Macro Moves

Shaktikanta Das: How did he win the "Governor of the Year" award?

Created on 17 Mar 2023

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In today's fast-paced world, the economy is one of the most critical aspects of any country. Central banks play a vital role in maintaining a stable economy. The people who head these banks are the driving force behind them. One such individual is a seasoned bureaucrat turned banker who has been making waves in the Indian economy since he was appointed the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. With his unique approach to monetary policy and impressive track record, he has become a significant player in the global financial world.

This article will delve into Shaktikanta Das's career and background before being appointed as the RBI Governor, his policy decisions and initiatives during his tenure, and the controversies and criticisms he faced.

Who is Shaktikanta Das?

So, you want to know about Shaktikanta Das, right? Well, he's a pretty cool guy. He's an Indian economist and civil servant currently appointed as the Governor of RBI, India's central bank.

Das took over as the Governor in 2018 after Urjit Patel, and since then, he's been making waves in the world of finance. Before he became Governor, he held several important positions in the Indian government, such as Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs and India's representative in the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Basically, Das is an expert in all things related to macroeconomic policy, monetary policy, and public finance. He's the man who's responsible for keeping India's financial system in check and making sure that everything runs smoothly. And from what we've seen so far, he's doing a pretty good job!

So, if you ever meet Shaktikanta Das, just know that you're in the presence of someone who knows much about money. And that's always a good thing, right?

Shaktikanta Das: A Short Biography of India's Governor of RBI

Meet the accomplished Indian bureaucrat and economist Shaktikanta Das. Born on February 26, 1957, in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, India, Das has significantly contributed to the country's economic and financial sectors. He completed his schooling at the Demonstration Multipurpose School in Bhubaneshwar before pursuing his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in History from St. Stephen's College, Delhi University. Das also holds an Advanced Financial Management Course from IIM Bangalore and a Development Banking and Institutional Credit Course from the National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM), Pune.

Shaktikanta Das' Current Role

As the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Shaktikanta Das is one of the highest-paid government officials in the country. His salary is reported to be around Rs. 2,87,000 per month. However, being the RBI Governor includes additional benefits such as an official residence without rental charges, free utilities, and transportation facilities. The Governor and their family members also receive free access to lifelong medical care, accommodation, and treatment.

Shaktikanta Das assumed the role of RBI Governor on December 12, 2018. In December 2021, his term was extended by an additional three years, which means he will continue to lead the central bank until at least 2024. 

Shaktikanta Das' Previous Roles & Achievements

Shaktikanta Das has had a long and illustrious career in the Indian bureaucracy, having held key positions in the central and state governments. He started his career in 1982-83 as an Assistant Collector. He quickly rose through the ranks, serving as a Sub Collector, Under Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Managing Director, and Collector, among other positions.

Das later moved to the Ministry of Finance, where he served in various capacities, including Joint Secretary, Additional Secretary, and Special Secretary, in the Departments of Expenditure and Economic Affairs. In 2013, he was appointed as Secretary of the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers and later served as Secretary of the Ministry of Finance's Departments of Revenue and Economic Affairs.

In 2017, Das was appointed as India's Sherpa for the G20's Development Track. This significant achievement speaks to his expertise in economics and finance. He represented India at the G20 meetings and played a crucial role in shaping the G20's economic agenda and policy decisions. His contributions to global economic issues helped advance India's interests and priorities, cementing his reputation as a distinguished public servant.

Das's accomplishments and leadership earned him the prestigious appointment as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India in 2018, succeeding Urjit Patel. 

Despite his many achievements, Shaktikanta Das is known for his simplicity and humility. His down-to-earth approach has earned him the respect and admiration of his colleagues and the general public. Today, he inspires many, showing that anyone can achieve their goals and positively impact the world with hard work, dedication, and perseverance.

The Making of Shaktikanta Das: A Look into His Early Life and Formative Years.

Shaktikanta Das is a well-known name in Indian bureaucracy and finance, known for his distinguished career as an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer and his current role as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Shaktikanta Das's exceptional career as an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer spans over three decades. He started his journey in 1980 and worked for both the Government of India and Tamil Nadu state in various capacities.

During his tenure in Tamil Nadu, he served in numerous pivotal positions, such as Principal Secretary (Industries), Secretary of Revenue, Special Commissioner (Revenue), and Secretary of Commercial Taxes. In addition, he also served as the project director of the Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society, where he made significant contributions to the fight against HIV/AIDS in the state.

Moreover, Shaktikanta Das's distinguished career includes serving as the district magistrate and collector of two districts, Dindigul and Kancheepuram, respectively. His leadership in these positions helped bring about meaningful change and development in the areas under his jurisdiction.

Shaktikanta Das's impressive career in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) led to several key appointments, including his 2008 selection as Joint Secretary in the Department of Expenditure of the Ministry of Finance. In this role, he played a vital role in formulating the annual budget, contributing to the country's economic growth and development.

