This is the time when CAT 2016 aspirants are busy with their Mock CATs and do not want to be distracted from their goal of an MBA from a top B school. IIFT and NMAT have released their admission notifications and the CAT 2016 notification will be released shortly. Hence this seems to be a stupid time to come out with an article on an alternative (or a backup) to MBA. However, time and tide wait for none and it would be incorrect on my part not to share with you what I think is not only an excellent back up to MBA but also a very good career in its own right. Registration are open for Reserve Bank of India’s Grade B examination, the gateway to the key managerial positions in RBI and this examination is strongly recommended for:

  1. MBA aspirants who are interested in finance.
  2. MBAs who are interested in a good finance profile
  3. Civil service aspirants.
  4. Probationary Officers in Public Sector Banks.

RBI monitors and drives the parameters which influence and control the overall economic pulse of the country hence the job of an officer in RBI of guiding, monitoring and tweaking the monetary and fiscal policies of the country. The key roles would include currency management, inflation monitoring and targeting, interest rate management, foreign exchange operations and monitoring besides playing a very important role of acting as the monitoring and the regulatory arm to the banking system of the country. As a manager, you would be a direct contributor towards policy making and giving an even better shape to India’s financial structure.

Why RBI Grade B

Some of the key reasons why writing the RBI Grade-B exam will be one of the good decisions for achieving the dream career you are yearning for are:

Wide Scope of Work

RBI Grade-B job profiles allow you to have a direct role in shaping up the financial policies of the country. You will have a wide scope of work which encompasses key economic reforms, financial reforms and corporate policies. Such multidimensional job profiles will help you develop yourself as a better professional.

Unparalleled Scope of Networking

You get to work with the best economists, policy makers and financial analysts of the country. The policies that have a nation-wide impact are formulated after a lot of deliberation and evaluating a lot of principles form the other countries. This makes it a great opportunity for you to go global and rub shoulders with the brightest minds around the world.

Financial Security

The security of a government job coupled with an attractive compensation package which includes perks like independent accommodation in prime localities; furnishing allowance; consumer loans; medical facilities; LTC; etc.

For more details you can refer to RBI’s recruitment brochure. RBI’s recruitment film should also be helpful.

Selection Procedure for RBI Grade B

RBI Grade B has a 3 stage selection process as given below:

RBI Grade B Pattern

  1. RBI Grade B Phase -1 exam will held on 4th September ’16
  2. RBI Grade B Phase-II exam will be held on 19th September’16.
  3. Phase I and Phase II are conducted online (computer based tests).
  4. Candidates shortlised on the basis of Phase-I scores appear for Phase II. In 2015, the cutoff for moving to Phase-II was 88.5 out of 200 in Phase-I.
  5. Based on the results of Phase-II examinations candidates will be shortlisted for interview. In 2015, the cutoff for moving to the Interview stage was 197 out of 300 in Phase-II.
  6. Final selection will be through merit lists which will be prepared by adding marks secured by candidates in Phase-II and Interview.

Insights on Exam Pattern

This exam requires holistic preparation. MBA aspirants are good in QA, LR, English. Civil Service aspirants are good in GA. The candidates need to work in the areas they are lacking in. For Phase 1, the best strategy is to ‘Solve as many papers as you can’.  Join the test series even if you feel well prepared.

For phase 2 as well as the interview you require extensive reading of good newspapers such as The Hindu. This  newspaper gives you clarity on the issue, helps to frame your opinion on the national and international happenings. This will help you in essay, economic and social issues as well as interview. For Finance and Management paper you need to have conceptual clarity. If you have a background in finance then just revise your notes/books. If you don’t have a background, don’t worry. Finance is a very interesting subject and not a very lengthy one. With good guidance at your disposal you will be able to manage this paper in just 10 days !!!

Working in a central bank is a dream for economists, investment bankers etc etc. On top of that RBI Grade B is THE HIGHEST ENTRY LEVEL in RBI. (Everyone above you must have entered through this exam only, except one and that is the GOVERNOR himself.)

If you do a simple investment~return analysis… RETURNS ARE FABULOUS !!! And Investments quite less in comparison to efforts required for cracking CAT & Civil Services.

 Educational Qualification

A Minimum of 60% marks (50% in case of SC/ST/PWD) or equivalent in Bachelor’s Degree as well as in 12th and 10th standard examinations.

Age Criteria and Age Relaxation in upper age limit

(i) Between 21 to 30 years.

(ii) For M. Phil and Ph. D candidates the upper age limit will be 32 and 34 years, respectively.

(iii) As per extant practice age relaxation will be available to experienced candidates viz. candidates having experience as an officer in Commercial Bank/ Financial Institution in Public Sector as also candidates with prior experience in Reserve Bank of India, 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.

Important Information:

Online registration of application        18th July to 9th August 2016

Date of Phase-I Examination              4th September 2016

Date of Phase-II Examination             19th September 2016

To view RBI Grade B recruitment notification, click here

To apply for RBI Grade B click here

For an MBA aspirant, the preparation of the RBI Grade B exam will entail taking a few RBI Grade B mocks and studying GK and Economics & Social issues quite sincerely. Aspirants could go for the online RBI Grade B coaching program which provide quality online sessions, or you have an option of going for offline programs such as classroom and crash courses.

All the best!

GP