Published On : Tue, Aug 23rd, 2016

A Kenyan born RBI Governor who became an Indian citizen only in 2013. Why silent now Subramaniam Swamy?

Urjit PatelLet’s say it without mincing words – since now Subramaniam Swamy who called Rajan a “foreigner” is silent on the subject – new RBI Governor in waiting Urjit Patel was NOT born or educated in India! He was born in Kenya on 28th October 1963 to Indians settled there. Patel obtained his Bachelor’s in Economics from the London School of Economics and M. Phil. degree from Oxford University in 1986. He received his doctorate in Economics from Yale University in 1990. He was at IMF India desk during the 1991–94 transition period. He was posted to IMF country mission in India 1992–95. He has also been a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution since 2009.

Many do not know this, but he became an Indian citizen only 3 years ago, i.e. in 2013.

Another fact that may come as a suprise to RSS fans is that Urjit Patel was almost “discovered” by Congress leaders and has been closer to the earlier UPA regimes. He was first appointed by the Narsimha Rao Govt. who persuaded him to give up his IMF job and come to India. Manmohan Singh strongly recommended him for an “Indian passport” saying he would be an asset to the country.

He worked closely with outgoing Governor Rajan who once quoted him to say ” we are neither hawks nor doves. We are owls, who never sleep”.

Though both have taken similar positions on inflation, their public demeanor is totally contrasting.

As ET, says – “Raghuram Rajan is among the most articulate persons to have occupied the post of the Governor at the Reserve Bank of India. His chosen successor Urjit Patel appears to be a man of few words.

Patel has nearly spent 44 months at the central bank as deputy governor but a search of RBI’s website for his speeches throws up just one. Contrast that with nearly 38 for Rajan whose oratory has ranged from Francis Fukuyama’s political thoughts to gently lecturing Janet Yellen of the US Federal Reserve on prudence, Brexit and tolerance in societies. ”

A brief outline of Patel’s career highlights –
Advisor, Boston Consulting Group
President (Business Development), Reliance Industries Limited
Executive Director, Infrastructure Development Finance Company (1997-2006)
Member, Integrated Energy Policy Committee, Government of India (2004-2006)
Non-Executive Director, Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Limited.
Non-Executive Director, Multi Commodity Exchange of India Limited
Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India.
Governor, Reserve Bank of India (From 4th September, 2016 )

Sunita Mudliyar ( Associate Editor )