ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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RESERVATION FOR OBCs-Political Postures

above that of semi-urban and urban branches as well as the entire branch network of the bank. This shows that in terms of profitability, the rural branches are not a liability to the bank. Just as mismanagement is the major cause of industrial sickness inadequate management competence in individual banks is a major cause of the non-viability of rural branches of many public sector banks. In all possibility, in banks with low profitability of rural branches, the situation may not be different for branches in other population groups also!' Notwithstanding this factual position, the banking bureaucracy continues to clamour for the closing down of branches in rural areas because posting to a rural branch is considered a hardship posting. In fact, there is already evidence that the support-base of rural branches is being curtailed by the public sector banks. One of the major handicaps of rural branches has been the inadequacy of staff posted to them in comparison with urban and metropolitan branches. This problem seems to be getting worse. Thus when some rationalisation took place in bank staff postings in 1990-91, there was a substantial reduction in staff posted to rural and semi-urban areas whereas that posted to urban and metropolitan areas continued to rise, though the latter branches are generally found to be Overstaffed. Between March 1990 and March 1991, the number of staff posted to rural branches fell from 208,897 to 207,237 and those posted to semi-urban branches from 221,753 to 218,213 whereas the number of those posted to urban and metropolitan centres increased from 549,778 to 550,247. It is interesting that there was no decline in staff in rural branches in the south, where there is generally a continuum in rural-urban characteristics; in fact, the number of staff posted to rural branches in the south increased from 50,656 to 51,089 during the above-mentioned period. On the other hand, a noticeable decline has occurred in the central region consisting of MP and UP (from 45,599 to

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