- Shyamji Krishna Varma
- ‘herSTART’ – A start-up platform
Shyamji Krishna Varma
GS I- Personalities in News
Why in news?
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has paid tributes to Shyamji Krishna Varma on his Jayanti.
About Shyamji Krishna Varma:
- SK Varma (1857–1930) was an Indian revolutionary fighter, a patriot, lawyer and journalist who founded the Indian Home Rule Society, India House and The Indian Sociologist in London.
- He was a noted scholar in Sanskrit and other Indian languages.
- He pursued a brief legal career in India and served as the Divan of a number of Indian princely states in India.
- Founded the famous India House in London in 1904 which became the nerve centre and nucleus for India’s revolutionaries like Veer Savarkar, Madame Cama, Sardar Singh Rana, V V S Iyer, Lala Hardayal and Virendranath Chattopadhaya and Madhanlal Dhingra – was the political guru of Veer Savarkar, V V S Iyer and many other freedom fighters in this period
- He started the publication of a monthly journal called ‘Indian Sociologist’ which became a vehicle of revolutionary ideas.
- In February 1905, he established the Indian Home Rule Society to raise his voice against British domination in India. The monthly Indian Sociologist became an outlet for nationalist ideas and through the Indian Home Rule Society, he criticised the British rule in India.
- His resolution on India received an enthusiastic ovation from the entire conference. Shyamji’s activities in England aroused the concern of the British government:
- He was disbarred from Inner Temple and removed from the membership list on 30 April 1909 for writing anti-British articles in The Indian Sociologist.
- It was Shyamji who first advocated non-violent means of getting rid of the British and using withdrawal of cooperation with the colonial administration as the most effective weapon for this purpose. Gandhiji built on this and evolved Satyagraha as a tool to oust the British much later.
- Narendra Modi dedicated a memorial ‘Kranti Tirth’, to Shyamji Krishna Verma at the revolutionary’s ancestral town Mandvi in Kutch district.
‘herSTART’ – A start-Up Platform
GS-II Social Justice
Why in news?
The President of India launched ‘herSTART’ – a start-up platform of Gujarat University in Ahmedabad recently.
Around 15,000 women entrepreneurs are associated online or offline with this initiative and more than 125 women-led start-ups are being actively supported by this university.
The platform will not only boost innovation and start-up efforts of women entrepreneurs but also prove to be an effective platform in connecting women entrepreneurs with various government and private enterprises.
Problems of women entrepreneurs:
Indian women have been severely hampered by the lack of supportive conditions for entrepreneurship. According to Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2021, India ranked 57th amongst 65 countries. The socio-cultural barriers faced by women entrepreneurs are compounded by the burden of unpaid care work – highest in the world at 91.8% – in domestic household according to NSSO Survey 2019.
Women-owned MSMEs faced a severe financing gap of 70.37% according to IFC. The lack of financing remains the chief concern for 90% of women entrepreneurs. This is despite the striking improvements in women’s access to bank accounts, driven by Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana.
The financing woes continues:
About 58% of female entrepreneurs who start business rely on self-financing, largely their savings or physical property that can be mortgaged. This is due to social biases of the financial institutions on the credit-worthiness of women-owned & women-led enterprises. The lack of collateral further hinders women. This leads to self-perpetuating cycle as women as women are inhibited from applying for loans.
To address this gap, the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana was launched in 2015 to provide collateral free loans up to Rs. 1 million for small & micro enterprises. The scheme has yielded mixed results – about 68% of the loans had been disbursed to women entrepreneurs in 2021, yet 88% were under the ‘Shishu’ category (loans up to Rs. 50,000). So it has been limited to small-ticket loans.
Gender gap in Financing:
So, even though the number of women bank-holders has steadily increased, it has not translated into access to institutional credit. Financial inclusion in India has emphasized deposits over access to credit. Credit received by women is only 27% of the deposits they contribute, while credit received by men is 52% of their deposits. For individual women, it is more difficult to access credit from banks – most women access credit through MFIs, SHGs, and joint liability groups. Women accounted for only 7% total bank credit, compared to 30% men. Historically, women’s finance has been equated with microfinance with social & economic outcomes of empowerment, which has limited scope of women’s finance because of the assumption that credit needs of women remain small.
Contrary to popular perceptions, women’s business have greater profit margins than those of men. The task of financial inclusion will remain incomplete until there is equitable access to bank credit for women. For this to happen, financial institutions need to overcome their gender biases and bring in gender sensitive approach to credit so that every women entrepreneur can look beyond self-financing. ‘Stand Up India’ was launched in 2016, to offer 1 million to 10 million Rupee for underserved sections like women & socially backward groups. More than 81% loans under Stand up India has been sanctioned to women entrepreneurs. The NITI Aayog too set up the Women Entrepreneurship Platform in 2018 to support new & existing women entrepreneurs through free credit ratings, mentorship, apprenticeship, and corporate partnerships.