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Ashok Kotwal
On demonetisation
Posted on: 23 Dec 2016
On the evening of 8 November, the Prime Minister announced on national television that Rs. ... read on »
A symposium on Piketty: Introduction
Posted on: 15 Jun 2015
Thomas Piketty’s book on ´Capital in the Twenty First Century’ has made waves. The f ... read on »
Emerging challenges: Economic and social
Posted on: 06 Aug 2014
To mark the second anniversary of I4I in July 2014, we invited two eminent scholars – Abhi ... read on »

Tag: microfinance

Socially disadvantaged groups and microfinance in India
Jean-Marie Baland , Rohini Somanathan , Lore Vandewalle
Posted on: 16 May 2016

The benefits of microfinance are in the details. This column takes a look at lending by commercial banks in India to self-help groups – smaller, informal community-based groups – as a new and successful microfinance initiative. Different ways of thinking about getting credit to the poorest and most marginalised in society can work, but only if the institutions are properly geared up for their customers
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Emergence of Bandhan as a bank: A new era in the Indian banking industry
Somdutta Basu , Souvik Dutta , Abhirup Sarkar
Posted on: 27 Aug 2015
Topics:   Finance


At a time when the Indian banking industry is experiencing a steep rise in bad loans, Bandhan – an MFI with a near 100% loan recovery rate – has converted into a bank. Based on a survey of 112 Bandhan clients in West Bengal, this column highlights the features of Bandhan’s lending model that have enabled it to keep its bad loans at negligible levels.
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Willingness to pay for index-based crop microinsurance in India
Janani Ramasubramanian
Posted on: 22 Apr 2013
Topics:   Finance , Agriculture


Given the significance of the agricultural sector in India and its vulnerability, an adequate and sustainable risk management system is critical. However, uptake of microinsurance is quite low. This column presents research that shows that while there is awareness regarding market-based formal insurance schemes, people continue to be more comfortable relying on own savings or informal borrowing, which can only help manage small shocks or losses.
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Why some poverty-fighting programmes show no net impact
Jonathan Morduch , Shamika Ravi
Posted on: 16 Oct 2012

An increasingly popular way to tackle acute poverty is ‘targeting the ultra-poor’. The scheme provides not only money but also training and support and has been hailed a huge success in its origin country Bangladesh. But this column evaluates a copycat scheme in southern India and finds that the gains are met by losses elsewhere and that, overall, the effect is minimal.
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Microfinance and predatory lending: The same old story?
Latika Chaudhury , Anand Swamy
Posted on: 19 Sep 2012

Once hailed as a near-miraculous way of lending money to the poor, microfinance is now often seen as exploitation – and governments are stepping in. This column looks at another point in India’s history where lawmakers have intervened in lending practices: following the Deccan Riots between farmers and moneylenders in 1876. It argues that in hindsight this was an overreaction – and perhaps there is a lesson for today.
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