Icici Bank & Vodafone Essar Ink Pact For Financial Inclusion

ICICI Bank Ltd, Indias largest private sector Bank and Vodafone Essar Ltd, one of the largest Mobile Network Operators in India, today announced a joint initiative to drive financial inclusion in the country. Under this tie-up, both entities will offer a bouquet of financial products such as savings accounts, pre-paid instruments and credit products through a mobile phone based platform.

This partnership is expected to bring the un-banked and under-banked population into the organised financial services framework and assist in furthering the electronic payments market in India. ICICI Bank will leverage the distribution strength of Vodafone, which manages over 1.5 million retail points for acquiring customers and servicing them. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has over the past few years come out with various measures to facilitate banks to achieve the financial inclusion agenda. RBI has allowed banks to appoint for-profit’ companies as Business Correspondents (BCs). This tie-up between ICICI Bank and Vodafone is a step in that direction.

The Indian government has been actively pursuing the agenda for inclusive growth to ensure that benefits of the exponential growth phase reach all the sections of the society. To this effect, financial inclusion has been an important goal that aims to provide access to basic financial services to each and every individual across the country. Such access is essential to initiate growth in the hitherto un-banked sections of the society, eventually resulting in improvement in the per capita household income and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.

Speaking on the alliance, Ms. Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director & CEO, ICICI Bank Ltd said, We are very excited about the partnership with Vodafone, which will help ICICI Bank in deepening its base within the country. Mobile penetration is growing exponentially in the country of which the rural market forms a major contributor.There is a huge potential for offering mobile banking in these regions, which will facilitate access to the financially excluded parts of the society and ensure that benefits from various welfare and growth programs of the government reach them along with other financial services and products. Vodafone, with its innovative and customer focus initiatives, is an ideal partner who will help in furthering the cause of financial inclusion in India.

Mr. Marten Pieters, Managing Director & CEO, Vodafone Essar, commented the RBI move to allow for-profit companies to be Business Correspondents is a welcome move that will enable the population better access to financial services. With our reach and ability to connect to customers, we are uniquely positioned to aid the financial inclusion agenda of the Government of India and RBI. We are pleased to work with ICICI Bank, which has always strived to offer innovative products to its customers. Both parties will work out the specific arrangements in the coming few weeks and chart out a go-to-market plan.

Now you no longer need to rush to the vendor for buying Mobile Recharge codes, every time your talk time runs out. Just top-up your prepaid mobile cards by logging in to Internet Banking on ICICI Bank. What’s more, this service is absolutely free for all ICICI Bank Account holders.

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Booming Franchise Business In India

Franchise business in India.

Buying a franchise in India is one of the safest and the most lucrative business options for investors. A new emerging market, the booming economy and increased technological advancements beckon investors to come and open their franchises in this beautiful country

Sixteen years ago in India, a McDonalds burger was a thing that people dreamt about. International travellers used to narrate tales about enjoying scrumptious Italian pizzas, delicious fried chicken or other such delicacies in their travels abroad; stuff a middle class Indian could only fantasize about. Nowadays, the story has changed. The advent of technology and globalization has made India a darling of investors from far away lands. The geographical diversity and enormity of the country have been a great factor in the increased franchising opportunities in India. Many companies like McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Barista and HP are already well known players in the franchising market.

