1. IndiaInfoline
  2. Governors of the RBI

Dr. Raghuram Rajan (Sep 04, 2013 to date)

Dr. Raghuram Rajan

 

Dr. Raghuram Rajan assumed charge as the 23rd Governor of the Reserve Bank of India on September 4, 2013. Prior to this, he was the Chief Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance, Government of India and the Eric J. Gleacher Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago’s Booth School. Between 2003 and 2006, Dr. Rajan was the Chief Economist and Director of Research at the International Monetary Fund.

Dr. Rajan’s research interests are in banking, corporate finance, and economic development, especially the role finance plays in it. He has co-authored Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists with Luigi Zingales in 2003. He then wrote Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy, for which he was awarded the Financial Times-Goldman Sachs prize for best business book in 2010.

Dr. Rajan is a member of the Group of Thirty. He was the President of the American Finance Association in 2011 and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In January 2003, the American Finance Association awarded Dr. Rajan the inaugural Fischer Black Prize for the best finance researcher under the age of 40. The other awards he has received include the global Indian of the year award from NASSCOM in 2011, the Infosys prize for the Economic Sciences in 2012, and the Center for Financial Studies-Deutsche Bank Prize for financial economics in 2013. Born on February 3, 1963, Dr. Rajan is married to Radhika and has two children.


Dr. D. Subbarao (Sep 05, 2008 to Sep 04, 2013)

Dr. D. Subbarao

 

Duvvuri Subbarao (born 11 August 1949) is a 1972 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre. On 5 September 2008, he was appointed the 22nd Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI); his term will end in September 2011. Subbarao's hometown is Eluru, a small town near Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. He did his schooling from the Sainik School in Korukonda, Andhra Pradesh.

He graduated in Physics[B.Sc Hons.] from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (class of 1969) where he was the recipient of Director's Gold Medal. He received a [M.Sc] degree also in Physics from Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. Subbarao topped the IAS examination in 1972 and was assigned the Andhra Pradesh cadre. He later did a Masters degree (MS) in economics from Ohio State University, United States and was a Humphrey Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The years involved in each case are not publicly available at present. He later received a Ph.D. in Economics from Andhra University. The subject of his doctoral thesis at Andhra University is not publicly available at present; nor is the year of award.

 

Dr. Y. V. Reddy (Sep 06, 2003 to Sep 05, 2008)

Dr. Y. V. Reddy

 

Dr. Yaga Venugopal Reddy, better known as Y.V. Reddy, (born 17 August 1941 in Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh) is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1964 batch who served as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) (India's central bank) from 6 September 2003 until 5 September 2008.

Venugopal Reddy was appointed the 21st Governor of the Reserve Bank of India on 6 September 2003. Jaswant Singh was India's Finance Minister and took that decision, mentioning it in his autobiography. In 1996, Reddy had been appointed deputy governor of RBI. He has also worked with the International Monetary Fund as Executive Director in 2002. Prior to joining the IAS, he worked as a lecturer from 1961. He has been a visiting faculty member at the Osmania University and the London School of Economics.

Reddy was Chairman of the Bank for International Settlements, Asian Consultative Council (ACC) for a term of two years from March 2007. He is also currently the Chairperson of SAARCFINANCE, a Group of Governors of the central banks of SAARC member countries. He has held the positions of Secretary (Banking) in Ministry of Finance and Principal Secretary in Government of Andhra Pradesh and has worked with the governments of China, Bahrain, Ethiopia and Tanzania. He has been a Visiting Fellow, London School of Economics and Political Science, a full-time UGC Visiting Professor in Department of Business Management, Osmania University; full-time Visiting Faculty, Administrative Staff College of India and continues to be the Honorary Senior Fellow at Centre for Economic and Social Studies at Hyderabad.

Reddy was previously Deputy Governor and the Reserve Bank of India nominee on the Board of State Bank of India, which, he quit on 2 May 1998. As Deputy Governor he was responsible for monetary policy and internal debt management sections. On his appointment as India's Executive Director to the International Monetary Fund, from August 2002, however, he resigned from the Reserve Bank. He was succeeded as the Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India by Rakesh Mohan.


