State of the art Kerala Bank and Cooperative University on the anvil

The Cooperative movement over the years have been fine tuned in Kerala for inclusive growth and the new State Cooperation Minister V.N. Vasavan has said he has drawn ambitious plans which includes to turn Kerala Bank into a state of the art one, besides a first of its kind – a Cooperation University, by bringing all the educational institutions under his department under one roof.

At present there are close to 16,000 Cooperative Societies functioning under the Registrar of Cooperative Societies which include consumer cooperatives, credit cooperatives, women cooperatives, educational institutions, hospitals and to be launched Youth Cooperatives.

Vasavan, a two time legislator who hails from Kottayam, over the years has been the closest aide of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, was handpicked for this job and in a chat with IANS, he said the newly formed Kerala Bank (formed by converting the three tier cooperative structure into a two tier one) has a deposit base of Rs 2.75 lakh crore, the largest of its kind in the state.

“Massive technological upgradation is being undertaken. For this Rs 300 crore technology upgradation contract has been given to Wipro and we expect it to be completed in three months. Once done, the services in the 769 branches of the bank would be a state of the art one, which will be the best in the state. After a long wait the Kerala Bank has been cleared to collect NRI deposits by the Reserve Bank of India,” said Vasavan.

In the education front, Vasavan said at the moment under the Cooperative sector there are nine engineering colleges, one MBA college, besides running the traditional courses in Cooperation.

“We are not only planning to start more educational institutions, but these institutions will offer the present day new generation courses in various disciplines which are in high demand. Our aim is to ensure that we set up a Cooperation University where all the courses under my department will be managed in the most professional way under the proposed University,” said Vasavan.

Reacting to a series of frauds that have surfaced in the Cooperative banks, Vasavan assured the depositors that there need be no concern at all as they have a full fledged system which will see not a single rupee is lost by any depositor.

“Not a single person who has been involved in it will be allowed to escape as the law will catch up with all such people and it has already begun,” added Vasavan.