Researches have proven that franchise business is one of the safest and the most profitable businesses as it involves less investment and more returns. Due to the enhanced communications systems, everyone knows and recognizes big brands and established companies. Hence, the marketing and advertising costs involved in franchising are comparatively low. India is one of the most coveted countries for such franchise opportunities due to its size, diversity and the emerging middle class, . The multinational stalwarts in various fields like food and beverages, power supply and many other industries are looking for people who can help them to set up their franchise in India.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development or UNCTAD has revealed that India is one of the fore most Asian countries for direct investments. In other words, India is a profitable and lucrative prospect for investments and franchise opportunities. One of the main reasons for this is the untapped Indian market. The metro cities have their share of Baristas and Dominos but the interiors are virtually untapped. The increased accessibility between various parts of the country have also enhanced the franchise prospects in the interiors. Otherwise, who could think of coca-cola being available in the high Himalayas or the deserts of Rajasthan? Moreover, the growing purchasing power of the middle class and the recent economic boom has created a lot of demand for new outlets in all sectors.
India is still in its early days of consumerism. Experts believe that India is in fact sitting on a massive, massive consumer explosion. By 2028 India is pegged to have the fifth largest consumer economy in the world, thanks to a holistic performance by the country in most sectors and a favorable business climate. If you think India is already swamped with big multi national companies, think again. Worldwide brands are really just now coming into the country and if there was any right moment for Indian entrepreneurs to wrest the opportunity to tap for growth and expansion, this is it. This is precisely why you must go ahead and buy a franchise.

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Corporate News All About The Business

world in which we live is most happening place in terms of business and
finance. Business news is complementing the entire arena of the
corporate world when it comes to the larger extent of decision making
and augmenting the process of redefining the growth process. As an
individual when you are moving forward to the best management decisions
and corporate strategies, it’s always mandatory to call upon a process
where thoughts are rectified and process is transparent.

business decisions are somehow and somewhere very much dependent on the
happenings and events that keep the greater impact on the business
endeavors. Take the instance of the recent recession that has gripped
the economy in very decisive manner. Hundreds and thousands of the
organizations were either stopped the business executions are slashed
their work force in larger extent to survive against the hard times.

only in India but across the globe this recession and financial
downturns made the things harder to manage and maintain. The people now
become very cautious while taking the investment decisions. They do
believe now on the expert advice and the market news comes from several
resources. Cyberspace is now flooded with number of resources that
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interested to make big money from the business. The reason being is that
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Nagpur A Lucrative Property Investment Destination

Nagpur, famous for its oranges, has successfully emerged as the hub of real estate. The success can be attributed to the over all commercial and residential development of the city. Nagpur, only a milestone behind Mumbai, has attracted and established medium to heavy industry, IT , ITeS and BPO sector to the city. The city has a load of advantages in its favour. Nagpur is one of the most central cities, with abundance of affordable land and labour, which works out in favour of most companies to set up a unit in the city.
In the past 5 years, IT, ITeS and the BPO sector have made inroads in to the city with companies like Satyam, Hexaware, TCS, and WIPRO setting up their facilities in the city. Besides, the Special Economic Zone will host companies in various sectors in the state. One of the most pronounced investments in the city includes that of Boeings USD 100 million maintenance, repair and overhaul base for Asia. This project will lead to a number of job opportunities, talent movement to the state and thus residential development around the site of the project.
The Airport
One of the most talked about projects, the Airport, is the largest economic development project underway in India. The project brought along industry and real estate interest to the city. The projects attempt to make Nagpur, one of the most central locations in India into a cargo hub with the development of the Cargo airport. The project integrates road and rail connectivity. Project consists of two parts namely International airport to act as a cargo hub and a Special Economic Zone with residential zone covering a total area of 40.25 sq. km on the southern end of Nagpur. Spread over 3310 hectares, the MIHAN project will utilize 1200 hectares exclusively for the airport. Since the launch of the project in 2006 there has been extensive commercial and residential development in the city. This also led to a surge in prices in the real estate in the city.
Residential Property in Nagpur
Once a dormant city, Nagpur has made good progress with Malls sprawling up and city coming alive, day and night. Dhantoli, Wardha, Marathahalli, Shankar Nagar and Amravati Road, Manish Nagar have seen extensive residential development and command good rates. The city has not only seen development in the city areas but has also expanded in the north, east and west.
The city has seen massive push in prices owing to the rising demand. Civil Lines remains the citys premium residential neighbourhood, fetching highest rates
Not only that, the city is seeing development integrated townships. as there is abundance of supply there are builders booking large pieces of land. Satyam Group and Sahara Group have shown interest in developing such projects, while DLF has undertaken to develop the SEZ Park in the city and aims at generating over 50000 jobs in the city.

