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90 Years of RBI: A Chronological Journey



  Apr 15, 2024

90 Years of RBI: A Chronological Journey



The Reserve Bank of India’s 90th anniversary on April 1, 2024, is a momentous occasion, commemorating its profound legacy and significant role in shaping India’s economic destiny. From its establishment on April 1, 1935, following the Hilton Young Commission’s recommendations, the RBI has been pivotal in ensuring economic stability and fostering growth. Its journey has been marked by key events and leadership, evolving functions, and adapting to the nation’s changing economic landscape.

Key Events in the RBI’s History:

1. 1935: RBI commences as a shareholders’ bank; nationalized in 1949. First devaluation of the Indian rupee.

2. 1966: Begins regulating co-operative banks; second devaluation of the rupee.

3. 1969: Nationalization of 14 major banks.

4. 1973: Implementation of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) to conserve forex.

5. 1985: Formation of the S Chakravarty Committee to review the monetary system.

6. 1991: RBI pledges gold to shore up reserves during the Balance of Payments crisis; third devaluation of the rupee.

7. 1993: New guidelines for private sector banks; establishment of 10 new banks.

8. 1997: Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) replaces FERA to aid external trade and payments.

9. 1999: Issuance of internet banking guidelines.

10. 2007: RBI becomes the regulator for payments and settlement systems.

11. 2014: Issuance of two new bank licenses after a decade.

12. 2015: Issuance of differentiated bank licenses for payments banks and small finance banks.

13. 2016: Launch of UPI pilot; formation of the monetary policy committee with an inflation targeting mandate; demonetization invalidating 87% of currency in circulation.

14. 2019-2024: NEFT and RTGS made available 24x7x365; RBI fails to meet inflation mandate; initiation of the central bank’s digital currency pilot.Fought off COVID with innovative policies.Built up a war chest of $650 billion of forex reserves.


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