16 September 2020—Accessing Knowledge in Times of Covid
CVV-ians spent a fruitful afternoon on 16 September 2020, taking a closer look at the treasure trove of knowledge that is Ubhaya Bharati, the aptly named library of Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth. For those who had been missing the shelves lined with volumes waiting to be picked up, the Wednesday Webinar by Dr. P. M. Manoharan Pillai, Assistant Librarian of Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth, came as a respite.
In a talk aptly titled ‘Optimum use of E- resources available at the CVV Library’, the speaker provided exhaustive information on: 1. Online e-resources at the CVV library; 2. Hard resources at the CVV library; and 3. Open access e-resources. He also demonstrated how to access each of these and elaborated upon the salient features of some of them.
The discussion that followed touched upon a few pertinent questions, especially on open-access journals. The list of resources compiled was also shared with everyone for reference. In these times, when all our academic activities are taking place entirely online, the session was an opportunity for students to learn to access knowledge even in these times of restricted access to most other things.
23 September 2020—Efficiency of Scheduled Commercial Banks in India
The Wednesday Webinar on 23 September 2020 found CVV-ians making the most of an opportunity to learn a little more about the banking system in India, as they listened to Dr. Vinod R. R., Assistant Professor at CVV’s School of Contemporary Knowledge Systems, elaborate on the ‘Efficiency of Scheduled Commercial Banks in India’.
The speaker began with an explanation that over the last three decades, the world over, the banking industry has been undergoing a slew of reforms. The nineties saw a transition in the Indian financial system, from being a centralised social banking system to a more market-oriented banking system. Deregulations of interest rates, licensing of private banks, etc. were all aimed to enhance the efficiency of the banking system by increasing competition and operational autonomy. Now, they are gearing up for its next wave of reforms. The regulator (Reserve Bank of India) has started granting licenses to private players to operate as payment banks, small finance banks, etc. However, the following questions remain unattended: (i) Does higher competition per se, lead to higher efficiency? (ii) If not, what are the environmental imperatives to sustain the competition efficiency relation?
The speaker then proceeded to answer these two questions through a study he had conducted. As in prior literature, this study follows a two-stage approach. In the first stage, efficiencies are measured following the DEA approach. In the second stage, the stated efficiency measures are regressed on a set of internal and external determinants using System GMM. The sample consisted of 38 Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs). The study period was from 1999- 2016, wherein 1999-2004 was termed as ‘Pre-reforms period’ and 2007-2016 as ‘Post-reforms period’. Dr. Vinod presented the results which report that reforms seem to have had a negative impact on efficiency. He concluded that the study finds that no further addition of players can result in enhancing the efficiency of Indian SCBs unless two sunspots (i) investor and (ii) borrower repression (i.e. lack of choice for investors and borrowers) are addressed. Based on the findings, Dr. Vinod recommended that policymakers must focus on creating an ecosystem for banks to offer innovative products and services (to address the investor repression) and also have a vibrant debt market (to address the borrower repression).
The talk was followed by many a participant raising hands-on Zoom to ask follow-up questions. The discussion was lively and added to the listener’s understanding of the issue in focus.