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“The soul of India lives in its villages” (- Gandhiji). About two-third of Indian population live in rural areas. Over the years, different development policies and programmes through various development agencies have brought a significant change in the life and the livelihoods in rural India. There has been an improvement in access to credit and many other financial services especially in rural areas. However, the rural-urban divide in socio-economic conditions of people has been increasingly noticed. Interventions in rural contexts are still lacking innovation and collaboration. Adaptation of technology, improvement of skill matching to the need of the emerging market and cost-effectiveness in managing credit are continued to be the gray areas in rural areas. Moreover, COVID 19 has shaken the economy severely. The rural unorganized sector including the producers, the consumers and the returned migrants still find difficulty in its rejuvenation. In this juncture, discourse on the two important rural sub-sectors such as rural finance and rural livelihoods is felt to be very crucial.

The overall objective of the conclave is to bring the development/business practitioners, the academicians and the students to a common platform and discourse on various challenges and way forward with special reference to rural finance and sustainable livelihoods.

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