A major portion of the Indian population resides in villages and rural areas. With the mainstream banking practices the poor population is neglected and marginalised of the benefits and financial services directly hampering the economic growth of the country. Social banking concept has been the highlight after the economic crisis which resulted in lack of savings, poverty and unemployment. The idea of social banking was introduced through banking reforms to ensure banking for the marginalised population, developmental needs, easy access to regularised credit, minimum requirements to open accounts etc. Thus, shifting the orientation of policies towards serving the common mass is known as social banking.
The Article starts with a brief idea of the historical background which resulted in the concept of social banking and reforms associated with it after independence. It further discusses the meaning and scope of social banking and its evolution over the period of time in different phases through various schemes introduced by the Government. It also distinguishes social banking with commercial banking. The third part deals with the pitfalls of social banking and the price paid due to its inclusion in financial policies. The last part deals with the new phase of social banking introduced in the form of the Financial Inclusion policy by the government. It also briefly covers the latest developments and policies introduced to meet the socialistic goals followed by conclusion and references.