Some of the local builders that have undertaken residential projects include Hindustan Builders, Nikunj Builders (P) Ltd, Roshni Developers and Shewalkar Developers Ltd.
Commercial development in Nagpur
Sky rocketing prices in the commercial real estate sector is the talk of the town in the city. Some of the most intriguing deals at the highest prices include the sale of land by The Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) at Rs. 80 lakh an acre. Within the city the prices are even higher. Even at this price the demand has been steadily moving up with absorption around 50-60%. The logistics park has attracted investment may times over the original investment.
8 million sqft of space in Nagpur is covered with shopping malls. Matching the needs of the residential development and increasing need for sophisticated shopping formats, WHC Road, Itwari and Dharampeth have seen high class retail development. Also, the citys shopping needs are met by markets in Sitabuldi, Sadar, Central Avenue, and Gandhi Baug. There are also another 6-8 shopping malls planned in the city to come up in the by the end of this financial year. These are expected to be located in Grain market in Wardhman Nagar, Jaripatka, Netaji Market and Water Works Department in Sitabuldi, Gokulpeth Market and Pachpoli Flyover near Kamal Square.
Investors in the city

NRIs have shown a special interest in the city, as it is one of the most lucrative tier II city in India. Also, a lot of people who moved out of city to the metros can now plan and move back to the city. This category looks at real estate with high interest.

How to invest

It is easy to find out about the city through the internet. One of the easiest ways is to log onto any site and find about the builders and brokers in the city and contact them through the site. As currently the supply is good, once the first steps are taken finalizing the property will not be much of a hassle.

Nagpur is in its most attractive phases right now and will continue to be the hotspot for coming few years.

Find A Right Career

Most students find it difficult to choose a career. When they come to the crossroad of finding a solution to their dilemma, they are helpless. Deciding on a career depends upon a number of things, such as interest, aptitude, skill, work-related values, and personality.

Career planning is a multi-step process that involves learning about yourself, your interests and the occupations which you are considering in order to make an informed decision. If you have a career in mind and want to get started in the field immediately, consider the institute and course option that is best suited for that career. Three-year degree programme colleges or technical schools can prepare you for hands-on experience. So instead of choosing a career based on what you think you should do, we want to help you find a career that suits your personality.

Young boys and girls, just out of their class Xth and XIIth board exams are full of questions and do not have the answers to most. YQWorld.com is the right place to find all the answers to your queries.

YQWorld.com powered by Integrid Media, is a portal specially designed for young achievers. It promises to guide and help you choose the right path to make your further studies satisfying and enjoyable. There are more than 500 careers listed on the site with detailed information and more than 1500 linked courses. We have a variety of category-wise institute options across India and overseas for different career and course options.
To browse through our comprehensive career listing, you can check the following link –

YQ World also helps you with industry information to help you know your career industry better and the various options available.
Our Counsellors Corner enables you to post queries and YQ Experts revert back within 48 hours. To post your queries click here:

In our Study Overseas section you can browse through country-wise information on course & institute options, cost of living, visa requirements, eligibility, standardized test etc. which helps you prepare for your travel and stay in another country. To know more visit, www.YQWorld.com/studyoverseas/

Apart from this, loads of information is available on Distance Learning and Coaching Classes, training on competitive exams such as CAT, SAT, IIT-JEE, GRE, TOEFL, IELTS etc. All this will help you narrow down your search process and will help you make an educated decision about the career you want to pursue.

So log on to www.YQWorld.com today and make a bright career choice for a better tomorrow!

Reason for Increased Demand for Financial Liability Insurance in India

There has been a big jump in financial liability insurance in
India. The industry is growing about 10-20% every year and is not
expected to slow down. Here are some of the reasons why.

What FLI offers?

There are
different types of FLI. Most are made to guard companies and individuals
against lawsuits and other claims. The three main types are general,
professional, and product. These cover things like credit issues,
problems facing company leaders, and factors about the public. It
reduces the fines that companies and individuals have to pay when they
are named in a suit. Law and third-party suits are rising by 30-40%
every year. This is due to changes to the legal and professional layout
of the financial services industry.

