From the pages of the past - Initial History of AIRRBEA with landmark events

History of AIRRBEA in a nutshell for the newcomer friends who have joined the RRBs recently

RRBs started their journey on 02-10-1975 with staff members drawn from respective Sponsor Banks.

Recruitment in RRBs, 5 in number, established on 02-10-1975 started in 1976.

Dada Mukherjee (Com Dilip Kumar Mukherjee) joined in GGB (Gour Gramin Bank) in West Bengal as Branch Manager in April,1976. Now the name of amalgamated bank is Bangiya Gramin Vikash Bank.

In mid 1977, Dada Mukherjee and some other officers (BMs) from various parts of the country were sent to the Training Centre of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Pune, Maharashtra. College of Agricultural Banking (CAB–RBI), initial Training Centre for RRB officers at Pune was not only the birth place but also the growth center for AIRRBEA.

Later on, BIRD (NABARD) at Lucknow also became the breeding centre of the units affiliated to AIRRBEA. The trainees took the major responsibility for the formation of Association and increase the membership of AIRRBEA under the leadership of Com D K Mukherjee and some others who joined the RRBs.

Difficult side to form Association at the initial years in the RRBs:

1) No scope to know each other in different RRBs of different states excepting on Training at RBI Training Centre, Pune.

2) Very small service area – 1 or 2 districts. Very little scope to go outside the service area of the respective RRB.

3) All new comers – fresh from college/university having no TU background.

4) No idea about T.U. or Banking Sector caused lack of collective thinking.

5) No Service Rules, even no confirmation of the service up to 1980 in RRBs for their staff.

6) Fear amongst employees/officers for RRB management to form any Association of RRB staff.

Positive side:

1) Young persons joining RRB from the same district/State had courage to face management attacks.

2) With zero level of service/financial benefits in comparison to bank employees created atmosphere to fight injustice.

3) Some Officers joined RRB mainly in Eastern & N.E. Region after their experience in State Govt. jobs at the age group of 35 – 40 years. So, they had some knowledge of service conditions, right of employees etc. which were denied to RRB staff.

T.U. Guidance & other positive features:

1) Com Ashis Sen’s guidance from the very beginning as President, AIRRBEA. He was friend, philosopher & guide to the then leaders in RRBs.

2) Com D.K. Mukherjee had his experience of T.U. in LIC & State Govt. (1958-March, 1976). His continuous contact, communication and mobility helped formation and growth of associations in RRBs.

3) Left Front Govt. in WB/Kerala/Tripura etc. helped growth of TUs.

4) Due to Com Ashis Sen, easy rapport with RBI/NABARD officials/management was possible.

5) A sincere & mobile core group formed in some States helped much to move forward.

6) AIRRBEA being the first and only apex organization for all cadres from 1978 to 1982 had the opportunity to approach all cadres of staff. Major players in Banking Industry as TU had strong apathy to RRB staff issues. AIBEA formed TU in RRB in 1983 & AIBOC formed in 1986 – NOBW though came in 1982 was a minor player in Banking Industry. BEFI was born in 1982.

Then came State Level Coordinating Body at management side under the Chairmanship of Lead Bank where all the staff matters at the State Level were discussed. At the National level, a Committee for RRB & staff matters under the Chairmanship of Deputy Governor, RBI was formed. Rural Planning and Credit Department (RPCD), RBI used to look after the RRB matters up to 1984.

So unless State Level or National Level body was formed, there was none to bargain at these levels.

AIRRBEA formed both National & State Level committees along with RRB level bodies since inception.

Some historic events at the initial stage of AIRRBEA:

First Meeting of 39 officers in August 1977, at Pune at College of Agricultural Banking (RBI) towards formation of the AIRRBEA.

First Apex Organization (Adhoc body) formed at Pune with:

i. Com Gopinath – President

ii. Com D K Mukherjee – General Secretary

First registered unit of composite Association in RRB in the country:

i. Mallabhum GB

ii. Puri GB

Foundation Conference of the AIRRBEA– Bhubaneswar, Orissa – 27th &28th May 1978

First Central Committee elected of the AIRRBEA with:

i. President – Com Ashis Sen – elected in his absence (Com Ashis Sen was G.S., All India Reserve Bank Employees Association)

ii. Vice President – Com D.K. Mukherjee

iii. Gen. Secy. – Com Basant Mishra (did not function as GS after issuing Circular no 1 which was prepared by Com D K Mukherjee)

  • Com D K Mukherjee had to function in place of Com Basant Mishra.

  • First meeting of Central Committee was