Role of financial inclusion in realising sustainable development goals (SDGs)
Smita Dikshit and Dr. AC Pandey
Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace and justice. The United Nations General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development along with the development goals that are collectively called the Sustainable Development Goals on 25 September 2015. The Agenda was endorsed by all 193 member nations of the General Assembly, both developed and developing—and applies to all countries. Though the global goals directly do not target financial inclusion, access of financial services to the masses is a key enabler for many of the goals. There are 17 SDGs which enhance economic development. Economic development requires sound foundations. Universal access to education and health services, access to financial and insurance services, new technologies and affordable bank loans, and improved distribution of resources are all important components of sound economic development. In early 1990s India took a giant leap by liberalizing its economy and eventually, the 2000s have seen India make its economic development just and socially progressive by bringing in a number of financial inclusion policies and initiatives. A good economy is both a necessary condition as well as the goal of any financial inclusion initiative. Financial inclusion models can support overall economic growth and the achievement of broader development goals. Digital Finance has played a major role in the delivery of financial services to the vulnerable groups through mobile phones, personal computers, the internet or cards linked to reliable digital payment system. The objective of the paper is to study the role of financial inclusion in achieving Sustainable Development Goals and also the impact of digitalisation on the same.