The Indian city of Sirsa is also a municipal council in the eponymous district in Haryana. Sirsa lies in the westernmost region of the state, bordering Punjab and Rajasthan. The history of Sirsa dates back to the time of the Mahabharata. River Sarasvati used to flow through this area at one point in time. Sirsas ancient name was Sairishaka. Many believe that the name got modified over time and eventually became "Sirsa." Another popular belief attributes the derivation of name to the abundance of the Siris (Benth) trees in the surrounding area. Sirsa is one of Indias 250 backward districts and the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme is currently supporting the city with funds. The city has an air base of the Indian Air Force called sirsa Air Force Station.
In 2000, Indian Overseas Bank engaged in an initial public offering (IPO) that brought the governments share in the banks equity down to 75%. In 2001, the IOB acquired the Mumbai-based Adarsha Janata Sahakari Bank. Then in 2009, the bank took over Shree Suvarna Sahakari Bank, which was founded in 1969 and had its head office in Pune. Since 2006, Shree Suvarna Sahakari Bank had been in administration. It had nine offices in Pune, 2 in Mumbai and 1 in Shirpur. The total strength of employees was estimated to be more than 100. On 29 August 2003, the Indian Overseas Bank has opened an extension counter at New Kathiresan Temple complex, Bambalapitiya, Ceylon. The IOB opened a representative office in Guangzhou, China in 2005 followed which the bank opened another representative office in Kuala Lumpur and 2009 in Dubai, UAE. In the new millennium, international expansion started once again. The bank took over Bharat Overseas Bank in 2007. After three years, Malaysia granted a commercial banking license to a local bank jointly owned by BOB, IOB, and the Andhra Bank. The new bank named, India International Bank ( IIB Malaysia), began its business in 2012 in Kuala Lumpur and had a large population of Indians. The Andhra Bank holds a 25% stake in its joint-venture, BOB owns 40%, and remaining 35% is with IOB. On 31 August 2013, the Indian Overseas Bank has opened an offshore banking unit in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The bank also converted its existing Extension Counter at Ceylon into a full-fledged branch.