Bathinda is one of the oldest cities as well as a Municipal Corporation in the Indian state of Punjab. It functions as the administrative headquarters of the Bathinda District. It is situated in the Malwa Region. Bathinda is nicknamed as the City of Lakes, owing to the numerous artificial lakes in the city. The city is also known as Tabar-e-Hind or Tabarhindh which means the Gateway to India. Razia Sultana, the first Empress of India, was imprisoned in the Qila Mubarak fort in this city. Bhatinda is one of the leading cities in education. It has many prestigious academic institutions such as the Central University of Punjab and the upcoming AIIMS. Two modern thermal power plants are housed in Bhatinda - Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant and Guru Hargobind Thermal Plant. The city has a fertilizer plant, an oil refinery and two cement plants by Ambuja Cements & UltraTech Cement. Bathinda is also one of the largest cotton and food grain markets in northern India. Grape is widely cultivated in and around the city and is used for local consumption as well as trade. There are various places worth visiting in Bhatinda. The Bhatinda zoo, the historic Qila Mubarak fort, the gurudwara and mazaar of Haji Rattan are popular tourist centers in the city.
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.