Madhya Pradesh’s Happiness Dept. to open Time Bank

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Time Banks

Mains level : Concept of Time Bank and its benefits

Time Bank in MP

  • The Madhya Pradesh government’s Happiness Department plans to set up a Time Bank that would lend currency to an hour, which could be exchanged to learn a new skill without the need for any paper money.
  • Whenever a bank member needs a service or wants to acquire a skill, say gardening or playing a guitar, she could exchange a credit, worth an hour, with another member knowing the skill.
  • It is a new way to link untapped social capacity to unmet social needs.
  • At the start, the 50,000 volunteers registered with the department through local networks will form community-level banks and list skills they could impart or services they could offer.
  • An experienced volunteer will induct new members and keep a record of all the transactions.
  • Whether one need someone to drive you to a supermarket, tend to an ailing grandmother or simply a jogging partner, it could all be sought at the bank.

Benefits

  • In Madhya Pradesh, time banks will enable person-to-person, person-to-agency and agency-to-agency transactions.
  • Members will start with zero credits, which they could gradually acquire by imparting skills. Credits can even go in negative.
  • And in case a skill becomes popular over time benefiting only a few members, other members will be compelled to do their mite with vigour to collect more credits.

About the concept

  • Conceived at the Cincinnati Time Store in 1827, the concept gained currency with the setting up of the first Time Bank in Japan in 1973, and later when Edgar Cahn, CEO of TimeBanks USA, popularised ‘Time Dollars’.
  • Today, there are more than 500 such communities across 32 countries.
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