Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Demonetization, Digital Identity and Universal Basic Income – How Big Ideas Are Changing India and What it Means for the World


According to The Economist, India's proposal to give every citizen a cash transfer using the digital platform Aadhar could reduce absolute poverty from 22 percent to 0.5 percent. For a country that is home to a third of the world's poor, could Universal Basic Income (UBI) fundamentally change the picture of poverty, health and well-being in India and the world?

At the same time, removing 86 percent of the cash circulating in a cash-heavy economy had a sudden, negative impact on India’s growth rate. Almost six months – and a major regional election – later what are the lasting effects of demonetization? Is a cashless society in the future?

The architect of India’s annual Economic Survey, Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian - a CGD senior fellow currently on leave – returns to the Center to discuss the big policy ideas making a dramatic mark on India’s economy, and what they could mean for the world.