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Life Insurance Corporation of India (liC) was established on 1 September 1956 to spread themessage of life insurance in the country and mobilise people\'s savings for nation-buildingactivities. liC with its central office in Mumbai and seven zonal offices at Mumbai, Calcutta,Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kanpur and Bhopal, operates through 100 divisional offices inimportant cities and 2,048 branch offices. liC has 5.59 lakh active agents spread over the country.The Corporation also transacts business abroad and has offices in Fiji, Mauritius and UnitedKingdom. liC is associated with joint ventures abroad in the field of insurance, namely,Ken-India Assurance Company Limited, Nairobi; United Oriental Assurance Company Limited,Kuala Lumpur ; and Life Insurance Corporation (International), E.C. Bahrain. It has also enteredinto an agreement with the Sun Life (UK) for marketing unit linked life insurance and pension policies in U K

SOCIAL SECURITY GROUP SCHEME

A Social Security Fund (SSF) administered by the liC was set up in 1989- 90 to meet theinsurance requirements of the weaker and vulnerable sections of the society. As on 31 March 1999,about 49 lakh people belonging to 24 occupational groups/areas have been covered under varioussocial security group schemes financed from the SSF. Under these schemes people in the agegroup of 18-60 years are covered for a sum of Rs 5,000 on death due to natural causes, and Rs25,000 on death caused by accident. While the SSF subsidises 50 per cent of the premium, thebeneficiary has to pay the remaining 50 per cent.

INSURANCE REGULATORY AUTHORITY

On the recommendations of the Malhotra Committee, Government has set up an interim Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA), with a view to activate an insurance regulatory apparatusessential for proper monitoring and control of the insurance industry. The IRA is headed by aChairman who is also Controller of Insurance and Chairman of TBC. The other Members of theIRA, not exceeding seven in number of whom not more than three shall serve full time, shall benominated by the Central government.

GENERAL INSURANCE CORPORATION OF INDIA

The general insurance industry in India was nationalised and a government company knownas General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC) was formed by the Central Government inNovember 1972. With effect from 1 January 1973 the erstwhile 107 Indian and foreign insurerswhich were operating in the country prior to nationalisation, were grouped into four operatingcompanies, namely, (i) National Insurance Company Limited ; (ii) New India Assurance CompanyLimited; (iii) Oriental Insurance Company Limited ; and (iv) United India Insurance CompanyLimited. All the above four subsidiaries of GIC operate all over the country competing with oneanother and underwriting various classes of general insurance business except for aviationinsurance of national airlines and crop insurance which is handled by the GIC. From 799 offices in1973, the network grew to 4,208 offices as on 31 March 1998.

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