Axis Bank

Axis Bank Signs MoU with IRMA to Foster Financial Inclusion and Literacy in India

In a significant move towards fostering financial inclusion and literacy, Axis Bank and the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on November 6, 2023, just days before the observance of “National Education Day” on November 11. This collaboration aims to champion these critical concepts in a diverse country like India, where varying degrees of financial awareness among the population underscore the importance of such initiatives.

Establishment of Axis Bank Chair for Financial Inclusion at IRMA

The cornerstone of this collaboration is the establishment of the Axis Bank Chair for financial inclusion at IRMA, envisioned for a period of five years. The primary objectives of this Chair are multifaceted, ranging from conducting research and fostering closer collaboration between industry and academia to promoting thought leadership and advocating for policy development. The overarching goal is to expedite the advancement of financial inclusion (FI) and financial literacy in India.

The proposed Chair will spearhead field-based research efforts aimed at shaping national and state-level financial inclusion policies. This involves crafting tailored strategies for India, enhancing the banking sector’s capabilities in the realm of financial inclusion, organizing workshops, roundtables, and symposia, and offering educational courses at the institute.

Munish Sharda, Group Executive & Head – Bharat Banking, Axis Bank, Expresses Pride and Vision

Munish Sharda, Group Executive & Head – Bharat Banking, Axis Bank, expressed pride in partnering with IRMA for establishing the Chair for Financial Inclusion. He stated, “Our vision at Axis Bank’s ‘Bharat Banking’ strongly aligns with Dr Varghese Kurien’s vision of achieving equitable and sustainable transformation of ‘Bharat’. We hope that this Chair shall play a meaningful role in accelerating and penetrating financial inclusion to the last mile.”

Dr. Varghese Kurien, often referred to as the “Father of the White Revolution,” was instrumental in transforming India’s dairy industry. Aligning Axis Bank’s vision with Dr. Kurien’s transformative goals underscores a commitment to equitable and sustainable progress, particularly in rural and underbanked areas.

Dr Umakant Dash, Director, IRMA, Emphasizes Impactful Interventions

Dr. Umakant Dash, Director, IRMA, highlighted the collaboration’s potential to make impactful interventions in the domain of financial inclusion at a national level. He emphasized that the Axis Bank Chair for Financial Inclusion at IRMA will contribute to knowledge creation, publications, training, and capacity building, enhancing the understanding of this critical domain.

Dr. Dash emphasized the significance of the collaboration, stating, “The support of Axis Bank and the academic insights from IRMA will play a crucial role and contribute to the ongoing growth story of our nation.”

Joint Advisory Committee and Sponsorship of Research Associates

As part of their partnership, Axis Bank and IRMA will establish a Joint Advisory Committee responsible for managing the Chair’s selection process, defining the terms of its operation, and regularly evaluating its performance. This collaborative approach ensures transparency and accountability in achieving the goals set forth by the Chair.

The agreement also includes provisions for sponsoring two research associates under the purview of the Chair. This initiative aims to facilitate comprehensive research activities and further contribute to the knowledge base in the field of financial inclusion.

Noteworthy Stride Towards Awareness and Dedication

The collaboration between Axis Bank and IRMA signifies a notable stride in heightening awareness and dedication to advancing financial inclusion and literacy across all segments of Indian society. By bringing together the expertise of a leading financial institution and a premier management institute, this partnership is poised to create a lasting impact on the landscape of financial services in the country.

As India continues its journey towards economic growth and development, initiatives like the Axis Bank Chair for Financial Inclusion at IRMA play a pivotal role in ensuring that the benefits of financial services reach every corner of the nation. This collaboration sets an example for other institutions to actively participate in driving financial inclusion and literacy, ultimately contributing to the overall well-being and prosperity of the Indian population.


In conclusion, the MoU between Axis Bank and IRMA stands as a testament to their shared commitment to fostering financial inclusion and literacy in India. The establishment of the Axis Bank Chair for Financial Inclusion at IRMA is a visionary step that aligns with national goals and the ethos of equitable progress. As this collaboration unfolds, it is expected to bring about positive changes in the financial landscape, making a lasting impact on the lives of individuals and communities across India. Axis Bank and IRMA’s joint efforts exemplify the potential of strategic partnerships to drive meaningful change and shape a more inclusive and financially literate future for the nation.