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Indian banks must meet global challenges: Barnala

Saturday 2 July 2005

Staff Reporter

Social service organisations, individuals honoured at SBI centenary celebration Social service organisations, individuals honoured at SBI centenary celebration

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HONOURED Governor Surjit Singh Barnala presented a memento to V. Shantha, chairperson of Cancer Institute, Adyar, on Friday in Chennai during the launch of bicentennial celebrations of the State Bank of India. Pradeep Kumar (left), General Manager, SB I, Chennai and P. Chaudhuri, Chief General Manager, Chennai Circle, are also seen. - Photo: V. Ganesan

CHENNAI: Indian banks must rise to the challenges posed by customers and provide services in line with international standards, said Governor S.S. Barnala. He was inaugurating the year-long bicentennial celebrations of the State Bank of India (SBI) here on Friday.

Mr. Barnala called on banks to be more efficient and responsive to customers’ needs and urged employees to upgrade their skills.

While Indian banks were looking overseas for opportunities, those abroad would also look for similar rights in India. This would mean that banks would have to "strengthen their capital, risk management systems, lending practices and offer new products to customers," he said.

Urging banks to reinvent themselves to meet future competition, he said they must continue to be facilitators "of trade, flow of capital and technology, which are important for development of society."

Largest FI

He felicitated the SBI for its role in extending financial assistance to various sections of the population including farmers, self-help groups, professionals, traders and students. He said it continued to be the largest financial institution in the country, keeping pace with the changing times.

The bank honoured six social service organisations in the State - Amar Seva Sangam in Ayikudi near Tenkasi, which runs a home for the physically challenged and poor children; Indian Red Cross Society, Tamil Nadu branch; Ramakrishna Mission Student Home; Medical Research Foundation (Sankara Nethralaya); Aravind Eye Hospital (Govel Trust), Madurai; and Cancer Institute (Women’s India Association), Adyar.

Mr. Barnala also presented mementos to four individuals and two SHGs for their achievements.

V. Antonysamy from Puliangudi village of Tirunelveli district was honoured for producing high-yielding, drought-resistant plants to suit local conditions and was awarded the gold medal by the National Innovation Foundation of India. R. Ranganathan of Harur in Dharmapuri district was recognised for having converted barren land into an organic fruit and vegetable garden.

The Poonganur SHG in Yelagiri in Vellore district was honoured for maintaining the Government boathouse, the horticultural garden, and canteen besides tourist facilities around the lake. Vinayagam SHG had implemented a biogas programme with the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation.

The bank also honoured two artisans who ensured that traditional art and skills were passed on to future generations. S.G. Vidyashankar Stapathi of Kumbakonam was recognised for promoting sculpting in the Swamimalai tradition of South India and V. Balasubramanian of Thanjavur, a sixth generation craftsman, for spreading the art of glass painting.

See online : The Hindu

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