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History of Banking in India: Evolution of Indian Banking System

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Nationalisation of financial institutions

RBI, the leader of the financial system, was established as a private institution in 1935. It was nationalized in 1949. This was followed by the nationalisation of the Imperial bank of India. One of the important milestones in the economic growth of India was the nationalisation of 245 life insurance Corporations in 1956. As a result, Life Insurance Corporation of India came into existence on 1st September, 1956. Another important development was the nationalisation of 14 major commercial banks in 1969. In 1980, 6 more banks were nationalized. Another landmark was the nationalisation of general insurance business and setting up of General Insurance Corporation in 1972.

Establishment of Development Banks

Another landmark in the history of development of Indian financial system is the establishment of new financial institutions to supply institutional credit to industries. In 1949, RBI undertook a detailed study to find out the need for specialized institutions. The first development bank was established in 1948. That was Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI). In 1951, Parliament passed State Financial Corporation Act. Under this Act, State Governments could establish financial corporation’s for their respective regions. The Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI) were set up in 1955. It was supported by Government of India, World Bank etc. The UTI was established in 1964 as a public sector institution to collect the savings of the people and make them available for productive ventures.

The Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) was established on 1st July 1964 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the RBI. On February 16, 1976, the IDBI was delinked from RBI. It became an independent financial institution. It coordinates the activities of all other financial institutions. In 1971, the IDBI and LIC jointly set up the Industrial Reconstruction Corporation of India with the main objective of reconstruction and rehabilitation of sick industrial undertakings. The IRCI was converted into a statutory corporation in March 1985 and renamed as Industrial Reconstruction Bank of India. Now its new name is Industrial Investment Bank of India (IIBI). In 1982, the Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank) was set up to provide financial assistance to exporters and importers. On April 2, 1990 the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) was set up as a wholly owned subsidiary of IDBI. The SIDBI has taken over the responsibility of administrating the Small Industries Development Fund and the National Equity Fund.

Establishment of Institution for Agricultural Development

In 1963, the RBI set up the Agricultural Refinance and Development Corporation (ARDC) to provide refinance support to banks to finance major development projects, minor irrigation, farm mechanization, land development etc. In order to meet credit needs of agriculture and rural sector, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) was set up in 1982. The main objective of the establishment of NABARD is to extend short term, medium term and long term finance to agriculture and allied activities.

Establishment of institution for housing finance

The National Housing Bank (NHB) has been set up in July 1988 as an apex institution to mobilise resources for the housing sector and to promote housing finance institutions. 5. Establishment of Stock Holding Corporation of India (SHCIL): In 1987, another institution, namely, Stock Holding Corporation of India Ltd. was set up to strengthen the stock and capital markets in India. Its main objective is to provide quick share transfer facilities, clearing services, support services etc. to investors.

Establishment of mutual funds and venture capital institutions

Mutual funds refer to the funds raised by financial service companies by pooling the savings of the public and investing them in a diversified portfolio. They provide investment avenues for small investors who cannot participate in the equities of big companies. Venture capital is a long term risk capital to finance high technology projects. The IDBI venture capital fund was set up in 1986. The ICICI and the UTI have jointly set up the Technology Development and Information Company of India Ltd. in 1988 to provide venture capital.

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History of Banking In India: Evolution of Indian Banking System. (2018, December 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 27, 2022, from
“History of Banking In India: Evolution of Indian Banking System.” GradesFixer, 11 Dec. 2018,
History of Banking In India: Evolution of Indian Banking System. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 27 Jan. 2022].
History of Banking In India: Evolution of Indian Banking System [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Dec 11 [cited 2022 Jan 27]. Available from:
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