Karnal is situated within the National Capital Region. It functions as the headquarters of the Karnal District of Haryana. It is believed that the city was founded by Karna, an important figure in the Hindu epic of Mahabharata, who had died at the hands of archrival and his half-brother, Arjuna. It is one of the 100 cities that are being developed into smart cities as per PM Narendra Modis Smart Cities Mission. It is one of the cleanest cities in the country that houses many reputed educational institutions like Kalpana Chawla Government Medical College, Maharana Pratap Horticultural University of Karnal, Dyal Singh College, and branches of famous schools like Delhi Public School and Kendriya Vidyalaya. The city served as a refuge for the British survivors during the 1857 Uprising in Delhi.
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.