BGR reported at the Regional Inspectorate (RI) during the fourth week of May 1994. He took charge of the Section from Raghavendra Rao who was under transfer to Madurai on promotion to Scale-IV. He explained the working of the Section and advised BGR to assess the branches carefully and objectively while recommending for gradation as there was a provision for appeal by branches/Circle Office. The next day he was relieved and BGR took charge. The Section had an Officer, three Managers for processing, two typists, one clerk and a peon. All of them had put in 2-3 years of experience in the Section. RI was headed by Shri N R Suvarna as AGM after the reorganization of Inspection Department was done as an independent entity. It was located on the 3rd floor of Spencer Towers on M G Road where the Bangalore Circle office was functioning. All the branches of Bangalore Circle Office numbering about 230 as also Currency Chests and Foreign Department were to be covered. There were totally 75 field Inspectors and most of them were Senior Managers. Apart from Bangalore, Inspectors were stationed at Mysore, Davanagere and Gulbarga.
The functions of the Section included the following:
- Giving Programmes to the Inspectors and follow up of their movements
- Processing the Inspection Reports received and grading
- If any deficiencies were found in the Inspection Reports , guiding and addressing Inspectors with suitable letters as also issuing appreciation letters wherever large scale income erosion is detected and recovered
- Sending periodical returns/reports to the Inspection Wing
- Guiding the newly joined Inspectors
- Conducting a week’s training programme for the newly inducted Inspectors during the last week of September and a General Training Programme during the last week of March every year
- Attending annual RIs Conference called by Inspection Wing, HO and other meetings
The staff in the Section was efficient and experienced. Shyam Sunder, Accountant, was doing a very good job in preparing programmes and other connected matters of Inspectors. Umanath Damle, Manager, too doing an excellent job in inwarding Inspection files and handling them till the same are graded and then sent to Circle Office. He was also properly interpreting new guidelines issued by the Inspection Wing, HO, and used to issue Circular letters to the Inspecting Officers, wherever necessary. He was assisting BGR in preparing training programmes and the required materials/files for conducting Training Programme for inspectors. The other two Managers were fully engaged in processing of files for the purpose of gradation.
All the three lady clerks were also very good at work. While Rajni Gopal was looking after all the clerical work, Gayathri and Rajni Prakash were excellent in typing and computer operations. Peon Ramaiah (who is no more now) was short and weak but knew his work well. He had a good handwriting and in all the new files, he used to beautifully write the names in coloured ink. AGM Suvarna trusted BGR and gave him a free hand and used to permit the implementation of suggestions and ideas. Thus for BGR managing the section was a pleasure. There used to be frequent Phone calls from the field inspectors– either seeking clarification or reporting some problems. The AGM of the Inspection Wing used to call whenever some new guidelines were received from RBI/HO for discussion before implementing them.
Launching of a Revised Training Programme for Inspectors
BGR’s innovativeness came to the fore as in-charge of RI. During the last week of September 1994 the Training Programme for the newly inducted Inspectors had to be organized. Normally, STC faculty members used to draw the time-table and conduct the training by themselves earmarking one or two periods to RI. BGR suggested to the AGM that there was a case for revision of topics. BGR also suggested to him that he would take 5-6 classes. He also told AGM that there were some excellent Field Inspectors who also could be drawn for covering specific areas of Inspection where they had excelled. The AGM readily agreed. BGR sat with the Faculty member of STC who was asked to organize. He suggested some changes in the topics and the STC member readily agreed. STC was also happy that RI had come forward to take more responsibility in training. So the revised time-table was drawn and Inspectors were identified. It was decided that out of the 21 classes RI would take 10 classes. BGR himself decided to take five classes out of the 10 classes.
After the introductory address by the AGM, BGR took up the topic “Approach to Field Inspection”. He told the Inspectors that some of them had willingly joined Inspection whereas some would have joined reluctantly. But he suggested that everybody should willingly accept one term in Inspection. As most of the trainees were earlier in-charge of the branches, BGR told them that naturally they would feel like “A KING WITHOUT KINGDOM”. Yet he wished them that after the term of Inspection all of them would get a good Kingdom and they would be more equipped to lead. BGR also advised them to accept Inspection as an opportunity to observe the working of many branches, see many places, observe secret of success of some Managers as also why some Managers fail to manage the branch. He also told them to start the Inspection with an open mind and without any pre-conceived notions and “Be a friend, philosopher and guide” to the branches.
He told them that the reception for Inspection would be different as some branches would welcome, some feel as it would be inconvenience and some would be concerned. But the inspectors have to create an impression that attending to Inspectors and Inspection observations is part of the duties of the branches for the improvement of the working of the branch as also making the Bank’s working more efficient. He also cautioned them that “Excessive hospitality by the Manager/or any other staff in the branch could be a sign of weakness”.
For the topic “Special & Confidential Report” an able Inspector Umesh V Prabhu was asked to take up classes. For “Income Erosion” S R V Kamath who was expert in locating short collection of interest/commission was entrusted. R S D B. Gowda, a direct recruit and young and successful Manager who had worked as AEO was asked to take up the topic “Inspection of Agricultural Finance”. He later took VRS (before SRVS) and started his own venture. BGR gathered that with his technical knowledge and skill and ability to manage, he succeeded and earned a good fortune. The training programme with changed topics went off quite well and was appreciated by the participating Inspectors and the STC team as well.
Once in six months the training exercise had to be conducted and during BGR’s five-year term in RI, he could improve the basic approach for better and objective understanding. Umanath Damle, Manager in the Section did a marvelous job in preparing the file containing Inspection guidelines, latest changes, relevant circular numbers and also some write ups. The RI team made continuous improvement in the programme to achieve better quality of training.
As usual the training for newly inducted Inspecting Officers was held during Sept 1996. As there were only four newly inducted Inspecting Officers at Bombay RI, they were posted to the Bangalore Course. M D Kamath, Senior Manager, who had successfully worked in STC at Bombay as faculty, was posted to Inspection there and he was one amongst the four. When the training was in progress, Kamath met BGR and told that only the STC people used to conduct this training in Bombay whereas here in Bangalore RI was taking lot of interest as also asking some successful Inspectors to conduct classes which were really good and interesting. He had all the praise for the file prepared by Bangalore RI and given to all the new Inspectors. He also told BGR that he was very much impressed by the way he and other Inspectors used to conduct classes on a very practical basis.
Kamath who also spoke on the valedictory day stated that the method of conducting classes and giving inputs to the Inspectors was excellent which was not the case in Bombay. This platform gave BGR immense satisfaction as sharing of knowledge and training juniors were practiced by him from his clerical days. BGR was also used to be the guest speaker at STC on topics relating to Inspection during the other courses conducted by them between 1996 and 2000.
------- (To be continued)
A V Krishnamurthy
28th November 2012