Finance is the linchpin of any development strategy. The financial system promotes savings by providing a wide variety of financial assets to the general public. Savings collected from the household sector are pooled together and allocated to various sectors of the economy for raising production levels. If the allocation of credit is judicious and socially equitable, it can help achieve the twin objectives of growth and social justice. This book examines the changes which have swept India's financial sector since Independence in 1947. * Part I begins with the role of financial system in economic development. It traces the evolution of India's financial system since Independence, explains its present structure, and describes the role of Reserve Bank of India in providing stability. * Part II traces the evolution and the present status of various financial institutions (intermediaries) in India. The areas covered include: commercial banks, regional rural banks, urban co-operative banks, rural co-operative credit institutions, development finance institutions, non-banking financial companies, mutual funds, and insurance organizations. * Part III is devoted to financial markets in India. It focuses on the reforms measures introduced in the money market, government securities market, capital market, corporate debt market, and foreign exchange market. It also dwells on payment systems, clearing, and settlement infrastructure. * Part IV deals with financial instruments, particularly the emergence of derivative instruments in India. * Part V contains two Appendices. Appendix 1 explains at length the techniques and risk management associated with internet banking. Appendix 2 relates to current global financial crisis, its impact on India, and policy response by government agencies. * Part VI contains a glossary, a bibliography, and an index.