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RBI Gr. B: Economic & Social Issues [ESI] Preparation


The Economic & Social Issues (ESI) is an important section of the RBI Grade B Phase II Examination. It tests a candidate’s knowledge about the Economic & Social concepts (static knowledge) and the various issues related to National & International Economic & Social issues (current affairs). It’s an objective paper carrying 100 marks and duration 90 minutes.

In the following article, we have provided the syllabus, resources & guideline to approach the Economic & Social issues section for your preparation:


What to study?

Following is the syllabus of Economics & Social Issues:

Syllabus of Economics [2017]

Growth and development

  • Measurement of growth: National income and per capita income
  • Poverty alleviation and employment generation in India
  • Sustainable Development and Environmental issues

Economic reforms in India

  • Industrial and Labor policy
  • Monetary and Fiscal policy
  • Privatization
  • Role of Economic Planning


  • Opening up of the Indian Economy
  • Balance of Payments
  • Export-import policy
  • International Economic Institutions
  • IMF and World Bank
  • WTO
  • Regional Economic Co-operation


Syllabus of Social Issues [2017]

Social Structures in India

  • Multiculturalism
  • Demographic Trends
  • Urbanization and Migration
  • Gender Issues
  • Social Justice: Positive Discrimination in favor of the under privileged
  • Social Movements
  • Indian Political system
  • Human development
  • Social sectors in India: Health & Education


Order of Economics topics according to the weight-age given per topic in 2016 exam:
  • Sustainable development and environmental issues
  • Monetary and fiscal policy
  • Growth and development
  • Regional Economic cooperation
  • Export and import policy
  • IMF and World Bank
  • Industrial and labor policy
  • HRD
  • Poverty alleviation
  • Role of economic planning
  • Opening up of Indian economy
  • WTO
  • Balance of payment


Order of Social Issues topics according to the weight-age per topic given in 2016 exam:
  • Social justice
  • Social sectors
  • Demographic trends
  • Multiculturalism
  • Social Movements
  • Urbanization & Migration
  • Human development
  • Indian political system
  • Gender issues


Note: The RBI Grade B Exam can be unpredictable. Therefore, it’s not a good idea to base your preparation on the Previous Year RBI Grade B question paper analysis alone. If a particular topic got more weight-age in the 2016 exam, there is no guarantee that the same topic is going to get similar weight-age in the 2017 exam.


Resources for preparation

After a thorough analysis of last year’s RBI Grade B question paper, we found that most of the questions asked in Economics & Social Issues section were from the following sources:

  • Economic Survey of India
  • The Budget Document
  • Conceptual based (Books)
  • Basic knowledge (NCERT)
  • Newspapers (Current events, factual in nature)
  • Press Information Bureau

Most of the questions were based on facts, figures, numbers, percentages, that are required to be remembered. Therefore, based on last year’s question paper we concluded that the following are three most important sources:

  • The Hindu Newspaper
  • The Economic Survey of India
  • The Union Budget

However, since the RBI Grade B Exam is unpredictable, you need to go beyond these above-mentioned sources. The above-mentioned sources contain the topics and brief description of those topics. To dig deeper into those topics and gain an in-depth understanding, you will need to exploit the other, below mentioned resources:


  • Indian Economy by Uma Kapila
  • Indian Economy by Mishra & Puri
  • Growth & Development: Devraj Ray
  • Sociology: C.N. Shankar Rao
  • How to read balance sheet
  • How to read cash flow
  • How to analyze financial statements
  • IGNOU B.A. Economy Booklets.


  • Economic Survey of India
  • World Development Report
  • Union Budget
  • RBI’s Annual Report.


  • Economic Times
  • The Hindu
  • Business Standard


  • Economic & Political weekly
  • Yojana
  • Pratiyogita Darpan
  • Southern Economist
  • Business India
  • RBI Bulletins


News channels
  • Listen to views of Economic experts


  • Sample question papers by RBI. This will give you an idea of both the nature & the difficulty level of questions asked.
  • FAQ Section of the RBI website
  • Investopedia Website


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Do not let the length of the above-mentioned list of preparation resources intimidate you. You do not have to read them cover to cover, as that is going to take plenty of time. You need to smart and selective in your preparation and be selective about reading.

The best way to find out what you need to prepare from these resources is by referring to the RBI Grade B preparation material prepared by experts in the industry after thorough research. This is where RBI Grade B Mock Tests come in handy.

The Mock Tests are created by exam toppers and experts who have extensive knowledge about the exam, its pattern and syllabus. Taking RBI Grade B Mock Tests will:

  • Familiarize you with the pattern, nature and difficulty level of the exam
  • Help you figure out exactly what you need to focus on for the exam from your study material so you can be smart & selective and save time
  • Determine your speed & accuracy
  • Identify your strengths & weaknesses
Try it yourself! Take Free RBI Grade B Phase 2 Mock Tests.



The Economic & Social Issues preparation can be broadly divided into two parts:

  • Static section
  • Dynamic section

While the static section focuses on conceptual understanding of Economic & Social concepts, the Dynamic section focuses on current affairs related to Economic and Social issues.


If you had Economics as a topic in your graduation, you can simply refer to your Economics textbooks or notes to brush up your basics.

However, if you’re new to Economics, we recommend you start your preparation by referring to NCERT Economics textbooks of classes 10, 11 and 12 and Day to Day Economics by Satish Deodhar. Get your fundamentals in Economy in place and learn macroeconomics concepts like National income, Development and growth, Budget, Bank Rates, Fiscal/Revenue Deficits, Banking & Finance sector of India, NITI Aayog, Planning Commission, Role of Govt. of India, Taxation, Inflation, Repo rate, etc.

Once your foundation is strong, you can start referring to books like Indian Economy (Uma Kapila) for advanced Economic concepts and read up summary of the Economic Survey of India, Latest census, Union budget, FAQ section of the RBI website (which covers concepts like foreign exchange, government securities market, banking, currency, etc.)

For social, you can pick up topics from newspapers and exploit the internet for deeper knowledge on the topic. Read up summary of Socio-Economic & Caste census and latest census.



Refer to magazines like Yojana and Pratiyogita Darpan and newspapers like The Hindu and Economic Times for current affairs of last 1 year, related to Economic & Social Issues and make notes. Pay extra attention to the minute details like facts, figures, numbers and percentages mentioned. A lot of questions asked in this section are factual in nature.

For social, read up about the various Social Sector schemes & Welfare programs.


Download & use the above as a handy guide to prepare for your Economic & Social Issues section of the RBI Grade B Phase II Examination.

We wish you all the very best!


Further reading:

RBI Grade B Official Notification [2017]

Banking Awareness Notes: International Financial Institutions


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