Dr. Bimal Jalan (Nov 22, 1997 to Sep 06, 2003)

Dr. Bimal Jalan

 

Jalan graduated from Presidency College, Calcutta, and later was at Cambridge and Oxford Universities though his doctorate is from neither. He has not publicly stated details about his doctorate, which may be from Bombay University, or whether it is honorary. Nor has he specified what degrees if any he earned at Oxford and Cambridge.

A leading economic bureaucrat, Jalan held several administrative and advisory positions in the Government of India. He was the Chief Economic Adviser in the 1980s, Banking Secretary between 1985 and 1989 and Finance Secretary, Ministry of Finance. As Finance Secretary, he was also on the Central Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of India. He has also been the Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister between January 1991 and September 1992. Jalan has served as the Executive Director representing India on the Boards of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. At the time of his appointment as the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Jalan was the Member-Secretary, Planning Commission in New Delhi.

He was the Governor of Reserve Bank of India for two terms. The Government of India reappointed Jalan as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, first for a period of two years commencing November 22, 2000 to November 21, 2002 and again for a further period of two years commencing from November 22, 2002 and ending November 21, 2004. He was succeeded by Y. Venugopal Reddy on September 6, 2003. During his tenure the Indian Rupee note of 1000 denomination was introduced.


Dr. C. Rangarajan (Dec 22, 1992 to Nov 21, 1997)

Dr. C. Rangarajan

 

Dr. Chakravarthi Rangarajan (born 1932) is an economist and a distinguished former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. Currently, he is the Chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council. He is also the Chairman of the Madras School of Economics, Chennai.

Rangarajan graduated from the University of Madras in the commerce stream (where he was a contemporary of the Yale University economics professor T N Srinivasan). He was awarded the Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1964; the subject of his doctoral thesis is not presently available in the public domain.

Rangarajan taught at several institutions including the University of Pennsylvania and the IIM-A. He was awarded the title of Honorary Fellow of IIM-A in 1997.

In 2002, the Government of India awarded him the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian award.

He served as a Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 1982 to 1991, after which he served as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India between December 22, 1992 and December 21, 1997. He also served as the Governor of Andhra Pradesh from 24 November 1997 to 3 January 2003. After demitting that office, he took charge as the Chairman of the Twelfth Finance Commission.

From 2005 onwards, he was the Chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council. In August 2008, he resigned as the Chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council and was nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha. He resigned from the Rajya Sabha in August 2009 and was re-appointed the Chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council.

While serving as the governor of Andhra Pradesh, he also received additional charges as governor of Orissa from 1998 to 1999 and as governor of Tamil Nadu from 2001 to 2002.


S. Venkitaramanan (Dec 22, 1990 to Dec 21, 1992)

S. Venkitaramanan

 

S. Venkitaramanan was the 18th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 22 December 1990 to 22 December 1992.

Venkitaramanan holds a Master's degree in Physics from the University of Kerala and also a Master's Degree in Industrial Administration from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburg, USA. He is a member of the Indian Administrative Service, he had served as Finance Secretary, and adviser to the Government of Karnataka before his appointment as Governor of the RBI.


R. N. Malhotra (Feb 04, 1985 to Dec 22, 1990)

R. N. Malhotra

 

R. N. Malhotra was the 17th governor of the Reserve Bank of India, serving from 4 February 1985 to 22 December 1990.

Malhotra was a member of the Indian Administrative Service. He had served as Secretary, Finance, and as India's Executive Director of the IMF before his appointment as governor of the RBI. During his tenure, the 500-rupee note was introduced.


A. Ghosh (Jan 15, 1985 to Feb 04, 1985)

A. Ghosh

 

Amitav Ghosh is an Indian banker. He served for the 20 days from January 15 to February 4, 1985, as the 16th governor of the Reserve Bank of India. His term was the shortest ever served by any Reserve Bank of India governor.

Previously Ghosh had been appointed RBI deputy governor. Before this Ghosh was the chairman of Allahabad Bank. He was also a Director of the IDBI Bank and was on the governing body of the National Institute of Bank Management.


