Exploring the Introduction of Certificate Program in Microfinance through ODL: A Study
Poverty poses a major threat to the development, particularly in India. In view of the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing extreme poverty and hunger by half by 2015 (IIBF (2009), the microfinance education through open distance learning (ODL) assumes importance in alleviation of poverty. Education is considered to be an effective approach and single powerful weapon against poverty. It widens the financial services delivery system by linking the large number of rural population, particularly people living in Below Poverty Line (BPL), with formal financial institutions through Self-Help Groups. However, there was an absence of microfinance education to explore possibilities of setting up specialized small business activities or social enterprises to develop the rural economy. Therefore, microfinance education and skill-building of rural poor through Open Distance Education and Learning (ODEL) are big challenges to alleviate poverty. // Broadly this paper intends to provide a greater understanding of the role played by microfinance in general and Self-Help Groups in particular in Andhra Pradesh. Further, it intends to analyze the needs assessment of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) to offer a “Certificate / Diploma program in Microfinance” through Open Distance Education and Learning (ODEL) system at Dr.B.R.Ambedkar Open University, India.