The Indian government has made a big piece of financial history after it was confirmed today that its financial inclusion campaign has set a new record for the most bank accounts opened in one week.

A total of 18,096,130 confirmed new bank accounts were opened across the country between 23 to 29 August last year through the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana campaign.

The financial inclusion scheme was first announced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech last year, with the aim of enabling universal access to banking facilities throughout the nation.

Its initial target was for 75,000,000 underprivileged Indian households to open a bank account by January 26, 2015, however this was later increased to 100,000,000 accounts. 

Arun Jaitley Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, pictured above,  was today presented with an official Guinness World Records certificate recognising the feat. 

Jaitley said the government would use these bank accounts to pass on benefits to individuals under its various social security schemes.

"Most of India today is included in the banking system," he said, adding that more than ninety billion rupees had been deposited in the new accounts. 

Pics: Alamy