Archive for September, 2012

Sep 27 2012

Measuring T20 Sentiments – Is your team the most liked?

The first set of T20 matches are over and top eight teams have entered the second round. So what is the most preferred and the least preferred team among the eight? Lets have a glimpse of what the people in the social media have expressed


Sep 11 2012

Credit scoring for SHG’s – NABARD project

AAUM partnered with NABARD for building credit scoring models for SHG’s (Self Help Group). AAUM NGO partners IRCDS in Thriuvallur district, Blossom Trust and Sornambal Trust in Virudhunagar district approached 1000 SHGs and collected data on financial, socio-economical and wealth data’s of the SHG individuals to build scoring models by which credit worthy of individuals/SHG’s are rated which helps the loan providers to take decisions. A mobile application with a back end web application has been developed to support the SHG’s in tracking their financial transactions.

The collected data of 1000 SHG’s was analysed to develop scoring algorithm using various analytical techniques like logistic, CART, and k-nn from a`training’ sample. The algorithm was applied to develop credit scores. Credit scores were devised for each group. The model was validated with `testing’ sample. The training given to SHGs was to devise credit rules and validate with bank/MFI stakeholders. The data captured was functionally built in SHG mobile sets to deliver quick scoring and compliance.   It is easy to use forms enabled in the mobile phones to devise credit scores and usage of mobile phones has saved considerable efforts in the SHG account management.

The project has served SHG women to get used to technology through mobile phones. Aaum’s solution has addressed the specifics of group (not just an individual), credit score the group and finally has helped the banks, government, and NGOs to give loans and grants to the SHGs.

The exclusive research paper titled “Technologies Services and New Approaches to Universal Access and Rural Telecom” submitted to ITU in November 2009, by Prof. Ashok Jhunjunwala, Rajesh Kumar, Sonali Singh, Suma Prashant for International Telecom Union (ITU) highlighted accelerating mobile adoption in rural India. This has been a great inspiration to take up this project.

The benefits of SHG interface are:

  • Grading was done by scoring algorithms on the data captured. No need for financial institutes/NGOs to perform this task.
  • Simple process with no requirement to travel physically to SHG/NGO locations.
  • Easy to use forms enabled in the mobile phones.
  • Handling of accounts, books has saved considerable efforts in the SHG account management.
  • Different level of access to different users.

This project has created a big socio-economic impact by strengthening the SHG-Credit linkage by connecting NGOs focusing on women development, Micro Finance Institutes (MFIs), banks, cooperative societies, and the state government.



Sep 5 2012

Financial inclusion awareness in rural TamilNadu – NABARD project (Through radio campaigns)

Financial inclusion or inclusive financing is the delivery of financial services at affordable costs to sections of disadvantaged and low income segments of society. India has the second highest number of financially excluded households in the world. Approximately, 40% of India’s population have bank accounts, and only about 10% have any kind of insurance cover, while a merger 0.6% have non-life insurance cover. Tamil Nadu is very much lacking behind in the wage disbursement scenario under the NREGA. This is a very serious bottleneck to the progress of the people as financial inclusion through banks is not being supported.

AAUM partnered with NABARD and Suryan FM to roll financial inclusion campaigns. The livelihood team focused on basic financial inclusion strategies during the initial stages and other allied financial strategies at later stages. Partnership was also established with the lead bank, local banks for knowing their existing initiatives/thrust areas to chalk out mutually beneficial programs.

The financial inclusion awareness in the first month was focused on:

  1. Focus on opening bank accounts and its advantages
  2. Availing of savings, credit/debit access, overdraft facility
  3. Cheque facility
  4. Awareness of insurance products, etc.
  5. Payment and remittance services

Allied financial inclusion strategies for the next month focused on:

  1. Financing to agriculture  (Loans, Govt schemes, etc)
  2. Jewellery loan
  3. Low cost financial services
  4. Kissan Credit and debit cards access
  5. Financial advice
  6. SHG/JLG focus and awareness of various financial products
  7. Access to financial markets
  8. Micro credit during emergency
  9. Entrepreneurial credit

8 themes were identified and the jingles were developed with a focus on getting the attention of the common people.  The team consulted NABARD, local banks to align the thrust areas in sync with the overall financial inclusion focus. AAUM came up with an effective strategy to involve famous mimicry artists to voice on veteran film actors/actress for the financial inclusion campaigns. Mimicry artists from the “AsathaPovathuYaaru” a popular TV show of SUN TV were hired to create jingles. 8 themes were identified and the jingles were developed with a focus on getting attention of the common people. The main important topics on which the information was delivered were: Savings, RD/FD, loans, branchless banking, remittance, micro insurance and micro pension. In addition to the commercials, 30 RJ (Radio Jockey) mentions were broadcasted during the two month campaign period. These RJ mentions were live on `AIR` and were broadcasted once in two days.

After the campaign roll out, a small survey was conducted with the local villagers in 20 Panchayats to gauge the effectiveness of the campaign and arrive at appropriate strategies.

Jingles: (Audio file)

Below are the main important head under which the information was delivered.

