I know the name sounded a bit bombastic at the time, but then it was a BJP-government led initiative, so I guess according to them things would have been "surgent" in the days of Ram Rajya!!
It was controversial at the time too, as a premium interest rate was offered (pampering NRIs) and foreign banks were given incentives to get subscriptions. Guess the central bank felt forex reserves of some USD 27b weren't enough for Asia's 3rd largest economy, but raising funds through sovereign paper might drive up institutional country risk perceptions at an already difficult time. So instead tap NRIs who'd have a more insider's perception of country risk. Also, in the words of an ex-governor RBI at the time, "The success of the RIB will be the best response to the global Jeremiahs who have written off India." I think they raised USD 4b, double the initial target. With forex reserves at USD 90b now, you could say there's been some element of resurgence alright. No? Not to say that piling up reserves for their own sake a la Japan, China, Taiwan, and HK is too smart a thing to do.
Re Vijaya Bank, what do you have in mind? OK, so they have a website!!