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Monday, 6 January 2014

Islamic Banking and Financial Services

With Islamic Banking gaining popularity in the modern financial sector, at least three books on this subject hit the stalls in India in 2013

 The first book ‘INTEREST-FREE BANKING by Nazir A Nazir and Khurshid A Butt was published by Department of Business and Financial studies, Kashmir University. The second book GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISES and ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE by B Syed FazalHuq published by The New College, Tamil Nadu, and the third ISLAMIC BANKING and FINANCE authored by Ismail and Rehman. 

 The first two books are the outcome of international conferences where a variety of papers, rich in content, were presented. The third book is the result of academic venture undertaken by the young author.

 The first book is spread over nineteen chapters and the second accommodates fifty seven chapters on different sub-themes duly supported by empirical evidences. The third one presents conceptual framework in ten comprehensive sections. 

 In totality these books put forward intellectual discourses on various themes and come up with workable solutions from Islamic economics, banking and finance perspective, to so many issues of contemporary relevance as detailed hereunder:

• Regulatory framework and institutional mechanism for Islamic finance, banking and insurance,
•Islamic micro-finance models, social responsibility and sustainable development,
•Legal and regulatory challenges for developing an interest free economy,
•Recent economic melt-down and solutions available in Islamic Finance.
• Entrepreneurship development and interest free banking in 21st century,
• Islamic perspective and responses for global economic crises,
• Role of Zakat in reducing the gap between haves and have-nots,
•Growth and distributive justice in the economic system of Islam,
•Industrial cluster development through Islamic finance perspective,
•Scope and challenges for Islamic banking for inclusive growth and social uplift,
•Prudential approach for investment in shariah compliant share market and Islamic indices ,
• Role of Islamic banking in framing an egalitarian society,
• Islamic fund- asset management- venture capital- insurance-housing finance, etc. 

 Islamic banking and finance primarily focuses on value addition through an effective and productive process to widen the gap between input and output. This system has zero tolerance for wastage of resources and the people associated put in dedicated efforts to their best capabilities in order to enrich the process. The value addition thus generated is mutually shared by all the stakeholders as agreed upon by them on fair basis.

 At present there is shortage of human resource in Islamic Banking and Finance to run such institutions. 

 No doubt some scholars have done commendable research work in this branch of knowledge for award of doctoral degrees and now are working in different international universities and Islamic banks. Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi has been putting in sustained efforts to sensitize the general public across the country with regard to Islamic banking and finance and organizes seminars, workshops and conferences for the academics and financial experts. 
 Islamic economics-banking-financial services and Islamic accounting are now comprehensive courses of study and have gained an independent status of academic 

discipline. To develop human resource in this branch of knowledge is quite essential in the context of employability. An additional degree or Diploma must be obtained by all those who want to work in Islamic financial institutions across the globe. 

 In this context it may be said that Aligarh Muslim University offers Masters Programme in Islamic Economics. Post Graduate Diploma in Islamic Economics and Finance (PGDIEF) is offered by Al-Jamia-al-Islamia, Kerala. However, both these programmes are transacted through formal mode of education to make stay of learners on the campus mandatory. 

 All the three books offer a very interesting read as the text is well drafted in a lucid style. 

The editors, contributors and authors of these books deserve appreciation for their sincere and serious efforts for discussing the issues pertaining to humankind and attempts they made to analyse vital economic crises confronting the global economy. The books under review can prove of great academic utility to research scholars, banking practitioners, subject matter specialists, policy makers and business academics. 

 Based on the bibliography, webliography and references to the context forming an essential part of these books one interested in will be in a position to develop a good personal library on the subject.

(Kreater Kashmir / 05 Jan 2014)
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