Mainstreaming Financial Inclusion

Financial Inclusion is a subject of growing interest with national governments and international institutions

Meet the Team


Thankom Arun

Principal Investigator


Rajalaxmi Kamath



P C Narayan



Udichibarna Bose



Claudia Girardone



Sheri Markose



Jim Vine



Financial inclusion is a subject of growing interest with national governments and international institutions. The contemporary thinking on financial inclusion is more on helping people manage their resources in a better way and building sustained financial capabilities (Arun and Kamath, 2015). Despite evidence on the importance of financial inclusion, little is known about its underpinnings across various stakeholders and about the policies that foster inclusion in developing countries (Allen, 2016). In India, a new range of initiatives have come up to meet the financial inclusion agenda. In a top-driven mandate, this has been led by the State and the Regulator in a process of “mainstreaming” the financial inclusion agenda. This is in addition to the existing organizational structures such as SHG- Bank linkage model, Grameen/NGO model, rural banks, co-operatives etc. We will study how the financially excluded households will engage with the newly incentivized providers of financial inclusion who cut across a multitude of financial actors and governmental stakeholders.

Irrespective of the massive growth of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), concerns have been raised regarding its sustainability due to the cases of duplication of accounts, account dormancy etc. Moreover, for meaningful financial inclusion, credit should support real sector activity linked to livelihoods and income generation (Rao and Anand, 2015). How are schemes like the PMMY linked to the goals of developing small and micro enterprises (SMEs) among the poor? Also a macro-prudential assessment will be made of the following trade-off between GDP growth from overcoming financial exclusion and also how socialization of credit expansion may result in asset quality deterioration for banks and systemic risks thereof.

We aim to map the divergent approaches of the financial inclusion agenda in India in a global context and examine the challenges in managing sustainable relationship between financial institutions, processes and outcomes.


Recent & Upcoming Events

Essex Conference on Financial Inclusion 2020

Event at the University of Essex on the subject ‘Mainstreaming financial inclusion’.

CPP Delhi Conference

CPP Delhi conference on the theme ‘Inclusion and Exclusion: Policy and Practice’.

Finance for All

Event at the University of Essex.

Recent & Upcoming Talks

Ensuring financial inclusion

The Financial Conduct Authority estimates that 1.3 million people in the United Kingdom don’t have a basic bank account. One in …

Recent publications

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Digital Inclusion, Social Inclusion, Financial Inclusion

High-growth-medium-income countries like India are fraught with the challenge of having to reduce the high proportion of poor people in …

Small Finance Banks and Payment Banks

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued guidelines on 27th November, 2014 for setting up two categories of ‘Differentiated …

Financial inclusion, at what cost? : Quantification of economic viability of a supply side roll out

We model the double bind problem faced by banks to achieve economies of scale that arise from spreading the fixed infrastructure costs …

Cross-country variation in financial inclusion: a global perspective

We use the IMF’s Financial Access Survey data and two different approaches to construct a multidimensional financial inclusion …

What You Do Know Is Good for You - Information Networks Among Female-Headed Households in India

We examined the impact of information networks, namely media and social networks on the financial decisions of female-headed households …


Joint survey on floods in Kerala and financial inclusion

Thanks to the invitation that Sheri Markose (Co-I) and Thankom Arun (PI) received from Prof. Rudra Sensarma and his Group at Indian …


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  • Essex Business School, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ
  • We are based in the Essex Business School on the University of Essex’s Colchester Campus (Wivenhoe Park).