A changing business world

India is seeing a lot change in its business segment. The country is
facing more financial demand. Companies are more tied to foreign
branches. Investors and employees are more active in speaking out about
problems and what they need. These factors mean company officers,
directors, and shareholders are under more stress. They have more people
watching what they do. New laws and truths also mean more room for
making mistakes. Director’s and officer’s insurance is the fastest
growing kind. This covers them for error, workplace misconduct, and
legal fees in case of a lawsuit.

The Satyam Scandal

In 2009, the chairman for the Satyam Computer Services Company admitted
to fraud. He stepped down from his role and faced his crime. This
caused problems for the other top employees at the company. They faced
an uproar as many were sued and suffered big losses. The governing body
PriceWaterhouse Cooper was found to be too relaxed in following
standards. It had to pay big fines to the US Securities and Exchange.
The scandal drew a lot of media interest, which caused public outcry.
This issue had a big effect on the financial services industry. It
sparked legal change that affected the need for insurance.

The Companies Act

In 2012, the government changed the Companies Act. New laws make
business more see-through. They increase the duty to have company
supervision. It also explains the role of independent directors. This is
in the wake of the Satyam Scandal. The act allows mergers with foreign
companies. This puts more focus on international values. It also creates
financial demand in the country. The new act allows class action suits
to be filed against top company members. Other members or clients can
make a claim for errors and fraud. These changes make more charge within
companies, and therefore increase the demand for insurance.


The factors around India’s financial services industry in recent years
have made a need for insurance. It is vital to the ongoing growth of the
sector. Global mixing with big firms means tough regulators. It pushes
India’s top company heads to expand their skills and knowledge. Stricter
management is required. Media scrutiny is much more important. This can
greatly add weight to finger pointing. It creates more personal risk
for solo board members. Coverage is only likely to grow in years to
come. There is both the want and need for more armor.

Why Is Alternative Medicine A Rewarding Career Option

With the ever-increasing cost and undesirable side effects of the conventional Western method of medicine, we have witnessed a constantly increasing interest in alternative medicine system. While there is an alternative medicine school in almost every part of the world now, aspiring alternative medicine practitioners are still doubtful about this as a prospective career option. However, contrary to the standard notion, alternative medicine actually has much scope now as an effective career. The speed at which each new alternative medicine school is opening now is itself an indication of the future scope of this career.

The career you take up will depend on the level of education you obtained from your alternative medicine school. If you are business minded, you may get into selling herbal remedies, dietary supplements, and various other holistic products. If you belong to an agricultural background, you may get involved in cultivation of herbs. You will definitely have a never failing career as a massage therapist, as so many spas and gyms that are sprouting everywhere need the same. Even standard acupuncture clinics and Ayurveda centers are more interested in people who are licensed practitioners from some alternative medicine school rather than those with knowledge only and no degree.

If you take up alternative medicine as a career option, not only will your career be very financially rewarding, but your cost of education from an alternative medicine school will be very minimal as well. An alternative medicine schools gives you the provision of distance learning, whereby you can obtain your degree online, studying and researching in your own surroundings. This is particularly beneficial for students who want to study from a different country. You will not have to attend regular classes at an alternative medicine school, you can obtain your degree online wherever you are, and your graduation will be very speedy as well.

One country where alternative medicine has become a very flourishing and promising career option is India. India is the land where many traditional alternative medicine therapies like Ayurveda, Unani, and Yoga originated. Even today, most rural areas in India have alternative medicine in the form of traditional knowledge as the only form of treatment in their areas. In a developing country like India, where so many alternative medicine therapies have been practiced for years, this career is of enormous scope for it is not only very cost effective but also has no harmful side effects.

There are abundant alternative medicine schools in India offering degrees and diplomas in many alternative medicine courses. Students qualified from alternative medicine schools in India are getting employment in treatment centers, hospitals, training centers, resorts, spas and so on. And with the introduction of distance learning, many foreign students who acquire degrees online from the alternative medicine schools in India, are also being able to get various job opportunities in their respective countries.

