All About RBI Governor | Appointment, Eligibility, Facts, Powers, Roles & Responsibilities, List of RBI Governors from 1935 to 2021

List of RBI Governors of India: RBI Stands for Reserve Bank of India, also the central bank of India. The bank that is responsible for all monetary policies of the country is RBI. Reserve bank of India was established on 1st April 1935 under the RBI Act, 1934 and was constituted with the advice of “Hilton – Young Commission”. Initially, it was set up as a privately owned bank and got nationalized on 1st January 1949 after the independence of India.

The headquarters of RBI was initially at Kolkata and then shifted to Mumbai in 1937. The Government Of India appoints the head of RBI who is known as governor. As of today, RBI has had 25 governors. Osborne Smith was the first governor of RBI in 1935 and Shaktikanta Das is the current governor of RBI appointed in 2020. All the details about the RBI Governor and the List of them are provided below via links for quick reference. 

All You Should Know About RBI Governor

The Governor of RBI is the Chief Executive Officer of the Central Bank of India and also the Ex-officio Chairman of its Central Board of Directors.

RBI consists of the following members:

  • One- Governor
  • Four- Deputy Governor
  • Fourteen- Directors
  • Two- Government Officers

The appointing of RBI Governor is completely done by the GoI for a fixed tenure and not elected by the people. The sign on the Indian note issued by RBI is done by the appointed Governor of the RBI. The complete list of RBI Governors who serve the country provided in the below modules and it is very crucial to candidates who are preparing for govt exams. These types of topics come under the Indian Polity section in the UPSC exams and other bank or govt exams. So, aspirants are advised to get a good grip on all General Knowledge Topics related to India GK, world Gk, current and static Gk for scoring good marks in the exams.

Also Check: List of Banks in India 2021

Important Facts

Here is the brief information regarding few crucial things about the RBI Governor that a candidate who is preparing for government exams should know properly about the topic for scoring better marks in the exams:

  • The Prime minister’s office(PMO) appoints the RBI Governor. Also, Union Finance Minister’s recommendation is taken into consideration at the time of appointing the governor.
  • Both, the RBI Governor and Deputy Governor are elected according to section 8 of the Reserve Bank of India Act 1934
  • The first Indian RBI Governor was Mr. C.D. Deshmukh
  • The first woman Deputy Governor of the Reserve bank of India was Ms. KJ Udeshi and her tenure started on June 10, 2003, and ended on October 12, 2005.
  • The only RBI Governor who also served the country as the Indian Prime Minister was Manmohan Singh.
  • The person who worked as the RBI Governor for the highest time period was Benegal Rama Rao. He served for 7 years from 1st July 1949 to 14th January 1957.
  • Amitabh Ghosh assisted RBI as Governor for the slightest time, only for 20 days beginning from January 15, 1985, to February 4, 1985.

Knowing all these points are very important to answer all type of questions related to List of RBI Governors of India. Once, you the deep-down things of the topic then you can easily prepare & crack the exams.

Eligibility Criteria for Indian RBI Governor

Originally, the appointment of RBI Governors are picked from the part of Indian Civil services like C D Deshmukh, Bengal Rama Rao, etc., later on, the candidates who want to become a Governor of RBI should hold a Graduate degree/ Post Graduate/Chartered Accountant along with the work experience in any of the following institutions.

  • IMF/ World Bank.
  • Chairman or General Manager of a Bank.
  • Reputed Financial or Banking organization.
  • Ministry of Finance (GOI)

Apart from the above, any Indian citizen whose age is 35 years or above is eligible. Also, must not be a part of the Parliament/State Legislature or any other office for profit.

Who appoints the Governor of RBI?

The Governor of RBI is not chosen but appointed by the PMO (Prime Minister Office) with the guidance of the Union Finance Minister.

Powers of Reserve Bank of India Governors

By considering the following points, candidates can understand the powers of RBI Governors.

  • Banker’s banker
  • Heads all the commercial banks
  • Influence on micro and macro economies
  • Authority over the stock market
  • Signatures on currency notes
  • Power over monetary, currency, and credit system

Duties, Roles & Responsibilities of RBI Governor

Below are some of the duties, roles & responsibilities that are usually executed by the RBI Governors.

  • Appointed RBI Governors are liable for maintaining the financial stability in an economy. Hence, perform a vital role in developing the policies of the Reserve Bank of India.
  • He/she is responsible for issuing licenses to start new foreign and private banks in India.
  • The authority to manage the interest rates on advances and deposits of the country is attired over the governors. On the other hand, the range of this power is restricted to prescribing minimum credit rates and interest rates on a savings account.
  • RBI governor controls the foreign trade and payment also facilitates orderly improvement and maintenance of the foreign exchange market in India that comes under the foreign exchange management act, 1999.
  • RBI Governor also maintains a check on rules and regulations to get them more customer-friendly.
  • Over Urban Bank Departments RBI governor drive and control primary co-operative banks.
  • Moreover, RBI Governor also monitors the flow of credit to small-scale industries, rural, and agricultural sectors. The duty for regulating state co-operative banks, regional rural banks, and other local area banks.

