ICICI Group dedicates 100 'ICICI Digital Villages' to the nation

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16 May, 17 10:51
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New Delhi: ICICI Group recently dedicated 100 'ICICI Digital Villages' to the nation at an event in New Delhi marking the bank's efforts to partner the nation's progress by empowering rural India. Shri Arun Jaitley,Hon'ble Union Minister of Finance, Defence& Corporate Affairs inaugurated the event, 'ICICI Rural Summit - 'SashaktGaon, Samriddh Bharat'.
The inauguration of the digital villages follows the bank's commitment given in November 2016 to transform 100 villages into 'ICICI Digital Villages' in as many days. The programme involves end to end digitisation of transactions and other commercial activities, providing vocational training to villagers, extending credit facility and helping the villagers to access markets and earn a sustainable livelihood.
Speaking at the event, Ms. Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director & CEO, ICICI Bank said: "ICICI Group has always believed that the key to building a prosperous nation is through empowering its villages. In line with our vision of 'SashaktGaon, Samridhh Bharat', we have transformed 100 villages across the country in 100 days. We have created a less cash ecosystem at these villages, provided vocational training to over 11,300 villagers, including more than 7500 women and offered them credit linkages. We have done all of these in the past 100 days.
It is a great honour for us to have the Union Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley here with us today to inaugurate the ICICI Rural Summit. Our objective through this initiative has been to show that technology and skilling can be used to eliminate barriers that separate rural and urban India. I am confident that this large project will significantly contribute to the Hon'ble Prime Minister's vision of both 'Digital India' and 'Make in India'. We intend to expand the number of such villages by another 500 by December 2017. In the process, we will train an additional 50,000 individuals and impact 12.5 lakh lives."
These villages are spread across the length and breadth of the country, the villagers here can use digital channels for banking and payments transactions.They can also open bank accounts using Aadhar-based e-KYC (electronic Know Your Customer), make cashless payments at retail stores using Point-of-Sale (POS) machines and use an SMS based mobile solution. Villagers can also deposit and withdraw cash at their doorstep. The digitisation at the village dairy co-operative units enables the societies to pay the members digitally and directly into their bank accounts. Additionally, ICICI Bank in association with ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth (ICICI Foundation), the CSR arm of the ICICI Group, is imparting free vocational training to the villagers with a special focus on training women. As of now, over 11,300 villagers, including more than 7500 women, have been trained in the last 100 days to help them earn a sustainable livelihood.
The bank is also extending credit facilities to credit-worthy trained villagers in a bid to boost self-employment opportunities in the villages. The programme has positively impacted the lives of nearly 2.5 lakh people here.

This ambitious move of transforming over 100 villages into digital villages is inspired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi's vision to scale up the digital village programme. In January 2015, he had dedicated the first 'ICICI Digital Village' at Akodara in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat, to the nation at an event commemorating 60 years of the ICICI Group.

The 100 villages which have been transformed into 'ICICI Digital Villages' are located across 17 states in India. These include 16 in Gujarat, 14 each in Maharashtra & Madhya Pradesh, 12 each in Tamil Nadu & Karnataka and 11 in Rajasthan among others.

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