Properties Karnal – Property Investment Consistently Rising

With rising income levels people today have surplus money to invest in real estate. Compared to other investment avenues, investment in property gives better returns over the same time period. There is a lot of development taking place in India even in Tier II cities like Chandigarh, Lucknow and Pune and smaller towns like Karnal, close to Delhi are also benefitting from this interest in real estate.

Properties Karnal enjoys great location as Karnal is on the main GT road, connecting Delhi to Chandigarh with the highway passing through it. It is barely a two hours drive from Delhi and also close to Chandigarh. Many prominent developers have launched projects for both commercial property and residential properties Karnal. Properties Karnal is a great destination for investment in real estate as the property prices are set to rise in the future with the development of the NCR region. Seeing it proximity to Delhi, the Haryana government has also sanctioned various infrastructure projects to improve the quality of life of the residents. The city has proper roads and good water and electricity supply that make it livable. Moreover Karnal offers a peaceful environment for living and still has great road and rail connectivity to Delhi and places in Haryana like Rohtak.

The rates for property are still affordable in Karnal and it makes to invest here especially for a second home. Since there are many industries in and around Karnal, there is a demand for housing for people who come from outside Karnal. In this scenario owning properties Karnal will fetch you good rentals. Moreover there is a huge demand for low cost homes from the local population and this has prompted developers to launch low priced housing projects for the rural population as well.

If you are not from Karnal but looking to invest in properties Karnal, it is best to do some research before making final decision. Visit online portals of real estate developers to get an idea of the location and prices of their upcoming projects. Consult a local broker who will give credible advice regarding the best option for investment in properties Karnal, depending on your budget. For commercial property, location and amenities matter if you have to get good rent. Compare cost, location and time for completion of different projects before you invest your hard earned money in residential or commercial properties Karnal.
So go ahead and invest wisely in properties Karnal today and you will get huge profits in the future.

Singhania University Rajasthan An epitome of Innovation in education!

Singhania University which is one of the singhania university phd has been established by the Singhania University, Pacheri Bari, Distt. Jhunjhunu (Rajasthan) Ordinance 2007. Singhania University is established by government of Rajasthan and is recognized as per the section 2f of UGC act, 1956. As per the location, above mentioned top university in Rajasthan is about 160 kms from West of Delhi and about 165 kms from North of Jaipur. This top university of Rajasthan is the first placement and research oriented university in Rajasthan. Singhania University Rajasthan comes under one of the top universities in India regarding the wide variety of courses it offers and excellent course curriculum it follows.

Singhania University mainly offers courses in four fields of education and higher studies, namely, Engineering, Management, Bio-Technology and Allied Health Sciences. For example regarding engineering and medical courses, this top university in Rajasthan provides diploma and degree courses in areas like automobile, civil, mechanical, computer, information technology, communication, industrial production and architecture etc. Apart from these diploma and degree courses Singhania University also offers some postgraduate degree courses like MBA, MCA, MSc. and M-Tech. Singhania University also provides some certificate and diploma courses like Medical lab technology (MLT); Up- Vaidya; Yoga; Homeopathy Pharmacy; First Aid; MLT; Electro-Cardio-Graphy and radio Imaging Technology( DERT); ECG technology; Live stock and veterinary Science (VLDA). Some of these courses are really unconventional and equally exciting to pursue. Singhania University is an epitome of world-class infrastructure, highly qualified and dedicated faculties and excellent environment for academic and intellectual growth of students. The singhania university admission , Singhania University focuses on comprehensive growth of the students, working on their hearts and minds by giving full concentration to their academic, cultural, physical and social needs in an environment of continuous interaction and growth that is favorable for the enrichment of mind and body. The faculty of Singhania University Rajasthan is fully committed and extremely talented. Teachers invest all their skills and knowledge to impart quality education to the students as they are the ones who will shape the future of our country. Singhania University is renowned not only to produce excellent academic results but also to produce excellent and successful professionals those can face the challenges of the world. At Singhania University special emphasis is given to communication skills and personality development. The uniqueness of the curriculum and various programmes of this one the most prestigious universities in Rajasthan lies in promoting a strong passion in the students not just for studies but for all round excellence with perfection; for meeting the challenges head on with due emphasis on ethical and moral values which are the most important to build a strong character. Singhania University produces knowledgeable young citizens capable of creating a better and prosperous India through inter-cultural understanding and respect for the humanity.

