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


Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser, Government of India


Annie Lowrey, Contributing Editor, The Atlantic

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.

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