5
Sunday
April 2020
8:22 PM IST
News Headlines
If you stay indoors right now, you are fighting the battle for your country: Pujara        Lockdown challenge: Rai builds muscles to maintain shape for third Olympics        Avolon cancels order for 75 Boeing 737 MAX planes        Stocks fall on Wall Street, heading for another weekly loss        Trump recommends Americans wear face masks, but says he won't        Indonesia covers up to protect orangutans from virus threat        Bangladesh sees highest single-day jump in coronavirus cases, extends shutdown to Apr 11        EC postpones elections to 11 UP Legislative Council seats amid lockdown        Coronavirus: No community transmission in Goa, says CM        Madhya Pradesh: Two senior health officials test positive for Covid-19        COVID-19 death toll nears 100-mark; Govt says no need to panic as 30% infections linked to Tablighi centre        Kerala has been successful in containing outbreak of COVID-19, claims CM        Elderly couple cured of COVID-19, says Kerala CM        COVID-19 death toll in country rises to 62, cases to 2,547        43 more test positive for virus in Mumbai; death toll 19        COVID-19 cases in Delhi mounts to 386; two more deaths: Authorities        COVID-19: Focus shifts to rapid tests in hotspots; Govt says numbers in control sans one ''event''        Rupee slides 53 paise to settle above 76 mark amid meltdown in equities        India-returned SA players are COVID-19 negative, no symptoms in those not tested        No alternative to constant testing to combat COVID-19: Sonia        
Home   | Main News   | Kerala  | National   | International  | Business   | Sports   | Entertainment   | Columns   | Offbeat   | Health   | About Deepika 
Business News
How RBI set up war-room in just one day amid coronavirus outbreak
 
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank is virtually being run from a war-room at a city facility manned by just around 90 critical staff as the nation's monetary authority works to insulate the financial system from disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The facility, operational from March 19 as part of the Business Contingency Plan (BCP), was up and running in 24 hours of the central bank taking a decision to this effect, according to an official.

The war-room is in fact manned by 90 most critical staff from the Reserve Bank, 60 key personnel from its 600-people strong workforce from its external vendors and around 70 facility staff.

The operation is so controlled for the sake of security and health of the personnel as also of the system that the BCP manual allows only half of the 90 staff to be present at any given time and the rest are on standby.

"This is the first of its kind BCP implementation by any central bank in the world and is also the first in our history because even during the World War II we did not have any such facility," the official from the Reserve Bank told PTI.

The most critical functions that the war-room handles are debt management, reserve management and monetary operations.

Under the BCP, other data centres of the RBI run critical systems like the SFMS (Structured Financial Messaging System), RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) and NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer).

There is also e-Kuber that includes services for the central and state governments' transactions, and interbank transactions, among others.

"This is a model being attempted first time ever in our financial system and perhaps anywhere in the world. The normal BCP is for software hardware problems, fire, or other natural calamities and no one has such a plan as the RBI has put in place to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

"What is also unique is that no national institutions or central banks anywhere in the world has a BCP for pandemics where the people also maintain social distancing in accordance with established protocols. This includes donning hazmat suits as well," the official said.

On a normal day, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which handles billions of transactions, is served by around 14,000 employees spread across its 31 regional offices and the central office here. And the most critical operations mentioned above are handled by around 1,500 of them.

For more than a week now, only around 10 per cent of the staff are coming to the central office which houses around 2,000 people, according to RBI union sources.

More than two lakh people have tested positive for the coronavirus worldwide and the number of such cases are on the rise in the country, which has reported at least six deaths due to the virus infection.

Of the 14,000 staff, the three most critical functions moved to the war-room -- debt management, reserve management and monetary operations -- are handled by around 1,500 people on a normal day.

According to the official, the war-room is now being handled by around 90 of them. Besides, there are around 60 people from external vendors and 70 facility staff.

Normally, RBI's IT infrastructure is supported by around 600 external staff.

Explaining how they operationalised the war-room, the official said first they hired the facility exclusively to accommodate around 150 RBI personnel and around 60 service providers who are supported by the around 70 facility staff comprising maintenance, security, kitchen, front desk, and the administration.

