Papers invited for Islamic finance seminar in Kochi

JEDDAH: The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), a member of the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank Group, and the Islamic University in Kerala have invited research papers from experts for presentation at an international seminar on Islamic finance in India to be held in the south Indian city of Kochi on Oct. 4-6.

The seminar, which will be attended by experts from different countries including Saudi Arabia, the US, Indonesia, the UAE and Qatar, aims to discuss prospects of introducing Islamic finance to the Indian economic system and examining the Indian regulatory and policy environment to accommodate the Islamic system.

The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI)

“Original theoretical and empirical research papers of high quality are invited,” said a statement issued by the two institutions, which are jointly organizing the seminar. Papers should focus on Shariah and organizational issues, products, models and structures, regulatory and policy Issues, demand assessment of specific components of the financial system at micro, meso and macro levels.

“Selected papers would generally be India-focused but would also include challenges and solutions to the Islamic financial services industry in the light of international experiences,” the statement said. Papers highlighting lessons from Islamic finance experiments in countries across the globe would be considered.

Papers must be original contributions and written in English, said Abdussalam Ahmed, director of the university.

Aug. 15 is the closing date for submission of papers while Aug. 31 for informing researchers about the acceptance of their papers.

Speaking about the significance of introducing Islamic finance in India, IRTI’s Mohammed Obaidullah said it would contribute to achieving greater financial inclusion, bringing in large sections of excluded population into the formal financial system.

“Enhancing financial inclusion is an important goal of regulators and policymakers across the globe. This assumes greater significance in a country like India with its over one billion population,” said Obaidullah, an Islamic economist.

“During the last three decades Islamic finance has contributed significantly to the development of financial sectors and deepening of financial markets in several countries, thus contributing to economic development,” he explained.

As Islamic finance is expanding worldwide with total assets reaching nearly $1 trillion, its systemic importance for the stability of national, regional and global financial system is also increasing fast. Many non-Muslim countries such as the UK, the US, Singapore, France and Australia are competing to become Islamic finance hubs.

Justice Krishna Iyer, former Supreme Court judge, has welcomed Islamic finance in India. “Islamic finance has proven successful in poverty alleviation and promoting sustainable growth in many countries, including the United States, and it is very relevant in our country where 20 million people are starving,” Iyer said.

The three-day seminar is titled “Islamic Finance in India: Products, Institutions, and Regulations” and will be attended by representatives from regulatory bodies, professional organizations, business firms and foreign and Indian financial institutions as well as university students and social activists.

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