His expertise in finance and economics saw him rise to the position of Special Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Finance, where he continued to make significant contributions to the country's financial sector. In 2013, he was appointed Union Fertilizers Secretary, with the responsibility of overseeing and administering the fertiliser industry in India.

In June 2014, Das was appointed as the Union Revenue Secretary by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), where he served until August 2015. Later, in August 2014, he was appointed as the Union Economic Affairs Secretary by the ACC, where he served until May 2017. During his tenure, he played a crucial role in implementing major policy initiatives such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the demonetisation drive.

After retiring from the IAS, Das was appointed as a member of the Fifteenth Finance Commission by the ACC, where he played a crucial role in formulating fiscal policies. He was also appointed as India's Sherpa to the G20 by the ACC, where he represented India in various international forums.
In December 2018, he was appointed as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, a position he holds to this day.

Shaktikanta Das' Life As an RBI Governor

Being the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is a critical role that comes with significant responsibility. Shaktikanta Das, who took office in December 2018, was entrusted with overseeing India's monetary policy and maintaining financial stability in the country.

Das' appointment was met with mixed reactions, with some experts praising his experience and expertise in financial affairs, while others expressed concerns about his independence from the government. Nevertheless, he assumed his role with a positive response from the market, with stocks rising after his appointment.

As RBI Governor, Das managed the Monetary Policy Committee, which sets interest rates and aims to control inflation. He also oversaw the regulation of the banking and financial sector, working to strengthen the financial system and protect consumers.

Under his leadership, the RBI introduced several measures to support economic growth, including easing lending rules for banks and providing liquidity to the financial sector. He also oversaw the implementation of the government's relief measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as loan moratoriums and stimulus packages.

Das' efforts to strengthen the financial system and support economic growth were recognised when he was awarded the National Banker of the Year, Asia-Pacific 2020 by The Banker magazine.

Overall, being the Governor of the RBI is a challenging role that requires expertise in finance, economics, and policy-making. Shaktikanta Das proved to be a competent leader during his tenure, working to maintain stability in India's financial sector and support the country's economic growth.

Shaktikanta Das Controversies - A closer look

As the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Shaktikanta Das has faced some controversies during his tenure. Let's take a closer look at some of them:

1. PMC Bank Scandal: In 2019, the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank (PMC Bank) was found to have given large loans to a single real estate firm, which led to the bank facing a liquidity crisis. Some depositors lost their life savings, and protests demanded that the RBI take action. Das was criticised for not acting fast enough and for not doing enough to prevent the crisis.

2. RBI's Relationship with the Government: Das has also been criticised for being too close to the Indian government. In 2020, former RBI governor Urjit Patel accused the RBI of being too accommodating to the government's demands. Das has denied these allegations and maintained that the RBI is independent.

3. Controversial Loan Moratorium: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the RBI implemented a loan moratorium to relieve borrowers. However, implementing the moratorium was criticised for being too complex and confusing. Many borrowers complained that they were not getting the benefits they were promised. Das faced criticism for the way the RBI handled the moratorium.

4. Interest Rates and Inflation: Das has been criticised for keeping interest rates too low, which some analysts say could lead to inflation. Others have accused him of being too conservative in his approach to monetary policy.

Despite these controversies, Das has been praised for his efforts to make the financial system more robust and for his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has also been recognised with awards such as the ‘National Banker of the Year, Asia-Pacific 2020’ by The Banker magazine.

Lesser-Known Facts About Shaktikanta Das

Did you know there are some interesting lesser-known facts about Shaktikanta Das, the current Governor of the Reserve Bank of India? Here are a few:

  • Shaktikanta Das is polyglot and fluent in several languages, including Odiya, Tamil, Hindi, and English.
  • With over thirty years of experience as an IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer, he has an impressive track record in public service.
  • He was appointed India's Sherpa to the G20 summit held in Hamburg in July 2017, where he represented India and played a crucial role in shaping the discussions on global economic issues.
  • Despite studying history in college, he has dedicated his career to economics and finance, demonstrating his exceptional skills and expertise in these areas.
  • Shaktikanta Das was responsible for the launch of the new Indian currency notes following the demonetisation of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes. He and Urjit Patel, the former RBI Governor, jointly introduced the new currency notes to the public.

These fascinating facts shed light on Shaktikanta Das's impressive career and contributions to India's economic growth and development.

The Bottom Line

Shaktikanta Das has proven himself to be a competent and visionary leader during his tenure as the Governor of RBI, India. His ability to navigate challenging economic conditions and introduce innovative policies has helped promote India's financial stability and economic growth. With his transparent and inclusive approach, there is no doubt that he will continue to be a valuable asset to the Indian economy in the years to come.

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Divyanshu Kumar

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Divyanshu did his post-graduation in Financial Economics, and that's when he realized that writing about finance interests him the most. He has been writing finance content for two years and considers himself a coherent and confident writer. As a Finance content writer, he reads a lot about the subject and makes sure he is up to date with the latest updates in the market. Besides that, he is passionate about fitness and works hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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