Bhuabneswar, September 04 (Odisha.in) In its endeavor to increase the level of social awareness among the students and propose solutions to issues that are relevant to the larger community, XIMB has initiated ‘Prativaada’, a debate that would grapple with issues pertinent to society and the management discipline.
The Chief Guest for the Monday evening was G. Jagan Mohan Rao , the regional director of Reserve Bank of India. He was joined on the judging panel with Dr. Amar Kjr Nayak and Dr. C. Shambu Prasad; both professors at XIMB.
The issue chosen for the evening was “Financial Inclusion: The Why and How in the Indian context”.
The relevance of the topic cannot be understated in today’s context where the banking industry despite making significant improvements in all the areas relating to financial viability, profitability and competitiveness has exuded concerns that it has not been able to include vast segment of the population, especially the underprivileged sections of our society, into the fold of basic banking services.
Two student teams participated in the discussion, of which, team ‘Check and Mate’ represented the RBI while the second team ‘Spartacus’ put forth the perspectives of the banks that are responsible for implementing Financial Inclusion (FI).
The debate brought out concerns of the banks regarding the profitability with ‘no frills’ accounts and the simplified KYC (Know Your Customer) norms. They also expressed the inadequacy of infrastructure in the country to take significant measures in implementation of FI.
From the RBI’s perspective, several creative yet low cost models were suggested to these banks. For example, banks could provide financial services like loans, accounts etc to Self Help Groups to minimize the risk of default. Partnering with Microfinance Institutions in order to offload risk is another model the banks can follow.
Use of IT to reduce transaction costs and their increase profit margins was also suggested. However it was emphasized that banks need to see FI as an opportunity to expand their customer base and not as a liability. The discussion grew further interesting when doubts regarding the viability of these models were raised.
Jagan Mohan subsequently addressed the audience and extolled the importance of FI, “In a nation where economic growth had to be inclusive and with a human face, financial inclusion cannot be neglected”. He also informed the students about recent directives of the RBI to reduce the paperwork involved in KYC norms.
He emphasized the need to make people aware of the benefits of FI and pointed out measures RBI has taken in this regard like daily live shows on FI being telecast on Doordarshan being one of them. He also urged the student community to help facilitate the spreading of awareness of FI.
The Check and Mate team were judged as winners of the debate. The evening concluded with Rao giving away prize to the winning team.