RBI Grade B Exam: All you need to know to clear this exam!

As the central bank of the country, the RBI is the one of
the architects of the nation’s economy and its decisions touch everyday lives
of all Indians. From ensuring stability of interest rates and exchange rates to
providing adequate liquidity for productive sectors and ensuring adequate
supply of currency, the Reserve Bank of India also monitors flow of credit to
desired sectors and ensures orderly development of financial markets and
institutions. Through a wide range of functions, the Reserve Bank of India
contributes to nation-building.

Entry Level at RBI

RBI recruits in various streams : Gr B DR (Gen) , Research
Officer (Economics), RO (Statistics) , Officer in Gr B (Legal), Officer in
Grade A (Rajbhasha/Technical/Security), and Assistants i.e. Clerks

A Grade A Officer has designation of Assistant Manager in the scale of Rs. 17,100-1000(11)-28100-EB-1000(4)-32100-1100(1)-33200 (i.e. starting salary equiv to mid scale 1 salaries of PSBs which increases to Scale 2
salaries in a couple of years).  A Grade B
Officer has designation of Manager in the scale of Rs.21000-1000-30000-EB-1000-32000-1100-36400 (i.e. starting salary equivalent to higher
Scale 2 of PSBs which reaches to Scale 3 in 2-4 years, and further to even scale 4 in around 7-9 years).

Note: The above salary structure is subject to revision based on RBI salary settlement due in October 2015.

Almost 70% of Officers recruited in RBI are through RBI Gr B
DR Gen exam for verticals other
than research and there it is open to all considering no university can
teach central banking. They take a good candidate and then it is ON THE JOB
training. There is a rumour also that this year onwards RBI
Gr B Gen, RO (Econ) and RO (Stats) exams will be hold combined though no
official info yet.

Eligibility Criteria:

(a) Age (as
on notified date)
: Between 21 and 30. For
candidates possessing M.Phil. and Ph.D. qualification, upper age limit will be
31 and 33 years respectively. For candidates having experience as an officer in
Commercial Bank/Financial Institution in Public Sector as also prior experience
in Reserve Bank of India, upper age limit is relaxed to the extent of number of
years of such experience subject to a maximum of three years. For such
candidates, upper age limit should not exceed 33 years including experience.
For experience, probationary period will not be reckoned.

 (b) Educational Qualifications : i) A First Class Bachelor’s
Degree with a minimum of 60% marks or an equivalent grade, in aggregate of all
semesters / years ; OR ii) A Second Class Master’s Degree
with minimum of 55% marks or an equivalent grade, in aggregate of all semesters
/ years; OR iii) A Doctorate Degree; with minimum
of 50% marks or an equivalent grade, in aggregate of all semesters / years in
Master’s Degree; OR iv) Chartered/Cost Accountant/Company
Secretary (ACS) with a Bachelor’s Degree; OR v) A Post Graduate Diploma in
Management / MBA qualification from institutions recognized by Government of
India / University Grants Commission, with Graduation / Bachelor’s Degree.

Upper age is relaxable by-(a) Three years in the case of OBC
candidates if
the posts are reserved for them. (b) Five years in the case of: i)
SC/ST candidates if the posts are reserved for them, and certain other categories.

Career Prospects:

(i) Pay Scale: Selected Candidates will draw a starting
basic pay of `21,000/-
p.m. in the scale of `21000-1000-30000-EB-1000-32000-1100-36400 applicable to
Officers in Grade B and they will also be eligible for Dearness Allowance,
Local allowance, House Rent Allowance, Family allowance, and Grade Allowance as
per rules in force from time to time. At present, initial monthly Gross
emoluments are approximately 56000/-

 (ii) Perquisites:
Bank’s accommodation subject to availability, reimbursement of expenses for
maintenance of vehicle for official purpose, newspaper, telephone charges, book
grant, allowance for furnishing of residence, etc. as per eligibility. Free
dispensary facility besides reimbursement of medical expenses for OPD
treatment/hospitalization as per eligibility. Interest free festival advance,
Leave Fare Concession (once in two years for self, spouse and eligible
dependents). Loans and Advances at concessional rates of interest for Housing,
Car, Education, Consumer Articles, Personal Computer, etc. Selected candidates will
be governed by ‘the defined contribution New Pension Scheme (NPS)’, in addition
to the benefit of Gratuity.

