Defeating Poverty - Jan Dhan and Beyond

Defeating Poverty - Jan Dhan and Beyond

ISBN: 978-81-929172-3-8
Binding: Paperback (6" X 9")
Pages: 460
2014 Edition

Rs 1095.00

Defeating Poverty - Jan Dhan and Beyond


It examines why so many years after Independence, India still has a large number of poor and points towards vote-bank politics as a key culprit in choosing poor policy options that could never deliver optimally.

Poverty alleviation measures adopted by Narendra Modi during his tenure as Chief Minister of Gujarat, were a greater success compared to other states. The book identifies the key success factors for financial inclusion - a credit and livelihood based approach as well as a gendered view of inclusion; sustainable development; skill development; financial literacy; push for MSMEs; employment and focus on hygiene and health. Thus, making the Modi model, called ModiNomics, as one of the proven approaches that can take financial inclusion to its logical conclusion. The model comes close to the author’s academic work, understanding of ModiNomics and years of research that has a great potential for its replication nationally.

Given that the end-objective of financial inclusion is poverty alleviation, at Skoch Group, we have been unyielding in our advocacy of equitable growth with the three critical elements attached to it: financial, social and digital inclusion. The book proposes a model for bringing all these elements together and also suggests ways for the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana to be financially viable, selfsustaining and emerge as India’s main weapon for defeating poverty.


Sameer Kochhar, Chairman of Skoch Group, is a passionate advocate of social, financial and digital inclusion. In 1997, after spending 15 years in the corporate world, he decided to follow his inner calling and become a development thinker. Ever since, he single-mindedly applied himself to the rigours of self-education, academic research and field tours. The Skoch Group - which has a think tank, media and consultancy arms - was established as part of this endeavour. His expert opinion is sought by the government. In Kochhar’s thinking, writings and activities, his profound admiration for India’s economic reforms – and in extension, those outstanding personalities who strive to make these reforms more meaningful and broad-based – comes out clear and unambiguous.

In addition to authoring highly acclaimed ModiNomics: Inclusive Economics, Inclusive Governance (2014), and Speeding Financial Inclusion (2009), he has edited Infrastructure and Governance (2008); Financial Inclusion (2009); Urban Renewal: Policy and Response (2009); India on the Growth Turnpike: Essays in Honour of Vijay L. Kelkar (2010); Building from the Bottom: Infrastructure and Poverty Alleviation (2010); Growth and Finance: Essays in Honour of C. Rangarajan (2011); Policymaking for Indian Planning: Essays in Honour of Montek Singh Ahluwalia (2012); and, An Agenda for India’s Growth: Essays in Honour of P. Chidambaram (2013)


