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Financial Inclusion Index

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  • 18 Aug 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has unveiled the first composite Financial Inclusion Index (FI-Index).

  • The annual FI-Index for the financial year ended March 2021 crossed the halfway mark to 53.9, as compared to 43.4 for the year ended March 2017.

Key Points

  • About:
    • The index has been conceptualised as a comprehensive index incorporating details of banking, investments, insurance, postal as well as the pension sector in consultation with the government and respective sectoral regulators.
      • It will be published annually in July every year.
    • It has been constructed without any ‘base year’ and as such it reflects cumulative efforts of all stakeholders over the years towards financial inclusion.
  • Aim:
    • To capture the extent of financial inclusion across the country.
  • Parameters:
    • It captures information on various aspects of financial inclusion in a single value ranging between 0 and 100, where 0 represents complete financial exclusion and 100 indicates full financial inclusion.
    • It comprises three broad parameters (weights indicated in brackets) viz., Access (35%), Usage (45%), and Quality (20%) with each of these consisting of various dimensions, which are computed based on a number of indicators.
      • The index is responsive to ease of access, availability and usage of services, and quality of services for all 97 indicators.
  • Importance of FI Index:
    • Measures Level of Inclusion: It provides information on the level of financial inclusion and measures financial services for use in internal policy making.
    • Development Indicators: It can be used directly as a composite measure in development indicators.
    • Fulfill the G20 Indicators: It enables fulfilment of G20 Financial Inclusion Indicators requirements.
      • The G20 indicators assess the state of financial inclusion and digital financial services, nationally and globally.
    • Facilitate Researchers: It also facilitates researchers to study the impact of financial inclusion and other macroeconomic variables.
  • Related Initiatives:
    • Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana:
      • It was announced in August 2014, which proved to be a steady vehicle for financial inclusion.
      • Till now nearly 43 crore poor beneficiaries in the country now have a basic bank account under the yojana.
    • Digital Identity (Aadhaar):
      • It has catalyzed inclusion and innovation in the delivery of financial services. 
    • National Centre for Financial Education (NCFE):
      • The RBI has released the (NCFE): 2020-2025 document for creating a financially aware and empowered India.
    • Centre for Financial Literacy (CFL) Project:
      • The CFL project has been conceptualised by the RBI in 2017 as an innovative and participatory approach to financial literacy at the Block level involving select banks and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
      • Initially set up in 100 blocks on a pilot basis, the project is now being scaled up across the country to every block in a phased manner by March 2024.

Source: IE

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