(iii) At certain centres, limited number of residential quarters
are available. Facility for securing residential accommodation on lease,
however, exists at all centres. Initial appointment will be on probation for a
period of two years. At Bank’s discretion, the probationary period may be
extended upto a maximum period of four years.There are reasonable prospects for
promotion to higher grades. Selected candidates are liable to be posted and
transferred anywhere in India.


(I) Phase-I ON-LINE Examination (Objective Type): This
Paper for 200 marks consists tests of i) General Awareness ii) English Language
iii) Quantitative Aptitude and iv) Reasoning, with composite time of 130
minutes. Candidates have to secure minimum marks separately for each test as
well as aggregate, as prescribed by the Board.

(II) Phase-II Written Examination (Descriptive Type): The Phase-II Written Examination (WE) of three Descriptive
Type papers – (i) Paper I – English (ii) Paper II – Economic and Social
Issues and (iii) Paper III – Finance and Management. Each of these papers
is of 3 hours duration carrying 100 marks.

NOTE: The above might change this year
in case any pattern change is introduced due to merger of cadres. The change in
syllabus though is not expected to be huge.

(i) Paper I – English: Essay, Précis
writing, Comprehension and Business/Office Correspondence.

(ii) Paper II – Economic and Social Issues: Growth and Development – Measurement of growth: National
Income and per capita income – Poverty Alleviation and Employment Generation in
India – Sustainable Development and Environmental issues. Economic Reforms in
India – Industrial and Labour Policy – Monetary and Fiscal Policy –
Privatisation – Role of Economic Planning. Globalization – Opening up of the
Indian Economy – Balance of Payments, Export-Import Policy – International
Economic Institutions – IMF and World Bank – WTO – Regional Economic Co-operation.
Social Structure in India – Multiculturalism – Demographic Trends –
Urbanisation and Migration – Gender Issues – Social Justice : Positive
Discrimination in favour of the under privileged – Social Movements – Indian
Political System – Human Development – Social Sectors in India, Health and

(iii) Paper III – Finance and Management:

Finance :The Union Budget – Direct and Indirect
taxes; Non-tax sources of revenue; Outlays; New Measures; Financial Sector
Reforms; Capital Market, Money Market and Foreign Exchange Market; Stock
Exchanges and their Regulation; Capital Market Intermediaries and their
Regulation; Role of SEBI; Functions of the Money Market; Growth and Operation
of the Money Market; The Foreign Exchange Market; From FERA to FEMA; Exchange
Rate Management; Exchange Risk Management; Role of Banks and Financial
Institutions in Economic Development; Regulation of Banks and Financial
Institutions; Disinvestment in Public Sector Units.

Management: Management: its
nature and scope; The Management Processes; Planning, Organisation, Staffing,
Directing and Controlling; The Role of a Manager in an Organisation.
Leadership: The Tasks of a Leader; Leadership Styles; Leadership Theories; A
successful Leader versus an effective Leader. Human Resource Development:
Concept of HRD; Goals of HRD; Performance Appraisal – Potential appraisal and
development – Feedback and Performance Counseling – Career Planning – Training
and Development – Rewards – Employee Welfare. Motivation, Morale and
Incentives: Theories of Motivation; How Managers Motivate; Concept of Morale;
Factors determining morale; Role of Incentives in Building up Morale.
Communication: Steps in the Communication Process; Communication Channels; Oral
versus Written Communication; Verbal versus non-verbal Communication; upward,
downward and lateral communication; Barriers to Communication, Role of
Information Technology. Corporate Governance: Factors affecting Corporate
Governance; Mechanisms of Corporate Governance.