Dr. Manmohan Singh (Sep 16, 1982 to Jan 14, 1985)

Dr. Manmohan Singh

 

An economist by profession, Dr. Manmohan Singh (born 26 September 1932) was the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 1982 to 1985, the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India from 1985 to 1987 and the Finance Minister of India from 1991 to 1996. He is also a Rajya Sabha member from Assam, currently serving his 4th term.

Manmohan Singh is a graduate of Punjab University, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Oxford. After serving as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India and the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India, Singh was appointed as the Union Minister of Finance in 1991 by then-Prime Minister Narasimha Rao. During his tenure as the Finance Minister, Singh was widely credited for carrying out economic reforms in India in 1991 which resulted in the end of the infamous Licence Raj system. Dr. Singh, along with the former Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, have presided over a period where the Indian economy has grown with an 8–9% economic growth rate. In 2007, India achieved its highest GDP growth rate of 9% and became the second fastest growing major economy in the world.

Following the 2004 general elections, Singh was unexpectedly declared as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the Indian National Congress-led United Progressive Alliance. He was sworn in as the prime minister on May 22, 2004, along with the First Manmohan Singh Cabinet. After the Indian National Congress won the 2009 general elections, Singh was reappointed as the Prime Minister of India on May 22, 2009.

Singh's government has continued the Golden Quadrilateral and the highway modernization program that was initiated by Vajpayee's government. Singh has also been working on reforming the banking and financial sectors and has been working towards reforming public sector companies. The Finance ministry has been working towards relieving farmers of their debt and has been working towards pro-industry policies. In 2005, Singh's government introduced the VAT tax that replaced the complicated sales tax. In 2007 and early 2008, inflation became a big problem globally.

India held general elections to the 15th Lok Sabha in five phases between 16 April 2009 and 13 May 2009. The results of the election were announced on 16 May 2009. Strong showing in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh helped the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) form the new government under the incumbent Singh, who became the first prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru in 1962 to win re-election after completing a full five-year term. The Congress and its allies was able to put together a comfortable majority with support from 322 members out of 543 members of the House. The oppossition having accepted defeat admitted that the specific targeting of Singh as "weak PM" was wrong and had benefited Singh instead.This lead to infighting in the BJP and criticism of Mr.Advani by many prominent leaders of the BJP. The tally of 322 seats included those of the UPA and the external support from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Samajwadi Party (SP), Janata Dal (Secular) (JD(S)), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and other minor parties.

On 22 May 2009, Manmohan Singh was sworn in as the Prime Minister at the Asoka Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan. As is the norm, earlier, on 18 May 2009, he submitted his resignation as the Prime Minister to President Pratibha Patil.


Dr. I. G. Patel (Dec 01, 1977 to Sep 15, 1982)

Dr. I. G. Patel

 

Dr Indraprasad Gordhanbhai Patel GCSI (11 November 1924 - 17 July 2005) popularly known as I. G. Patel, was the 14th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 1 December 1977 to 15 September 1982.

Patel was an economist and before joining the Reserve Bank as Governor had served as Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and thereafter as Deputy Administrator at the UNDP. After retiring from the Reserve Bank, Patel became the Director of The London School of Economics and Political Science (1984-1990). His distinguished directorship saw the school's reputation excel to being that of the finest economics school in the world, especially enhancing LSE in India, and Asia as a whole; according to Meghnad Desai, Baron Desai.

He was bestowed the Padma Vibhushan award in 1991 for his furthering of the field of economic science. Indraprasad Gordhanbhai Patel was known as Baba 'IG' from his childhood days in Vadodara, then the capital of the princely state ruled by the Gaekwars of Baroda, where he was born. The current I.G. Patel chair is Nicholas Stern.

The Indian Rupee notes of 1000, 5000 and 10,000 denomination and the gold auctions were demonetised during his tenure (he later featured on a special commemorative 1000 rupee note). However, the 1000 notes had to be reintroduced later which proves that his policy making was not up to the mark.


