About Us

Micro Credit Innovations Department

1. Genesis

The key objective of the Micro Credit Innovations Department has been to facilitate sustained access to financial services for the unreached segments of the population viz. the poor in rural hinterlands, through various products and delivery channels in a cost effective and sustainable manner. The department came into being in the year 1998 with mainstreaming of the microfinance innovation viz. SHG-Bank linkage programme to a nation-wide scale. NABARD, through the department of ‘Micro Credit Innovations’, has continued its role as the facilitator of microfinance initiatives in the country.

2. Core Functions of the Department

NABARD has been continuously focusing on bringing in various stakeholders on a common platform and building their capacities to take the initiatives forward. This has resulted in tremendous growth of the microfinance sector in India through various approaches as discussed below:

A. Promotion of Self Help Group – Bank Linkage Programme (SHG-BLP)

Based on the observations of various research studies and an action research project carried out by NABARD, the model of SHG-BLP’ was evolved as a cost effective mechanism for providing financial services to the unreached and underserved poor households. What started as a pilot to link around 500 SHGs of poor to the formal financial institutions during the year 1992-93, has now become the largest microfinance programme in the world in terms of client base and outreach.

The NGO sector has played a prominent role by working as a Self Help Group Promoting Institution (SHPI) by forming and nurturing SHGs and by enabling their credit linkage with banks. NABARD later co-opted many others as SHPIs including the rural financial institutions (RRBs, DCCBs, PACS), Farmers’ Clubs (FCs), SHG Federations, NGO-MFIs, Individual Rural Volunteers (IRVs) etc. These stakeholders were encouraged to take up promotion of SHGs by way of promotional grant assistance from NABARD.

The savings-led microfinance model has now become the largest coordinated financial inclusion programme in the world, covering almost -134 million households in the country. With more than 95% of the groups being exclusively women groups, the programme has provided a much needed push to women empowerment in the country. The current status of the programme, as on 31 March2021 is given at the end.

B. WSHG scheme of GOI

NABARD is implementing and supporting the Women SHG scheme (WSHGs) announced by Govt. of India in backward and Left Wing extremism affected districts through NGOs, which play a key role in promotion and credit linkage of WSHGs with banks.

C. Promotion of Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) and their financing by banks

JLGs are essentially credit groups of small/marginal/tenant farmers/asset- less poor who do not have proper title of their farmland. These informal groups of four to 10 members are engaged in similar economic activities and are willing to jointly undertake to repay the loans taken by them from the Banks. Financing of JLGs was introduced as a pilot project in 2004-05 by NABARD in eight States with the support of 13 RRBs. The scheme was later mainstreamed for the banking system in - 2006.

Apart from extending 100% refinance support to the financing Banks, NABARD also extends financial support for awareness creation and capacity building of all stakeholders under the Scheme. NABARD also extends start-up grant support for formation and nurturing of JLGs to Banks and other JLG Promoting Institutions (JLGPIs).

D. Digitisation of SHGs- EShakti

The department initiated a pilot project EShakti to digitise the books of accounts and other records at SHG level and make available updated records in digital form to banks aiding the ease of doing business with SHGs. After launching the pilot in two districts in 2015, EShakti was expanded to 100 districts of the country in 2017. The project was further expanded to 281 districts in 25 States and two Union Territories during 2019-20. As on March 31, 2021, 12.33 lakh SHGs have been digitised covering 140.91 lakh members. Of these, 137.92 lakh are women. More than 30,000 bank branches are participating in this project. More than 6.49 lakh groups have been credit linked by the Banks under this project.

Details of the programme and its progress can be accessed from the project website www.eshakti.nabard.org


A unique Pan India LEDP "MY PAD MY RIGHT" covering 35 districts was launched on the International Day for Rural Women i.e. 15 October 2020, through NABFOUNDATION. The project was launched by Smt. Smriti Irani, Hon’ble Minister for Women and Child Development and Textiles with Padmashri Shri. Arunachalam Muruganantham, who has designed the award winning low cost pad making machine and who IS the Technical Partner for the project.

Under this project, LEDP channel is used to provide livelihood opportunities to SHGs through sanitary pad making machine with the required training skills for producing and marketing the pads. Apart from generating livelihood for the concerned SHGs, project aims to improve the menstrual hygiene accessibility for women in rural India. During the year, against total project outlay of ? 1.99 crore, an amount of ? 1.54 crore has been utilized, 28 machines installed and production started in various districts.