Get log in to singhania university for more information about singhania university rajasthan, facilities, syllabus of singhania university center and lots more about its faculties and facilities.

Enhancing Financial Inclusion in India


Anurag Jain Joint Secretary, Department of Financial Services Ministry of Finance, Government of India

-Government has issued detailed strategy and guidelines on Financial Inclusion, advising banks to open branches in all habitations of 5,000 or more population in underbanked districts and 10,000 or more population in other districts,- says Anurag Jain. In Conversation with Nayana Singh.

Today Financial Inclusion is a key focus area for the Government of India. Tell us about the work that you are doing for promoting Financial Inclusion in the country? We need to develop policies and systems for proving basic financial services like insurance, banking and the related facilities to all sections of society. It is well known today that the expansion of the banking and insurance networks are being planned very aggressively. RBI and similarly IRDA have already come up with guidelines that enable certain kind of branches to be opened without any permission. In the ministries last budget speech, the Hon’ble Finance Minister had set a very aggressive target for opening up of new branch offices for banking and insurance verticals. Another major step that we have taken is to map the entire country into zones that are not being adequately serviced by the banking industry. In such areas, other systems, like the Banking Correspondents model, are being developed to provide banking related services. In 2006, RBI permitted banks to use the services of intermediaries for providing financial and banking services through the use of Business Facilitators (BFs) and Business Correspondents (BCs). Business Correspondents act as retail agents of the banks in providing banking services at locations other than a bank branch/ATM. BCs and the BC Agents (BCAs) represent the bank concerned and enable a bank to expand its outreach and offer limited range of banking services at low cost, particularly where setting up a brick and mortar branch is not viable. BCs as agents of the banks, thus, are an integral part of the business strategy for achieving greater financial inclusion.

Financial Inclusion

Banks play a key role in implementation of DBT and this involves four important steps: Opening of accounts of all beneficiaries Seeding of bank accounts with Aadhaar numbers and uploading on the NPCI mapper Undertaking funds transfer using the National Automated Clearing House – Aadhaar Payment Bridge System (NACH-APBS) Strengthening of banking infrastructure to enable beneficiary to withdraw money Financial Inclusion

What kind of impact are the initiatives taken by the Finance Ministry having in the rural areas? Please tell us about the challenges that you face in bringing Financial Inclusion in the country. The challenges will always be there, but we are working to bring improvements. It is only a matter of time before we are able to reach out to every corner of the country. The point is that if you look at from the point of viability, then it becomes obvious that the brick and mortar kind of branches will not be financially viable in the sparsely populated rural areas. Therefore we need to come up with innovative approaches like Ultra Small Branches (USBs) and the BC model. Opening a brick and mortar kind of branch, even if it is of minimum staff strength, will cost lot of money, so we have to rely on the USBs and the BCs. You see an USB can work very effectively with only one employee and an affiliated BC. Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) are also allowed to open branches in Tier 2 to Tier 6 centres (with population up to 99,999 as per Census 2001) without the need to take permission from the Reserve Bank in each case, subject to reporting, provided they fulfil certain conditions. The challenges that we face are being overcome by use of new technology. Today BCs can share data by using small hand held devices. This enables us to reduce cost, while providing timely services in remote areas.

The government has come up with the ambitious Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme. What kind of impact do you see DBT having on Financial Inclusion? DBT will definitely serve as an incentive for the people to open bank accounts. After all, there can’t be any DBT if people do not have bank accounts. In some places, where banking facility was not available, people had accounts in post offices or primary cooperative society. Now many of these institutions are not on CBS, so you can’t make transfer of funds. The postal departments are now having an aggressive programme for computerisation; once that happens they will be able to support DBT. Many cooperative banks are also developing the CBS platform. You see, the DBT will force players in the financial space to upgrade their technologies and that will be beneficial from the angle of financial inclusion as then these institutions will be able to deliver many more financial services.