M. Narasimham (May 02, 1977 to Nov 30, 1977)

M. Narasimham

 

M. Narasimham was the 13th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 2 May 1977 to 30 November 1977.

RBI follows a policy of in house promotions, where all staff persons are promoted internally. The only two jobs where this is not done is for the Governor and one Deputy Governor. In Narasimham's case, in house promotion was upheld even for the Governor's post. Hence he was the first Reserve Bank cadre officer to be appointed as Governor. He had joined the Bank as a Research Officer in the Economic Department. He later joined the Government and prior to his appointment as Governor he served as Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs.

After his short term as RBI Governor he served as India's Executive Director at the World Bank and later at the IMF. Narasimham also served as Secretary in the Ministry of Finance. He was awarded Padma Vibhushan award in 2000.


K. R. Puri (Aug 20, 1975 to May 02, 1977)

K. R. Puri

 

K. R. Puri was the 12th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 20 August 1975 to 21 May 1977. He was the Chairman and Managing Director of the Life Insurance Corporation of India prior to his appointment as Governor of the RBI.

His signature appears on one of the last Indian rupee notes of 1000 denomination. These notes were demonetised in 1978, and were re-introduced after a period of 22 years in 2000.


N. C. Sen Gupta (May 19, 1975 to Aug 19, 1975)

N. C. Sen Gupta

 

N. C. Sen Gupta was the 11th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 19 May 1975 to 19 August 1975.

He was the interim governor until K R Puri took office. Prior to that, he was the secretary to the Department of Banking of the Ministry of Finance. Even though his tenure was short, his signature appears on the Indian rupee note of 1000 denomination. This is the only note that bears his signature.


S. Jagannathan (Jun 16, 1970 to May 19, 1975)

S. Jagannathan

 

S. Jagannathan was the 10th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 16 June 1970 to 19 May 1975.

Jagannathan was a member of the Indian Civil Service, and had served with the Central Government. Prior to becoming the Governor of the RBI, he was India's Executive Director at the World Bank.

The oil shock of the 1970s was re-elected by a very active monetary policy during his tenure. Other achievement include an expansion of banking offices in pursuance of the objectives of the nationalisation of private banks.

The Credit Guarantee Corporation of India, and State Level Bankers' Committees were established during his tenure. Indian rupee notes of Rs 20 and Rs 50 denomination were introduced for the first time in India and these bore his signature.

He relinquished office to take up the post of the India's Executive Director at the IMF.


B. N. Adarkar (May 04, 1970 to Jun 15, 1970)

B. N. Adarkar

 

B. N. Adarkar was the 9th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 4 May 1970 to 15 June 1970. His term was the second shortest (42 days) after Amitav Ghosh who had served for only 20 days. His term was short since he was filling in as interim before S. Jaganathan took over.

Unlike his predecessors who were from the Indian Civil Service, Adarkar was an economist and had served in the office of the Economic Adviser of the Government of India. Prior to that he had held various important positions in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry. He was the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank before filling in as interim Governor.

During his tenure the Indian Rupee notes of denominations Rs 2, 5, 10, and 100, commemorating the birth centenary of Mahatma Gandhi was reissued on 24 August 1970, these notes bear his signature, the earlier issue bears the signature of L. K. Jha. Due to his short interim term his signature does not appear on any other Indian rupee notes.

He also served as India's Executive Director at the IMF. Adarkar was involved in the establishment of the National Institute of Bank Management.


L. K. Jha (Jul 01, 1967 to May 03, 1970)

L. K. Jha

 

Lakshmi Kant Jha (22 November 1913 - 16 January 1988), or L. K. Jha as he was called, was the 8th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 1 Jul 1967 to 3 May 1970. A member of the Indian Civil Service, Jha had served as Secretary to the Prime Minister of India, prior to his appointment as Governor of RBI.

During his tenure the Indian Rupee notes of denominations of Rs 2, 5, 10, and 100, commemorating the birth centenary of Mahatma Gandhi was released on 2 October 1969, these notes bear his signature, a subsequent re-issue on this series notes bears the signature of B. N. Adarkar.