3. Others Initiatives

Livelihood promotion: To enable the SHG members to take up livelihood activities, NABARD has been supporting Micro Enterprise Development Programmes (MEDPs) and Livelihood and Enterprise Development Programmes (LEDPs) by involving NGOs and other suitable institutions.

  • Publications: The department brings out various publications relating to SHG- Bank linkage and other microfinance activities on a regular basis. The book “”Status of Microfinance in India is one of the most important annual publications, which is used as a reference material by research scholars, policy planners, Govt. departments etc.
  • Supporting training and capacity building of personnel of partner agencies such as banks, NGOs, government departments and other institutions
  • Extending support to NGOs and other institutions for formation and credit linkage of SHGs and JLGs with banks.
  • Supporting and sponsoring training and capacity building programmes, seminars and workshops for the benefit of all stakeholders viz. the bankers, government agencies, NGO partners and more importantly the SHG members.

Achievements of SHG-Bank Linkage Programme -March 31,2021

Sr.No Particulars Total
Physical (No. in Lakhs) Financial (` in crore)
1 Total number of SHGs saving linked with banks 112.23 37477.61
(i) Out of total SHGs - exclusive Women SHGs 97.25 32686.08
(ii) Out of total SHGs-  under NRLM/SGSY 64.78 19353.70
(iii) Out of total SHGs -under NULM/SJSRY 5.29 1954.09
2 Total number of SHGs credit linked during the quarter ended 28.87
(i) Out of total SHGs - exclusive Women SHGs 25.90
(ii) Out of total SHGs – under NRLM/SGSY 15.84
(iii) Out of total SHGs – under NULM/SJSRY 1.13
3 Total number of SHGs having loans outstanding as on quarter ended 57.80
(i) Out of total SHGs - exclusive Women SHGs 53.11 96596.60
(ii) Out of total SHGs - under NRLM/SGSY 33.78 57336.62
(iii) Out of total SHGs - under NULM/SJSRY 2.23 4056.45
4 Average loan amount outstanding/SHG as on 31 Mar 2021 (in ` )
5 Average loan amount disbursed/SHG during the quarter (in ` )
6 Estimated number of families covered as at the end of the quarter
7 No. of Banks and Financial Institutions submitted MIS (in number) 399
8 Data on Joint Liability Groups
(i) Joint Liability Group promoted during 2020-21 (till 31 Mar 2021) 41.27
(ii) Loan disbursed to Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) during 2020-21 (till 31 Mar 2021)  
(iii) Cumulative Joint Liability Groups promoted as on 31 Mar 2021 133.83 213164.87
9 Support from NABARD    
(i) Capacity building for partner institutions    
  Under SHG-BLP and JLGs    
  Number of programmes conducted during 2020-21 (in no. only) 20034  
  Number of participants covered during 2020-21 (in lakh) 2.22  
  Cumulative number of participants trained upto 31 March 2021 (in lakh) 46.03  
(ii) Grant Assistance to SHPIs for promotion of SHGs under SHG-BLP    
  Cumulative sanctioned upto 31 March 2021   418.22
(iii) Cumulative grant assistance sanctioned to anchor NGOs for promotion of SHGs under WSHG Development Scheme upto 31 March 2021   204.38
(iv) Cumulative grant assistance sanctioned to JLGPIs for promotion of JLGs upto 31 March 2021   219.73
10 Total number of SHGs saving linked with banks as on 31 Mar 2021 112.23 37477.61
11 Total number of SHGs credit linked during the year 2020-21 28.87 58070.68
12 Total number of SHGs having loans outstanding as on 31 Mar 2021 57.80 103289.71
13 Average loan amount outstanding/SHG as on 31 Mar 2021 (in Rs.lakh)   178694.37
14 Joint Liability Group promoted during 2020-21 41.27  
15 Loan disbursed to Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) during 2020-21   58311.78

Contact Information

Smt S Vijayalakshmi
Chief General Manager
4th Floor, 'D' Wing
C-24, 'G' Block
Bandra-Kurla Complex, Bandra (East)
Mumbai 400 051
Phone No. : 02226530084
Fax No. : 02226528141
E-mail Address: mcid@nabard.org

Information under RTI – Section 4(1)(b)