All these people are isolated within the facility on a continuous basis and cannot move out except for extreme contingencies. All supplies to the facility are monitored and are provided by dedicated transport staff to maintain hygiene and sanitation standards fit for pandemic conditions, as per the official.

The highest priority is safety and health of the members by maintaining social distancing.

The BCP playbook documents the measures for anticipated disruptions, smooth flow of operations and staffing, identification of the key resources, formation of crisis management groups, while keeping all the staff insulated from exposure to the coronavirus.

Under the minimum staffing plan, two batches are formed and the second batch is kept on standby. A backup replacement pool is also in place. All the staff at the secret location are in hazmat suits, the official adds.

And from a medical point of view, the BCP playbook first lays down the process to ensure effective social distancing and isolation of the core personnel to run the war-room.

Again, this is first time that vendors are put on location. They are asked to work onsite and stay back round the clock, the official said.

Since the pandemic comes at a time of the financial year closing, ensuring hassle-free transactions are all the more critical. "But even as we speak, I can assure that the government and customer transactions are happening smoothly," the official said.

"Ensuring business continuity for the IT infrastructure in a pandemic situation gets more complicated as it requires highly skilled personnel to run the operations. RBI's IT infrastructure is necessary not just for the banking system to keep functioning but also to ensure uninterrupted business and retail payments, and continuance of tax and other payments.

"These systems, operated through multiple data centres, have to stay live notwithstanding any exogenous disruption," the official noted.


Avolon cancels order for 75 Boeing 737 MAX planes
Stocks fall on Wall Street, heading for another weekly loss
Rupee slides 53 paise to settle above 76 mark amid meltdown in equities
Sensex plunges over 700 pts; Nifty drops below 8,400
Maruti reports 47 pc in March sales
Govt bans export of anti-malarial drug hydroxycloroquine
In worst ever market crash, Sensex tumbles about 4,000 pts as India goes into lockdown
Govt amends law to get powers to raise excise duty on petrol, diesel by Rs 8/litre in future
LIC declares relaxation for premium payments
Covid-19: SBI opens emergency credit line for borrowers
Yes Bank: Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal appears before ED
Sensex rallies over 1,800 pts; Nifty reclaims 8,700 level
Coronavirus impact may render 3.8 cr people jobless in tourism, hospitality sector
Asia stocks dive, dollar soars as ECB bazooka fails to ease fears
National Broadband Mission investment estimated at Rs 7 lakh cr: Prasad
Govt may cut rate on small savings schemes in next quarter
India must prepare for fighting coronavirus and economic slowdown: Rahul
FADA approaches SC for extension of sale, registration of BS-IV vehicles
Yes Bank resolution framework underway, depositors can withdraw money from Mar 18: Das
Rupee plunges 50 paise to 74.25 against US dollar amid coronavirus uncertainty
KERALA NEWS
Kerala has been successful in containing outbreak of COVID-19, claims CM
 Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday said the State has been success  
Elderly couple cured of COVID-19, says Kerala CM
32 new cases in Kerala, Elderly couple cured of virus
Covid-19: Punishment by police in Kannur for violating lockdown turns into row
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Trump recommends Americans wear face masks, but says he won't
 Washington, Apr 4 (PTI) President Donald Trump has recommended Americans to cover their faces with s
Indonesia covers up to protect orangutans from virus threat
Bangladesh sees highest single-day jump in coronavirus cases, extends shutdown to Apr 11
US wages all-out war to defeat "horrible" coronavirus: says Trump, as death toll crosses 5,000
NATIONAL NEWS
EC postpones elections to 11 UP Legislative Council seats amid lockdown
 Lucknow, Apr 4 (PTI) The Election Commission has postponed the elections to 11 Uttar Pradesh Legisla
Coronavirus: No community transmission in Goa, says CM
Madhya Pradesh: Two senior health officials test positive for Covid-19
43 more test positive for virus in Mumbai; death toll 19
Untitled Page
Rashtra Deepika LTD
Copyright @ 2020 , Rashtra Deepika Ltd.