Soon after landing at Mumbai airport we were greeted by the welcoming faces of the RBI staff. We were quickly introduced to the Boston students over a much needed coffee, before heading off on the four hour drive through the mountains to Pune, on India’s chaotic roads. We made a brief stop half way through at a local service station, for our first taste of the Maharashtra cuisine, before continuing on to the RBI’s College of Agricultural Banking beautiful campus.
Our first day at work consisted of a tour around the campus, and a guided tour of the RBI museum and archives, where we were taught about the origins of the Bank and how it has changed over the years. The guides also gave us much insight into the Indian culture and values, and also the disparity between the different regions of the country.
On Tuesday evening after work, we decided to explore other parts of Pune, so we piled into a few rickshaws and set off to Mahatma-Gandhi Road. As soon as we arrived we were greeted by a stray buffalo wandering through the traffic, before finding a tree enclosed garden restaurant a few streets away for dinner.
On our third afternoon of work we were privileged to be invited to join a retirement celebration for a man who had worked within this campus for 37 years. Although some of the group were reluctant to join in, the celebration proved to be lots of fun. It was our first attempt at copying the locals’ dancing, which was hilarious and showed us that we were definitely not yet used to the Indian humidity or heat.
We were invited to attend a conference “Credit flow to the priority sector: Policy + Implementations” held by the RBI for bankers from all over the country on Thursday afternoon. It was a very interesting experience to see the bankers questioning the panel on the new proposals for micro-finance.
Everyone has had the most amazing first week in India, the RBI staff have all done their utmost to make us all feel welcome and at home, and we are all eagerly excited to see what the next five weeks entail.
GEO RBI Interns