National Centre for Financial Education under the aegis of National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM), had invited all school students from classes VIII to X to participate in the NCFE's National Financial Literacy Assessment Test (NCFE-NFLAT), conducted on 12th January, 2014 (Swami Vivekananda's Birth Anniversary). It is a first of its kind National-level assessment to measure the financial literacy quotient among the students in India in a range of concepts like inflation, compounding and topics such as basic money management, banking, insurance, pension, and so on.
The response to the test was overwhelming with around 1,00,000 students and 2000 schools registering for the test from all over the country within a 30-day registration window. The registrations were on a first come, first serve basisz and had to be closed early as all the seats had been filled up. The results for the test were announced on the Birth Anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose (23rd January, 2014).
The test had been conceptualized by the Technical Group on Financial Inclusion and Financial Literacy of the Sub- Committee of the FSDC chaired by Dr.K.C. Chakrabarty, Deputy Governor, RBI. The group includes representatives from all the financial sector regulators, Education Boards and the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
CBSE had extended its full support in this regard by issuing a circular to all the schools affiliated to the board. Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) being the testing partner had not only seamlessly facilitated the process but also waived off their fee for the national cause, charging only the third party fee from the NCFE. ICSE has also shown its willingness to be a part of the exercise from next year.
Given the scale and reach of the test, a number of organizations in the area of financial education have also come forward to offer their voluntary services to coach the students for the NCFE-NFLAT.
Discussions are underway to make the NCFE-NFLAT an annual event in the school calendars. Also, the test would be conducted at a larger scale in the subsequent years to accommodate the demand.