ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Right to NYAY

Public institutions that are sensitive to citizens’ rights can ensure efficient income transfer.


The Congress party’s electoral promise of minimum income guarantee or the Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) for the poorest 20% families in the country deserves some credit. It has brought to the centre stage the moral imperative of pursuing a welfare agenda for guaranteeing the minimum economic agency of the poor. This promise is significant, especially in a context where the ruling government has systematically cherry-picked infrastructure and utilities for its welfare schemes, and let the social safety nets languish.

During the past few days, the debate on the credibility of this promise has shifted accountability on to the “common man” to treat minimum income guarantee as “security” and not as a dole or benefit. A similar concern, however, is also pervading the public mind as such political promises tend to casually use “social security” and “doles” interchangeably. This, in effect, would lead to the dilution of the accountability mechanism that makes any democratically elected government answerable for their failure to ensure citizens’ constitutional rights to dignity of life and justice. But, is this reading of the promise merely a ­reflection of the insensitivity or naivety of the sceptical common mind regarding the political significance of social security and dole? Or is it conditioned by an institutional architecture of ­service delivery that has pervasively undermined the spirit of human life and dignity?

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Updated On : 30th Apr, 2019


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