The list of seven contenders in the reckoning to replace outgoing RBI governor Raghuram Rajan has been pruned to four — three RBI experts and one commercial bank chairman. Of the three RBI veterans, Dr Urjit Patel is currently the deputy governor at RBI, while the other two — Rakesh Mohan and Subir Gokarn — are former deputy governors at the central bank. The fourth is Arundhati Bhattarcharya, currently head of India's largest lender, State Bank of India, reports Reuters.
Here is a profile of the four contenders, one of whom would succeed Rajan when he demits office on Sept. 4 this year.
Dr Urjit Patel
He was appointed deputy governor of the RBI on Jan. 11, 2013 for a period of three years. Prior to joining the bank he was Advisor (Energy & Infrastructure) at the Boston Consulting Group.
Dr. Patel hold a Ph.D. (Economics) from Yale University (1990) and M. Phil. from Oxford (1986).
He worked with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) between 1990 and 1995, handling the U.S., India, Bahamas and Myanmar desks. He was on deputation (1996-1997) from the IMF to the Reserve Bank of India to advise on development of the debt market, banking sector reforms, pension fund reforms, real exchange rate targeting and evolution of the foreign exchange market.
Besides, Patel also served as consultant (1998-2001) to the ministry of finance, department of economic affairs, New Delhi.
Dr. Patel has authored technical publications, papers and comments in the areas of Indian macroeconomics, public finance, infrastructure, financial intermediation, international trade and the economics of climate change.
Rakesh Mohan is an executive director at the IMF and has represented India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka there since 2012. Until 2014, he was the chairman of the national transport development policy committee, and has served as the deputy governor of the RBI for seven years. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Economics from Princeton, U.S.
Subir Gokarn, one of the four deputy governors of the RBI, was replaced by Urjit Patel in 2013. In November 2015, he was appointed the executive director of one of the boards of the IMF. Since then he has been representing India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, Press Trust of India had reported.
Arundhati Bhattacharya is currently the chairperson and managing director of State Bank of India, the country's largest bank. She is an alumnus of Jadavpur University, West Bengal. She joined SBI in 1977 and over the course of her career has handled forex, treasury, retail operations, corporate credit, human resources and investment banking.