BJP.

2018 had highest number of death penalties in nearly two decades: NLU-D data

According to data released by the National Law University, 2018 was the year with the highest number of death penalties in nearly two decades. 162 persons were sentenced to death in 2018 as per the information that was released in the third edition of ‘The Death Penalty in India: Annual Statistics 2018’. With 22 death sentences, Madhya Pradesh topped the list, using the capital punishment mostly in cases of sexual assaults on children. Maharashtra came in second with 16 deaths, followed by Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh which witnessed 15 capital punishments each last year. There were no death sentences in Jammu and Kashmir, Goa and six of the seven north-eastern states, excluding Assam.

Over 70% voter turnout in Haryana’s Jind bypolls with 21 candidates in the fray

Tuesday’s bypolls held in Jind in Haryana witnessed a turnout of over 70% as people of the constituency cast their votes in the 71 polling booths. Major parties including the Bhartiya Janata Party, Aam Admi Party and the Congress have fielded their candidates for yesterday’s elections, that is being described as a litmus test for the upcoming polls. The bypoll was necessitated following the death of INLD MLA Hari Chan Middha, whose son Krishna Middha recently joined the BJP and is the saffron party's candidate for the by-election.

Voters outside a polling booth in Jind.  (PTI Photo)

Meghalaya teams in attempts to retrieve second body of miner

The Navy and the NDRF are engaged in efforts to rescue the body of a second miner from 370-foot deep coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills, officials said on Monday. On December 13, water from the nearby Lytein River flooded a network of tunnels in the illegal rat-hole coal mine in Lumthari village of East Jaintia Hills, trapping 15 men and prompting a multiple-agency rescue attempt. Nearly 37-days into the rescue operations, the rescue teams managed to retrieve the remains of the first miner, identified as Amir Hussain from Assam's Chirang district.

On Reel

The death toll from the collapse of a dam holding back mine waste in southeastern Brazil rose to 40 on Saturday as searchers flying in helicopters and rescuers labouring in deep mud uncovered more bodies. The level of devastation quickly led President Jair Bolsonaro and other officials to describe it as a "tragedy.

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