He served at India's ambassador to the UN after his term expired. He was governor of Jammu and Kashmir state from 3 Jul 1973 to 22 Feb 1981. He was a member of the Brandt Commission and at the time of his death, a member of the Rajya Sabha. The RBI instituted the L.K. Jha Memorial Lectures in commemoration of his memory.


P. C. Bhattacharya (Mar 01, 1962 to Jun 30, 1967)

P. C. Bhattacharya

 

P. C. Bhattacharya was the 7th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 1 March 1962 to 30 June 1967. Unlike his predecessors he was a member of the Indian Audits and Accounts Service (IA&AS). He served as Secretary in the Finance Ministry and later as Chairman of the State Bank of India before his appointment as the Governor.

Bhattacharya's tenure saw the establishment of the Industrial Development Bank of India in 1964, the Agricultural Refinance Corporation in 1963 and the Unit Trust of India in 1964.

Additionally the size of the Indian rupee notes of denomination Rs 5, 10 and 100 were reduced from the earlier large format to the size it is today. While this was done for economic reasons, to reduce the cost of paper and printing costs, it helped in bringing the notes to a handy size. These notes where issued on 17 April, 1967, the Rs 5 note reduced size from 127x73mm to 117x63, the Rs 10 note reduced from 146x83mm to 137x63mm and the Rs 100 from 172x109mm to 158x73mm.


H. V. R. Iyengar (Mar 01, 1957 to Feb 28, 1962)

H. V. R. Iyengar

 

H. V. R. Iyengar was the 6th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 1 March 1957 to 28 February 1962.

He was a member of the Indian Civil Service, and served as the Chairman of State Bank of India, before his appointment as the Governor of the Reserve Bank.

During Iyengar's tenure the Indian coinage system shifted from the earlier pies, paise, and anna system to decimal coinage.

 


K. G. Ambegaonkar (Jan 14, 1957 to Feb 28, 1957)

K. G. Ambegaonkar

 

K. G. Ambegaonkar was the 5th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 14 January 1957 to 28 February 1957. He was a member of the Indian Civil Service, and served as Finance Secretary before his appointment as Deputy Governor of the RBI. On the resignation of B Rama Rau he took over as the Governor. His was the third shortest tenure (45 days) after B. N. Adarkar (42) and Amitav Ghosh (20). Compared to the latter two Governors Ambegaonkar's signature as RBI Governor does not appear on any Indian Rupee note, but his signature as Finance Secretary appeared on the second, third, and fourth Rupee one notes issued after independence.


Benegal Rama Rau (Jul 01, 1949 to Jan 14, 1957)

Benegal Rama Rau

 

Sir Benegal Rama Rau, CIE (1 July 1889 – 13 December 1969) was the 4th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 1 July 1949 to 14 January 1957. He was educated at Presidency College, Madras, and at Kings College, Cambridge. He was knighted in 1936. He was a member of the Indian Civil Service. While his had the longest tenure as Governor of the RBI, it was cut short when he resigned just before the expiry of his second extended term, due differences with the then Finance Minister. On joining the ICS and before joing the RBI he held the following posts.

  • Under-Secretary and Deputy Secretary to the Government of Madras (1919-1924)
  • Finance Department (1925-1926) as Secretary to the Indian Taxation Committee
  • Finance Department (1926-1928) as Deputy Secretary
  • Simons Commission (1928-1930) as Financial Adviser
  • Industries Department Joint Secretary
  • Round Table Conference as Secretary
  • Indian Bill (1931-1934) in the Joint Select Committee of Parliament
  • Deputy High Commissioner for India in London (1934-1938)
  • High Commissioner for India in South Africa (1938-1941)

When he returned to India he was appointed Chairman of the Bombay Port Trust (1941-1946). After serving in the post he once again served as a diplomat as the Indian Ambassador to Japan (1947-1948), and as the Ambassador to the United States (1948-1949). His last position was as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India .

He was a Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmin and his mother-tongue was Konkani.

 

Awards & Recognition