NIAS Wednesday Discussion: "Chitties as an informal response to Uncertainty" by Kshitija Joshi, Lecture Hall, NIAS, 0930 hrs

NIAS Wednesday Discussion


 “Chitties as an informal  response to Uncertainty”



Kshitija Joshi

Assistant Professor, RBI Programme on

Inter-Disciplinary Approaches to Economic Issues, NIAS   


Chairperson: Narendar Pani, Professor & Head, RBI Programme on Interdisciplinary Approaches to Economic Issues. NIAS,


11th October, 2017, Lecture Hall, NIAS, 9.30 AM


Abstract:  A recent study by the RBI Programme at the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Rural Karnataka revealed a significant penetration of informal mechanisms, across all realms of finance viz. Savings, Credit, Insurance and Funds Transfer.  This is particularly striking given the huge push for formal financial inclusion, digital payments and cashless society over the recent times. Moreover, we observed the rural financial markets were characterized by ‘duality’ rather than ‘market segmentation’, wherein people prefer saving, transacting, borrowing and investing via informal routes even when they are an integral part of the formal system.

These findings warrant a probe into the underlying reasons for the resilience of the informal and in particular, question the rationale of the informal always being an exploitative, economically irrational and unviable option for its users. We discovered that the preference for the informal could possibly stem from ‘choice’ rather than ‘compulsion’ especially in an increasingly uncertain economic environment. In this talk I explore this element of financial reality by using the case study of a popular informal financial product used by the rural and urban poor viz. ROSCAs (Rotating Savings and Credit Associations) popularly known as ‘Chitties’ in South India.

About the Speaker: Dr. Kshitija Joshi is an Assistant Professor in the RBI Programme for Interdisciplinary Approaches to Economic Issues. She holds a Ph.D in the area of 'Risk Management Strategies of Venture Capital Firms in India' from the Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and M.Phil from Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai. She also has about 11 years of work experience in the financial and fraud risk management domains with organizations such as Reserve Bank of India, GE Capital and Amazon Inc..

All are cordially invited


* * *

For further info, please contact Sangeetha Menon [ or] Coordinator of NIAS Wednesday Discussion Meetings.


* * * * * *



Wednesday, October 11, 2017