What is the roadmap for implementing DBT in every government department? The DBT programme was rolled out on January 1 this year, beginning with 43 districts and expanding to 121 districts from July one. Transfer of LPG subsidy through DBT was rolled out from June 1 and now covers 20 districts. In LPG, over 2.8 million DBT transactions valued at `116 crore have taken place in seven weeks. The thing is that when people talk about DBT they usually mean Aadhaar linked transfers. Unfortunately in many districts Aadhaar is yet to be generated. The Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG (DBTL) scheme is currently under implementation. In this case the districts have been selected on basis of their success in enrolling the population for Aadhaar. The districts were the Aadhaar generation is highest have been taken up for DBTL. As of now this is working quite well. Once we have sizeable Aadhaar enrolment in all the districts, DBT will become the norm. The bulk of the work in DBT at the moment is in digitization of databases, re-engineering government processes for automating financial transactions, enrolling in Aadhaar and ensuring that every recipient has bank accounts seeded with Aadhaar.

ATMs have become very popular in the urban areas. Do you see the scope of using ATMs for improving access to financial services in rural areas? ATM can provide the 24X7 services, and so it is very important. In rural areas, we have issues about the timing of the bank branches. Normally the branches operate from 9 AM to 6 PM, but villagers normally want services early in the morning or late evening. It is also true that you can’t have bank branch everywhere. So ATMs are important as they will allow the citizens to access their funds in banks whenever they wish. The Finance Ministry has now asked state-run banks to expedite installing ATMs in rural areas.

Ministry of Finance has started the scheme to install White Label ATMs. What kind of progress is being made in that area? The banking space has seen considerable growth through the ATMs, (approximately 87000 ATMs at present) but the same has been restricted principally to the urban/metro areas. Last year, the Reserve Bank of India, had allowed corporates to set up white label ATMs to increase the penetration of ATMs in several areas of the country. Most ATMs, or machines that dispense cash, are owned by banks. But ones that are owned and operated by non-banking companies are called while-label ATMs (WLAs). They function just the same way as any other bank-run ATM. This scheme has picked up late. From Jan 2013 it is started so by Dec 2014 we should have 63000 WLAs in place.

In Kenya and few other countries of Africa mobile banking is a success story. But in India mobile banking is not picking up to a substantial extent. Why is that so? Efforts are being made to popularise mobile banking. Today most public sector banks have enabled mobile banking and it is matter of time before large number of consumers start recognising it as a good medium to meet their banking related needs. As far as policy front is concerned, all the regulations are in place, not it is only a question of taking the product to the consumer. In Africa, mobile banking is popular because it is the only channel for consumers who want to avail of banking facilities, whereas in India consumers have access to a range of facilities. Also the mobile banking charges need to come down. Another point is that even though today we have more than 70 crore mobile users, not everyone is using device with data connectivity. That too needs to change.

DBT Will Enable our Financial institutions to upgrade their technology

Over the last decade Public Sector Banks have made many commendable efforts to integrate IT into their operations. What else can be done to leverage ICT to improve the efficiency of the public sector and cooperative banks? Today it is difficult for us to imagine banking without IT technologies. Most of the banks have integrated operations with Core Banking Solutions (CBS) in place, and most of these platforms are capable of talking to each other. The same is the case with ATMs. The Department of Financial Services has worked to make PSBs become clones in terms of technology, standardisation of manpower recruitment, accounting practices. Cooperative banks are different; their operations are such that they cannot immediately go to the CBS platform. NABARD came up of a scheme to put the cooperative banks on CBS, but its execution will take time. One reason why cooperative banks find it difficult to achieve a 100 percent implementation of CBS is the remote locations of branches. This also makes it impractical to roll out technological solutions to all branches.