The government today appointed Subir Vithal Gokarn, Standard and Poor’s Asia-Pacific Chief Economist and a Business Standard columnist, as the fourth deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Gokarn, who has been given a three-year term, is expected to take charge next week. Deputy governors can be appointed for a maximum of five years or till the age of 62, whichever is earlier.
The 50-year-old economist is expected to get the monetary policy department. Gokarn replaces Rakesh Mohan, who resigned in June. Usha Thorat, Shyamala Gopinath and KC Chakrabarty are the other three deputy governors.
Traditionally, two deputy governors of the central bank are brought from outside, with one of them being an economist.
Following Mohan’s departure, RBI Governor D Subbarao had re-allocated the portfolios of deputy governors, but had retained the monetary policy department (MPD). At present, the department of economic analysis and policy and the department of statistics and information management are also looked after by the governor. Gokarn, who is also a macroeconomist like his predecessor, is likely to get some of the key departments that were handled by Mohan.
Born in October 1959, Gokarn will be one of the youngest deputy governors of the Indian central bank in recent times. After studying at St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, and Delhi School of Economics, he received his doctorate from Case Western Reserve University of Cleveland, Ohio. His doctoral dissertation was “Capital market, liberalisation and industrial performance – A study of South Korean manufacturing sector”.
Prior to joining S&P in 2007, Gokarn was the chief economist of Crisil, where the global rating agency holds a majority stake. He was also an associate professor of Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research in Mumbai.
When Gokarn was chief economist at the National Council of Applied Economic Research, Mohan was the director-general of the New Delhi-based think-tank.
The economist was selected after a round of interaction with an appointment panel headed by the RBI governor. But Gokarn’s appointment took longer than expected as the government took time to prepare a dossier.Others in the running included Arvind Virmani, the government’s chief economic advisor, Ashoka Mody, assistant director at the International Monetary Fund’s European department, and Jahangir Aziz, JPMorgan India’s chief economist.
Also read: August 8: Subir Gokarn tops list for RBI Deputy Governor’s post