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Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:
A Reserve Bank of India panel has submitted a report on financial inclusion. It proposes that priority sector lending by banks be raised and that banks be mandated to open accounts for every adult Indian by January 2016. The recommendations do not challenge the RBI’s basic approach to financial inclusion. This approach, which has been to mandate banks to undertake financial inclusion, might have spread public sector bank branches in rural areas for some years, helped open bank accounts and directed credit, but it has stopped yielding results. What India needs is a new approach, which encourages competition and innovation, rather than more mandates.
India’s approach to financial inclusion has been bank-centric. So far, it has focused on bank nationalization, continued with government ownership of banks and their recapitalization. The way to ensure inclusion has been priority sector lending, which mandates that 40 per cent of each bank’s lending be to weaker sectors – small-scale industries, agriculture and exports – to which the bank might not have lent otherwise. The RBI panel now recommends raising this share to 50 per cent.
The panel’s recommendations are in sync with the RBI’s recent guidelines for the grant of licenses to new banks. These require that the bank have a plan for financial inclusion and that it open 25 per cent of its branches in unbanked rural areas. This approach is similar to the one that required PSU banks to open rural branches. By once again mandating financial inclusion, this time for private sector licence application, instead of focusing on competition and innovation, the RBI is essentially doing more of the same.
Financial inclusion may be defined as access to a range of financial services in a convenient, flexible, reliable and continuous manner from formal, regulated financial institutions. Even though access can be ensured by mandates, the quality parameters of access may be compromised in the process. This is seen in the low usage of accounts and the poor asset quality of priority sector portfolios. Such inclusion confuses ends with means. A bank account is meant to fulfill certain functions – simply opening an account is not enough. The panel proposes to make it mandatory for every Indian over the age of 18 to have a bank account.
An often overlooked consequence of the mandate-driven approach to inclusion, as pursued by the RBI, is that the costs of this inclusion are levied on the investors and consumers of banks. The losses from unused bank accounts and poorly performing priority sector assets are eventually borne by the investors and consumers. If the political objective of opening bank accounts is to be met, or lending to certain sectors ensured, it should be transparent as line item on the government’s budget. Instead, it is done through a cross-subsidy that effectively makes other customers pay for the political goals of a government pushing its agenda through banks.
This approach has been accompanied by a neglect of the other drivers of inclusion – competition and innovation. In the last 11 years, the Indian economy has grown rapidly, but no banking licenses have been given in this time. The trend has been that once a decade, the RBI decides to give a few licenses, but there is no window to get licenses during this period. The incumbent banks feel little or no pressure to reach out to unbanked area and people with their services. This, in turn, necessitates a mandate-driven approach to financial inclusion. Despite decades of RBI mandates, rural customers turn to informal channels and unregulated financial firms.

Chose the word/group of words which is MOST OPPOSITE meaning of the word/group of words as used in the passage:

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The correct option is B exempted
The word most opposite in meaning to 'levied' in context of the passage is 'exempted'.

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Q. Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:
Financial inclusion (FI) is an emerging priority for banks that have nowhere else to go to achieve business growth. The viability of FI business is under question, because while banks and their delivery partners continue to make investments, they haven’t seen commensurate returns. In markets like India, most programs are focused on customer on-boarding, an expensive process which people often find difficult to afford, involving issuance of smart cards to the customers. However, large scale customer acquisition hasn’t translated into large scale business, with many accounts laying dormant and therefore yielding no return on the bank’s investment. For the same reason, Business Correspondent Agents who constitute the primary channel for financial inclusion are unable to pursue their activity as a full-time job. One major reason for this state of events is that the customer onboarding process is often delayed after the submission of documents (required to validate the details of the concerned applicant) by the applicant and might take as long as two weeks. By this time the initial enthusiasm of applicants fade away. Moreover, the delivery partners don’t have the knowledge and skill to propose anything other than the most basic financial products to the customer and hence do not serve their banks’ goal of expanding the offering in unbanked markets.
Contrary to popular perception, the inclusion segment is not a singular impoverished, undifferentiated mass and it is important to navigate its diversity to identify the right target customers for various programs. Rural markets do have their share of rich people who do not use banking services simply because they are inconvenient to access or have low perceived value. At the same time, urban markets, despite a high branch density, have multitude of low wage earners outside the financial net. Moreover, the branch timings of banks rarely coincide with the off-work hours of the labour's class.
Creating affordability is crucial in tapping the unbanked market. No doubt pricing is a tool, but banks also need to be innovative in right-sizing their proposition to convince customers that they can derive big value even from small amounts. One way of doing this is to show the target audience that a bank account is actually a lifestyle enabler, a convenient and safe means to send money to family or make a variety of purchases. Once banks succeed in hooking customers with this value proposition they must sustain their interest by introducing a simple and intuitive user application ubiquitous access over mobile and other touch points and adoption a banking mechanism which is not only secure but also reassuring to the customer. Technology is the most important element of financial inclusion strategy and an enabler of all others. The choice of technology is therefore a crucial decision, which could make or break the agenda. Of the various selection criteria, cost is perhaps the most important. This certainly does not mean buying the cheapest package, but rather choosing that solution which by scaling transactions to huge volumes reduces per unit operating cost. An optimal mix of these strategies would no doubt offer an innovative means of expansion in the unbanked market.

What did the author try to highlight in the passage?
  1. Both (1) and (2)
  2. All (1), (2) and (3)
  3. Only (3)
  4. Only (2)
  5. Only (1)
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