RBI studies show that only 54 per cent adults in India have a bank account and of the 431 districts targeted for achieving 100 per cent financial inclusion in 2006, only 204 have been successful. Concerns on the front of income distribution and poverty alleviation cannot be met without full-scale expansion of banking and other financial services. Indian growth story is impressive, yet there are concerns on issues like income distribution and poverty alleviation, where lot remains to be done.
Sensing an opportunity, banks, technology providers and microfinance agencies are rushing into partnerships to roll out no-frills accounts, expand the network of Business Correspondents, and launch biometric smart cards, micro ATMs and mobile banking services to drive this mission. It’s not just a social or political objective; financial inclusion will also augment the topline growth of the banks. The cover feature on Financial Inclusion explores its status and how we can progress on the path of economic development taking along all stratas of society. Technology plays a key role in this with e-Banking and m-Banking now coming to the picture.
Talking about growth, PSUs have contributed significantly towards the Indian economy. The best among the PSUs are given the title of ‘Maharatna’ or ‘Miniratna. The special focus takes a stock of how far the IT adoption has taken place in PSUs in India.
Also featuring is a’Policy Watch’ section that talks about the Electronic Delivery of services. As far as public services are concerned, in the last five years, the core ICT infrastructure in the form of State Wide Area Networks, State Data Centres and front ends in the form of Common services Centers are largely in place. Implementation of Mission Mode Projects has ensured availability of a few services electronically. With the implementation of e-District project, the high volume services at district and sub district level will be delivered electronically. In order to penetrate e-services vertically and horizontally the union ministry of Information technology has proposed the draft of the Electronic Service Delivery Bill (ESD) 2011. When enacted, the bill will make it mandatory for every government organisation to deliver public services only in electronic mode.
eGovernance in India is certainly gaining roots and expanding outreach.
Hope you will find this issue informative!