Raghuram Rajan, governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), on Saturday said he would return to academia once he completes his tenure as RBI governor on Sep. 4, 2016. Following the announcement, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said Rajan's successor would be announced shortly.
Senior government officials have given out seven names that are being considered for the post, Reuters quoted the officials as saying on condition of anonymity. Of the seven, one is a deputy governor of the RBI, one is the chairman of State Bank of India (SBI), while the rest are either veterans of the Indian Civil Service, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank.
The focus has now shifted to finding a suitable successor to Rajan. The contenders for the position are:
1. Vijay Kelkar
Vijay Kelkar is a former finance secretary and an economist. Until January 2010, he was chairman of the Finance Commission. Between 2002 and 2004, Kelkar had served as an advisor to the Ministry of Finance. In May 2015, the Indian government had appointed him to head a panel to recast the public-private partnership model, Mint reported.
2. Rakesh Mohan
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 PhD degree in Economics from Priceton, U.S.
3. Ashok Lahiri
Ashok Lahiri is a former chief economic advisor. In 1978-80, he was visiting faculty at the Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi. According to Business Standard, Lahiri was in 2015 the chairman of Bandhan Bank. He has also served as director of the National Institute of Finance and Policy.
4. Arundhati Bhattacharya
Arundhati Bhattacharya is currently the chairperson and managing director of SBI, 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.
5. Urjit Patel
Urjit Patel was appointed deputy governor of the RBI in 2013. The economist-banker served as the chief policy officer of IDFC limited. He has also served at the IMF for two years. He serves as a director at Reserve Bank of India and has been director of SBI since Feb. 6, 2013, Bloomberg reported.
6. Subir Gokarn
Subir Gokarn, one of the four deputy governors of the RBI, was replaced by Urjit Patel in 2013. In November 2015, he was appointed as 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.
7. Ashok Chawla
Ashok Chawla has a Masters degree from Delhi School of Economics and is an IAS officer of the 1973 cadre. In March this year, Chawla was appointed as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India, and has served as the head of Competition Commission of India, Business Standard reported.
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