“Soorinje”, “Chelyaru” and “Thanneerbhavi” may not ring a bell to many people. But to some bank officials, from different parts of the country who want to know more about technology in reaching banking to people, a field trip to these villages near Mangalore is mandatory. They visit the villages as part of training in financial inclusion. Central to the training is learning to use a handheld device as a tool — something these villagers know well.

In fact, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)'s Regional Training College located in Mangalore reflects the eagerness of bankers to get acquainted with the use of the handheld device.

Managers from public sector banks, regional rural banks and co-operative banks from Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and a few from the northeast attend the courses.

In Mangalore, NABARD organised three awareness programmes for bankers in 2010-11, says Madan Mohan Baheti, Principal and General Manager, Regional Training College, NABARD, Mangalore. Two more courses will held within March 2011. Mr. Baheti says he sees a growing demand for the course in the coming year as well.

The demand is driven by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)'s directive to all nationalised banks to implement financial inclusion, says Mr. Baheti.

Technology is another reason driving the demand for training, he says.

Easy to use

Corporation Bank Chairman and Managing Director Ramnath Pradeep said that the bank reached its financial inclusion-goals 15 months ahead of the deadline largely because of the technology advantage. The bank has covered 333 and 1,700 villages with more than 2,000 and less than 2,000 people, respectively. Each village has one handheld device.

  • Bank managers from several States join the course
  • Central to the training is a use of a handheld device