Urjit Patel

Urjit Patel (born 28 October 1963) is an Indian economist, who served as the 24th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from 4 September 2016 to 10 December 2018. Previously, as an RBI deputy governor, he looked after monetary policy, economic policy research, statistics and information management, deposit insurance, communication and Right to Information. Appointed by the NDA government, Patel succeeded Raghuram Rajan as RBI governor on 4 September 2016. He resigned from his post on 10 December 2018, being the first RBI governor to state personal reasons as a driving factor for resigning. He is the fifth RBI governor to have resigned from his post before his term ended in September 2019, and had the shortest tenure since 1992.[1][2][3]

Urjit Patel
Urjit Patel.jpg
Chairman of National Institute of Public Finance and Policy
Assumed office
19 June 2020
24th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India
In office
4 September 2016 – 10 December 2018
Preceded byRaghuram Rajan
Succeeded byShaktikanta Das
Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India
In office
11 January 2013 - 4 September 2016
GovernorDuvvuri Subbarao
Raghuram Rajan
Succeeded byViral Acharya
Personal details
Urjit Ravindra Patel

(1963-10-28) 28 October 1963 (age 56)
Nairobi, Kenya
Alma mater London School of Economics (B.Sc.)
Linacre College, Oxford (M.Phil.)
Yale University (Ph.D.)

Early life and educationEdit

Urjit Patel was born in Nairobi on 28 October 1963 to Manjula and Ravindra Patel.[4][5] His grandfather had migrated from Mahudha village[6] in Kheda district, Gujarat to Kenya in the 20th century. His parents run Raxo Products Ltd, a chemical factory in Nairobi.

He studied at the Gujarati community run Visa Oswal Primary School and later at Jamhuri High School in Nairobi.[5] He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the London School of Economics and a Master of Philosophy degree in Economics from Linacre College, Oxford in 1986. He later earned a doctorate degree in Economics from Yale University in 1990. He was at IMF India Desk during the 1991–94 transition period.[5]

Professional careerEdit

After obtaining his Ph.D., Patel joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1990, where he worked on the US, India, Bahamas and Myanmar desks till 1995. Thereafter he went on deputation from the IMF to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), where he played an advisory role in the development of the debt market, banking sector reforms, pension fund reforms, and targeting of real exchange rate. After the two-year deputation with RBI, Patel became a Consultant to the Government of India in the Ministry of Finance, Department of Economic Affairs, holding the position from 1998 to 2001.[7] He also served on the board of the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation in 2006-07.[5]

Between 2000 and 2004, Patel worked with several High-Level Committees at both Central and State Government levels:

  • Competition Commission of India
  • Task Force on Direct Taxes
  • Prime Minister's Task Force on Infrastructure
  • Group of Ministers on Telecom Matters
  • Advisory Committee on Research Projects and Market Studies
  • Committee on Civil Aviation Reforms
  • Expert Group on State Electricity Boards
  • High-Level Expert Group on Civil and Defence Services Pension System

Prior to his appointment as the Deputy Governor at RBI in 2013, Patel was an advisor (Energy and Infrastructure) with the Boston Consulting Group, and he has also worked with Reliance Industries in the past.[8]

On 11 January 2013, Patel was appointed as Deputy Governor of RBI for a period of three years.[4] He took over charge of the vital Monetary Policy Department, succeeding Subir Gokarn to the post.[9] As the Deputy Governor of RBI from 2013, he looked after monetary policy, economic policy research, statistics and information management, deposit insurance, communication and Right to Information.[10]

On 20 August 2016, he was appointed as the governor of Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) succeeding Raghuram Rajan.[11] During his tenure, the Government of India demonetised the ₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series, with the stated intention of curbing corruption, black money, fake currency and terrorism from 9 November 2016.[12]

On 10 December 2018 at 17:15 hrs IST, Urjit Patel resigned from the post of Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) effective immediately.


Although Patel cited personal reasons for resigning from RBI, experts have opined that he was forced to exit because of serious differences with the Government of India. The latter wanted more money from RBI to fund its fiscal deficit, which Patel did not agree to, citing requirement for long term financial stability.[13] In August 2019 Nitin Gadkari fueled the controversy when he stated that he had advised the Union Finance Minister to "throw out" the RBI Governor because the latter was inflexible and adamant.[14] Raghuram Rajan, the ex-RBI Governor has also stated that Urjit Patel's resignation was a "note of protest".[15]

Important positionsEdit


  1. ^ "urjit-patel-resigns". www.moneycontrol.com.
  2. ^ "patel-is-fifth-rbi-governor". thehindu. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  3. ^ "I quit: 7 RBI governors who resigned". India Today. Ist. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Urjit Patel appointed Deputy Governor".
  5. ^ a b c d "Dr. Urjit Patel appointed new Governor of Reserve Bank of India". DeshGujarat. 20 August 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Urjit Patel Biography".
  7. ^ "Profile on Business Week".
  8. ^ "All about Urjit Patel- the 'inflation warrior'". The Economic Times. 20 August 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  9. ^ "Urjit takes charge as DG, RBI".Times of India, 15 January 2013
  10. ^ "Reserve Bank of India - Press Releases". www.rbi.org.in. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  11. ^ "Urjit Patel appointed RBI Governor". The Hindu, 20 August 2016
  12. ^ "Rs 500, Rs 1000 currency notes stand abolished from midnight: PM Modi", The Indian Express, 9 November 2016
  13. ^ "Urjit Patel Resigns - Here are the reasons". Economic Times. 11 December 2018. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  14. ^ "Gadkari tells Finance Minister to sack RBI Governor". Business Standard. 12 August 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  15. ^ "Raghuram Rajan on Urjit Patel's Resignation". Economic Times. 11 December 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  16. ^ "Urjit Patel appointed RBI Governor". The Hindu 20 August 2016
  17. ^ "Urjit Patel, RBI's Inflation warrior with Corporate Background". The Times of India, 21 August 2016