B'day special: 10 things to know about RBI Governor Raghuram RajanReserve Bank of India has witnessed 22 Governors since its establishment on April 1, 1935, but none of them has got the kind of attention Raghuram Rajan has received.Such was the buzz surrounding the economist,
Reserve Bank of India has witnessed 22 Governors since its establishment on April 1, 1935, but none of them has got the kind of attention Raghuram Rajan has received.
Such was the buzz surrounding the economist, when he took charge as RBI Governor in Sep 2013, that noted author Shobha De described him as a guy who has put 'sex' back into the limp ‘Sensex'.
His dapper dress sense has also won him many admirers, a far cry from the usual dull looking Indian bureaucrats who only savour in wearing Safari Suits.
His prompt ways have shaken the very core of babus who are famous for their overarching complacency. Known for not mincing his words, the Governor has also shown a penchant for sweeping comments on matters outside monetary policy.
In October, he made an unusual appeal for tolerance, a territory exclusively reserved for political class where bureaucrats very rarely straddle to.
As the economist turns 53 today, here is what you should know about the incumbent RBI Governor:
1) Born in 1963 in a Tamil family in Bhopal, Rajan later completed his 7th to 12th standard in Delhi Public School, RK Puram.
2) His father was in the IFS and the family moved across continents when Rajan was a kid. He is married to Radhika, a classmate from IIM. They have two children.
3) After studying electrical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and business administration at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Rajan did his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge.
4) Rajan's claim to fame is his prediction of the 2008 global financial crisis. In his paper titled ‘Has Financial Development Made The World Riskier?', which he submitted in November 2005, Rajan wrote: "But perhaps the most important concern is whether banks will be able to provide liquidity to financial markets so that if the tail risk does materialize..." The response to this paper was negative when it was published.
5) He became the Economic Counsellor and Director of Research (Chief Economist) of the International Monetary Fund in September 2003— the youngest ever to be appointed to this post. His term ended there in December 2006.
6) In 2003, Rajan was awarded the inaugural Fischer Black Prize by the American Finance Association for contributions to finance by an economist under 40.
7) His most widely-read book, Saving Capitalism from the Capitalist, was co-authored with fellow Chicago GSB professor Luigi Zingales and published in 2004.
8) He was appointed the Chief Economic Adviser to the Indian Finance Ministry in August 2012.
9) Rajan returned to the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago in 2007 where he is the Eric J Gleacher Distinguished Service Professor of Finance.
10) Since he took charge in 2013, Rajan has shown the character of an administrator, not toeing under political pressure, sticking to his policy decisions, and working ceaselessly to spruce up the ‘babu' culture in RBI.