Yashwant Sinha xi
C. Rangarajan xv
Acknowledgements xvii

Introduction: From Swabhimaan to Jan Dhan 

Section I: Setting the Context for Financial Inclusion

  1. Financial Viability of Jan Dhan
    • Why Transaction Fee is a Bad Idea?
    • Life of the BC Model
    • Differentiated Banking
    • Universal Financial Services Obligation Fund
  2. Policy Potions that Kept Indians Poor
    • Delayed Basic Entitlements
    • Restrictive Industrial Policy
    • Poverty Syndrome
    • The Extent of Poverty
    • The Legacy of Poverty and Chronic Poverty
    • Identifying Issues in Poverty
    • Poverty Identification
    • Social Protection and Welfare Programmes
    • The Way Forward
  3. ModiNomics and Poverty Alleviation
    • Poverty Kaleidoscope
    • Poverty Reduction Under Modi Regime
    • Financial Inclusion
    • Rural Livelihood
    • Insurance
    • Women Empowerment
    • Sustainable Development
    • Skill Development and Employment
    • Swachh Bharat
    • ModiNomics – Beyond Gujarat
    • Next Milestones
    • Section II: A Sectoral Analysis of Financial Inclusion
  4. Why Has Banking for the Poor Been a Non-Starter?
    • Banking Reforms after Independence
    • Class Banking to Mass Banking
    • Loan Mela: Securing Vote Bank or Banking for the Poor
    • Banking Reforms and its Impact on Financial Inclusion
    • Banking for Poor Back on the Agenda
  5. Priority Sector: Priority No-more
    • Performance Review of Priority Sector Lending
    • Micro and Small Enterprises (MSE)
    • Retail Credit
    • Non-Performing Assets
  6. Microfinancing the Poor
    • Microfinance Models in India
    • The NBFC Approach
    • Impact of Microfinance on the Poor
    • Issues & Concerns
    • Credit Discipline
    • The RBI Findings on SHG-MFI Bank Linkage
    • The Way Forward
  7. Self Help Groups: Exploring the Linkages
    • Microfinance Development and Equity Fund
    • SHGs for Whom?
  8. Micro-Insurance: Too Micro to be Visible
    • Challenges & Opportunities
    • The Changing Landscape
    • Health Insurance
    • The Way Forward
  9. Micro-Pensions: In Need of Expansion
    • Demographic Shift
    • Impact on Poverty
    • NPS and the NPS Lite Scheme
    • De-risking Pension Funds
  10. Co-operatives: Going through Revival
    • Multiple Regulators
    • Livelihood Patterns and Enterprise Promotion at the Village Level
    • Reforming the Co-operative System
    • What Needs to be Done
    • Section III: Key Drivers of Financial Inclusion
  11. MSMEs: An Engine of Inclusive Growth
    • No Clear Definition Across Verticals
    • The Problem of Execution
    • Finance at the Bottom of the Pyramid
    • Policy Imperatives
  12. Payments & Settlements: In Search of Clarity
    • Benefits without Costs
    • Catching up with BRICS
    • Electronic Payments Ahoy
    • Settlement Issues
    • The Way Forward
  13. Mobiles & Connectivity: What Comes First?
    • Regulatory Challenges
    • Mobile Money
    • Digital India
    • UPA Government’s Policy
    • Global Scenario
    • Why Mobile Money Failed to Take-off in India
    • The Way Forward
  14. Financial Literacy & Financial Education:
    • Wheels should Roll 329
    • Extent of Financial Illiteracy
    • Inclusion Through Literacy
    • Samavesh – Accelerating Inclusive Growth
    • Section IV: Integrating Goals of Social & Financial Inclusion
  15. UID: Identity that Should be
    • Aadhaar Benefits
    • The Context
    • Is UID a Key Enabler to Financial Inclusion?
    • Moving on With Aadhaar
  16. Targeting Gender: Move Beyond Biases
    • Gender Discrimination
    • Gender Equality
    • Gender Mainstreaming
  17. Financial Services for the Disabled: Time for Inclusion
    • Past Imperfect
    • RBI Guidelines
    • Issues Relating to Access
  18. Swachh Bharat, Swasth Bharat: Regenerating Culture
    • Coupling of Economic and Social Exclusions
    • India’s Sanitation Deficit
    • Shocking Neglect of the Indian State
    • The Ignominy of Open Defecation
    • Swachh Bharat: Solid Fundamentals
    • Drinking Water: Half-Empty
    • Miles to go Before Swachh Bharat, Swasth Bharat

Book Reviews & Comments

"The book would be helpful in providing the readers various aspects of the issue and would promote awareness among the readers in suggesting ways of defeating poverty which is a national priority."

Dharmendra Pradhan
Minister of State (IC), Petroleum & Natural Gas

11th December 2014

“This is indeed a very thought provoking and topical contribution to the discourse. I commend and congratulate you on this significant contribution and hope that all policymakers have a chance to go through the book for its illuminating insights. The section on ModiNomics contains valuable lessons and can be used as models for implementation. As they say, “the devil lies in the detail” and as we have often discussed, many of our models fail simply due to poor implementation on the ground.”

Deepali Pant Joshi
Executive Director, Reserve Bank of India

9th December 2014

"I appreciate the initiative and efforts taken by you in bringing about such a wonderful book which acts as a source of inspiration and shows the direction to fight against our country's persistent problem of poverty."

S. K. Roy
Chairman, Life Insurance Corporation of India

17th December 2014

"The book appears to be an earnest attempt at delineating the various financial inclusion initiatives launched by the policymakers through the years up until the Jan Dhan Yojana launched by the present Union Government. I congratulate you for an extremely sincere effort in highlighting the issue of povetry alleviation which needs a whole hearted support from not only the legislature and the bureaucracy, but from the entire cross-section of the society."

S. S. Mundra
Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India

22nd December 2014

"I find the book quite interesting and informative. The actionable recommendations suggested in your book are interesting and worth consideration."

P. K. Malhotra
Secretary, Ministry of Law & Justice

11th December 2014

"This book contains many valuable suggestions like social inclusion, financial inclusion and digital inclusion for addressing poverty in the country."

Jayant Sinha
Minister of State for Finance

17th December 2014

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