1) Savings

  • Savings accounts allow you to keep your money in a safe place while it earns a small interest each month
  • These accounts have nil or low minimum balances and charges exclusively for rural
  • Interest rate on savings bank accounts minimum of on a daily basis
  • Savings as an habit would provide sustainable path for financial inclusion
  • Daily savings of 35 rupees would help you accomplish Rs.1000/month.
  • Can avail the facilities of cheque book, ATM card, Internet banking, Mobile banking
  • Stress on the operation of the account and not having an idle account
  • Contact any neighbourhood bank manager with address proof & ID proof

2) RD/FD:

  • Simple investment mechanism for planning the future financial requirements and needs
  • Minimum 1 time investment (Fixed deposit) or regular multiple investment (Recurring deposit) as per your earnings and time of requirement (e.g. after 3 months or above)
  • Higher interest rate than savings for planning your goals (e.g. for sons education, daughter marriage)
  • Contact any neighbourhood bank manager with address proof & ID proof

3) Loans:

Agriculture loans

  • Crop production , horticulture , plantation crops, farm mechanization, land development and reclamation, digging of wells, processing of agri-products, finance to agri-input dealers, allied activities like dairy , fisheries, poultry, sheep-goat, piggery and rearing of silk worms
  • And other loans including
  • Loans for petty shop, flower vendor, tea shop, etc. Emergency/Personnel loans, Jewel loan, SHG loans and several other classifications for financial needs
  • Low interest rates from banks.
  • Good repayment habits would ensure higher quantum
  • Contact any neighbourhood bank manager

4) KCC (Kissan Credit Card):

  • Assured access for farmers credit requirements subject to timely repayment
  • Flexibility to draw cash at any time and buy agriculture inputs as per the need of the farmer.
  • Flexibility of withdrawals from a branch other than the issuing branch at the discretion of the bank.
  • Provisions for crop insurance if loan crop loans availed under KCC, provisions for life insurance for the farmer.
  • Contact any neighbourhood bank manager

5) Branchless Banking:

  • Business correspondent model  in remote villages where formal banking is not feasible.
  • Banking facilities provided by banks representatives on behalf of banks to provide basic financial services like savings, minimum withdrawals, overdraft facilities in your village itself!
  • All your transactions are settled at your bank at the end of the day and be assured that you are dealing directly with the bank and not with the local representative. Sophisticated technologies like rural ATM, smart cards, kiosks, mobile payment modes are leveraged for financial services in rural
  • Contact your neighborhood bank whether you can avail this features

6) Remittance:

  • Availability of money at the right time is very critical for sustenance. Do you know that Fast and easy mechanism to transfer your hard earned money to your family members through remittance facilities is offered by your neighborhood bank.
  • Remittance through bank would further help to leverage other banking facilities like savings, ATM withdrawals, cheque book facilities, overdraft facilities, loan for your future requirements, insurance etc.
  • Contact any neighbourhood bank manager

7) Micro Insurance:

Protect your investments by very low premium as per your comfort

Agri/Crop insurance

  • Crop insurance to protect against hail, drought, and floods, or the loss of revenue due to declines in the prices of agricultural commodities. Insurance for farmers are also available including the crop.

Livestock Insurance

  • Protect your livestock against death due to accidents including fire, lightning, flood and cyclone or disease contracted , Permanent Total Disability due to total incapacity to conceive or yield

Janashree bima Yojana: (Group insurance for poor and vulnerable groups)

  • Provides life insurance protection to people who are below poverty line or marginally above poverty line. Persons between aged 18 years and 59 years and who are the members of the identified 45 occupational groups are eligible to be covered under the Scheme i.e. rural poor , SHG’s, beedi workers, fishermen community etc

Health insurance

  • Health micro insurance schemes for improving the access of health care to poor families. The scheme provides for reimbursement of medical expenses towards hospitalization floated amongst the entire family, death cover due to an accident to the earning head of the family and compensation due to loss of earning of the earning member @ very low premium exclusively designed for BPL families.

Contact your local bank manager to know the premium rates for each insurance.

8.) Micro pension:

  • Low income informal sector workers to build up savings for retirement
  • Micro pension scheme provides security to poor and middle-class labourers like vegetable vendors, rag pickers, hand-cart pullers, bidi workers, construction workers, domestic helps, agriculture workers, garment workers.
  • Do you know that very little contribution of Rs 50 a month in a pension account by eligible people can come as a security at an old age.
  • Contact any neighbourhood bank manager




Sep 5 2012



IL & FS management approached Aaum to perform skills opportunity assessment in the districts which are closer to the multi-school skill development centre located at Chennai & Trichy region. The objectives were to know; industry requirements, candidate skill requirements and the willingness of candidate to pay for skill development. To meet these objectives, Aaum developed a structured framework consisting of various steps that were incorporated with each stage of the assessment.

IL&FS Skills Development Corporation (ISDC) is a joint venture between IL&FS and the NSDC (National Skill Development Corporation). It was established with an objective to build and manage 100 multi skill schools across India. The aim is to train around 2 million people over the next ten years in various skill sectors including textiles, engineering, construction, leather, auto and other service sectors.

To meet the core objectives of the study, an effective data collection strategy was designed which focused more on to find the demand and supply skills in the districts, to see if it would suit IL&FS. The assessment was done in eight districts of Tamil Nadu near Chennai and Trichy.  i.e. Chennai districts –  Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Tiruvanamalai and Chennai and Trichy districts – Nagapattinam, Dindugal, tanjavur and Trichy.  For the research about three education institutions, three employers, three panchayat presidents, two association/Institutions, ninety six school/college students, one NGO/federation and fifty four rural candidates were identified in each district. The survey candidates were profiled by using wealth indicators, which is an index, computed based on the assets of the respondents.