Areas one one may get to
work in as Grade B Officer in RBI

Monetary Authority The Reserve Bank of India constantly works towards keeping inflation under
check and ensuring adequate supply of liquidity for the productive sector as
also towards financial stability.

Supervisor of the Financial System Prescribes regulations for sound functioning of banks and financial
institutions, including non-banking finance companies
– Promotes best practices in risk management and corporate governance to
protect depositors’ interest and to enhance public confidence in the financial
system of the country
– Encourages use of technology in banks to provide cost-effective service to

Issuer of Currency Ensures good quality coins and currency notes in adequate quantity
– Mops up notes and coins unfit for circulation
– Advises the Government on designing of currency notes with the latest
security features.

Manager of Foreign Exchange Formulates policies to facilitate external trade and payments, facilitates
foreign investments in India and Indian investments abroad and promotes orderly
development of foreign exchange markets.

Banker to the Government Maintains accounts of central and state governments. Performs merchant banking
function for the central and the state governments
– Encourages development and orderly functioning of Government securities
– Advises central and state governments in better cash management.

Payment Systems Work towards stablishment of modern, robust, efficient, secure and integrated
payment and settlement system for the country.

Bankers’ Bank Ensures adequate liquidity in the financial system and in individual banks, on
a daily basis
– Performs lender of the last resort function.

Developmental Role Performs a wide range of functions to support national objectives such as
ensuring orderly growth and development of financial markets and institutions,
creating institutions to serve specialised financial needs and extending the
organised financial sector to all parts of the economy.

Under Research Serves as the primary source of information on Indian economy and financial
– Analyses the issues and problems affecting the Indian economy
– Renders advice for policy formulation and shaping monetary, banking and
financial policies
– Prepares the Bank’s publications
– Warehouses data to enable decision-making.

Strategy to Study:

For phase – 1 most of the questions in GA are from economics,
social issues and business. Maths, English and Logical Reasoning papers are
mostly standard. So far, non-verbal reasoning questions have not appeared in
RBI Phase-1.

For Ph-I, practice
is the only solution. One may take RSA/AS for verbal reasoning, and quants. One high
school level grammar book, and PD/BSC of twelve months with newspapers and you
are done.

Newspapers will work for Phase -2 especially. Read, make summary,
try writing in own words and it will help a lot. In addition to Newspapers, One
needs to refer to books also for Phase -2. Read NCERT economics and one good
book on eco, one book for management and finance each along with multiple newspapers and clear
Ph-II and interview.

Many options have
been described by people in this forum which includes Kalinga notes,
ICAI/ICS/ICWA material, Dautt and Sundaram, Ramesh Singh, Sikdar macro, Oxford
University press, Mishra Puri, Handbook on banking, NS Toor, Kiran Publication,
R S Aggarwal , Arun Sharma, Compendium of essays … etc etc .

The interesting part is that there are various options
available and none of them is perfect. Finally what matters is how well an
individual is able to write. There is no silver bullet, different people might
find different strategies/books beneficial for them so far the core remains the

Best Of Luck

PS: Notification for 2015

In the first week of July I had an elaborate discussion with certain friends in RBI HR department. Here is a gist of what I learnt about RBI Gr B exam 2015 from HR people at RBI:

Based on some internal committee on Organizational restructuring at RBI, there will be combined selection procedure for Specialist cadres’ viz. DSIM and DEPR as well as RBI Gr B Gen posts. Earlier there used to be multiple notifications and tests.

There were four models under discussion. Under every model Phase-1 is common for all candidates.
Whereas Phase-II papers are proposed to undergo certain changes in pattern without any drastic changes in syllabus.

It is noteworthy that any addition/drastic change in syllabus has been ruled out.

It is learnt that models have been evaluated and have been send to topmost officials for final selection and approval. Let’s hope for the best.

Apparently mandate is to complete the entre process within six months or less from the date of notification.
So once the notification is out, entire process will be very fast.