Must Refer: Difference Between NEFT and RTGS & Their Similarities

RBI Governors List from 1935 to 2021

The list of RBI Governors from 1935 to 2021 is as specified below:

S.No. Name Tenure From Tenure Up to Work Tenure Detail
1 Sir Osborne A. Smith 1st April 1935 30th June 1937 Sir Osborne Smith was the first Governor of the Reserve Bank. A professional banker, his outlook on policy issues like the exchange rates and interest rates was at variance with that of the Government Sir Osborne, however, did not sign any banknotes during his tenure.
2 Sir James Braid Taylor 1st July 1937 17th February 1943 His stewardship saw the Bank through the war years and the financial experiments it engendered and catalyzed, including the decisive break away from a silver currency to fiat money.
3 Sir Chinataman D. Deshmukh 11th August 1943 30th June 1949 Saw the transition to Independence and the partition of the country and the division of the assets and liabilities of the Reserve Bank between India and Pakistan.
4 Sir Benegal Rama Rau 1st July 1949 14th January 1957 His tenure witnessed the commencement of the Planning Era as well innovative initiatives in the spheres of co-operative credit and industrial finance. The recommendations of the All India Rural Credit Survey Committee appointed during his tenure led to the transformation of the Imperial Bank of India to the State Bank of India.
5 K.G. Ambegaonkar 14th January 1957 28th February 1957 He forged closer connections between an agricultural enterprise and the Reserve Bank’s operations. K. G Ambegaonkar did not sign any banknotes.
6 H.V.R. Iyenger 1st March 1957 28th February 1962 His tenure witnessed India’s shift to decimal coinage from the earlier system.
7 P.C. Bhattacharya 1st March 1962 30th June 1967 His tenure saw the establishment of the Industrial Development Bank of India (1964), and the establishment of the Agricultural Refinance Corporation (1963) and the Unit Trust of India (1964). The devaluation of the Rupee in 1966,
8 L.K. Jha 1st July 1967 3rd May 1970 Amongst other developments, gold controls were brought on a statutory basis;
9 B.N. Adarkar 4th May 1970 15th June 1970 he played an active role in the establishment of the National Institute of Bank Management.
10 S. Jagannathan 16th June 1970 19th August 1975 the setting up of State Level Bankers’ Committees and the shift to floating rates regime.
11 N. C. Sen Gupta 19th May 1975 19th August 1975 N C Sen Gupta was appointed Governor for three months till K R Puri could assume office.
12 K.R. Puri 20th August 1975 2nd May 1977 During his tenure, Regional Rural Banks were set up;
13 M. Narasimham 2nd May 1977 30th November 1977 He had a short tenure of seven months.
14 Dr. I.G. Patel 1st December 1977 15th September 1982 His tenure witnessed the demonetization of high denomination notes as well as the “gold auctions” conducted by the Bank on behalf of the Government of India. During his tenure six private sector banks were nationalized, targets for priority sector lending introduced, and the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporations were merged, and a Departmental reorganization was undertaken in the Bank
15 Dr. Manmohan Singh 16th September 1982 14th January 1985 During his tenure, comprehensive legal reforms were carried out related to the banking sector, and a new chapter introduced in the Reserve Bank of India Act, and the Urban Banks Department was set up.
16 A. Ghosh 15th January 1985 4th February 1985
17 R.N. Malhotra 4th February 1985 22nd December 1990 During his tenure efforts were made to develop the money markets and new instruments were introduced. The Discount and Finance House of India, the National Housing Bank were set up and the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research inaugurated.
18 S.Venkitaramanan 22nd December 1990 21st December 1992 The country faced difficulties related to the external sector during its tenure. His adroit management saw the country tide over the balance of payments crisis. The rupee underwent a devaluation and the launch of the programme of economic reforms
19 Dr. C. Rangarajan 22nd December 1992 22nd November 1997 His tenure as Governor saw unprecedented central bank activism to put in place a comprehensive set of measures to strengthen and improve the competitive efficiency of the financial sector
20 Dr. Bimal Jalan 22nd November 1997 5th September 2003 During his tenure, India weathered the Asian Crisis and has seen the consolidation of the gains of liberalization and economic reforms
21 Dr. Y.V. Reddy 6th September 2003 5th September 2008 has made significant policy contributions in the areas of financial sector reforms; trade finance; monitoring of balance of payments and exchange rate; external commercial borrowings; center-state financial relations; regional planning; and public enterprise reform and has been closely associated with institution building.
22 Dr. D. Subbarao 5th September 2008 4th September 2013
23 Dr. Raghuram G. Rajan 4th September 2013 4th September 2016 he was awarded the Financial Times-Goldman Sachs prize for best business book in 2010. 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.
24 Dr. Urjit R. Patel 4th September 2016 11 December 2018 Dr. Patel has several publications in the areas of Indian macroeconomics, monetary policy, public finance, the Indian financial sector, international trade, and regulatory economics.
25 Shaktikanta Das 12 December 2018 Incumbent Shaktikanta Das (born 26 February 1957) is a retired 1980 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Tamil Nadu cadre. Currently serving as the 25th governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), he was earlier a member of the Fifteenth Finance Commission and India’s Sherpa to the G20.

FAQs on List of Reserve Bank of India Governors of India

1. How many governors are there in RBI?

From 1935 to 2021, there are 25 members who served for the country as governor in the Reserve Bank of India.

2. Who is the present governor of RBI 2021?

Shaktikanta Das is the present RBI Governor who replaced Urjit Ravindra Patel and got appointed on December 12, 2018, for the post of RBI Governor.

3. What is the salary of an RBI Governor?

At present, the salary perk for RBI Governor is Rs. 2.5 lakhs per month. Whereas the basic pay was Rs.90,000 until 2016 later it was raised two times by the Government in 2017.

4. Who was the 1st governor of RBI?

Sir Osborne Smith was the 1st Governor of RBI. His tenure lasted from April 1, 1935, to June 30, 1937.

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