Jan Dhan Yojana: India's Push for Financial Inclusion

In August 2014, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a plan for comprehensive financial inclusion, starting with opening millions of bank accounts.

In August 2014, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a plan for comprehensive financial inclusion, which began with setting targets for opening new bank accounts. More than 18 million new bank accounts were opened during the first week of the plan, which uses the Aadhaar Unique Indentification system and one straightforward form to connect previously unbanked people with the formal financial system. By the end of January, the program had opened 115 million accounts. But account opening is not an end in itself. "It's the start of something bigger," says Dr. Alok Pande, Financial Inclusion Director for India's Ministry of Finance. "The idea is that we get the accounts opened as quickly as possible," adds CGAP's Kabir Kumar. "Then, we can introduce other services that ultimately matter."

Written and Produced by Jeanette Thomas, January 2014

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