RBI Grade-B Phase II: ESI

Economic & Social Issues (ESI) is an important section of the RBI Grade-B Phase II examination paper. It tests a candidate’s knowledge about various economic & social concepts (static knowledge), as well as that of issues related to national & international economic & social issues (current affairs). The 90-minute paper is of objective type; and carries 100 marks.

ESI Syllabus

The ESI section can be subdivided into two parts: Static & Dynamic. While the Static section focuses on conceptual understanding of various economic & social concepts, the emphasis in the Dynamic section is on current affairs related to economic and social issues.

Broadly, the ESI questions cover the following topics:

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 & Labour Policy
  • Monetary & 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 Cooperation

Social Structure in India

  • Multiculturalism
  • Demographic Trends
  • Urbanization & Migration
  • Gender Issues
  • Social Justice: Positive Discrimination in Favor of the Underprivileged
  • Social Movements
  • Indian Political System
  • Human Development
  • Social Sectors in India
  • Health and Education

RBI Grade-B Phase II 2018: ESI

In last year's RBI Grade-B Phase II paper, most of the questions in the Economics & Social Issues section were from the following sources: Economic Survey of India, The Budget Document, concept based (books), basic knowledge, newspapers (current events, factual in nature), and the Press Information Bureau.

ESI Preparation Strategy

The RBI Grade-B exam can be unpredictable. Therefore, it is not advisable to base your preparation solely on the previous year’s question-paper analysis. If, for instance, a particular topic had more weightage in the 2018 exam, there is no guarantee that the same topic is going to get similar weightage in 2019. Current topics carry the highest weightage. But without understanding theory first, you will find it difficult to analyze those topics. So, both should go hand-in-hand.

As questions on current issues are, in one way or another, related to the Economic Survey or Budget (ESB), you need to study the theory for the ESI paper in coherence with ESB. It will also make your preparation interesting. Most of the questions are based on facts, figures, numbers, and percentages, which you need to memorize. Solve sample question papers by RBI to get an idea of both the nature and difficulty level of questions asked. Many students have the habit of buying a lot of books that have been suggested by others. This only leads to unnecessary confusion. Rather, buy one (or two) standard books, understand the strategies mentioned in them, and practise implementing them.

Like any other exam, there is no single strategy for success in the ESI section of the RBI Grade-B Phase II examination paper. So, develop your own strategy and practise implementing it regularly. Set targets—both short term and long term—and follow them.

At Career Launcher, not only do our mentors help you do just that, but also guide you in your preparation, develop a strategy to tackle the ESI section that suits you best, and enable you to do your best in the ESI section of RBI Grade-B Phase II exam.

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