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Raghuram Rajan: The Man Who Revolutionized The Indian Banking System

During his academic days, he won the Director's Gold Medal in IIT Delhi and was a Gold medalist at IIM Ahmedabad.

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Raghuram Rajan was born on 3 February 1963, in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Wikimedia Commons
Raghuram Rajan was born on 3 February 1963, in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Wikimedia Commons
  • On September 5, 2013, Rajan took charge of Governor of India’s central banking institution
  • Raghuram Rajan graduated in electrical engineering from IIT Delhi
  • Under Raghuram Rajan, the RBI licensed two universal banks and approved eleven payments banks

Raghuram Rajan is one of the technically financial people to grace the Indian economy and banking sector. He came at the time when the Indian economy was in the worst crisis ever faced in last decades. Through his meticulous planning, he banked on reforming and stabilizing the financial situation in the nation. On September 5, 2013, Rajan took charge of Governor of India’s central banking institution, succeeding Duvvuri Subbarao.

Raghuram Rajan was born on 3 February 1963, in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh in a Tamil family. His father was a senior officer in the Intelligence Bureau department. He is married to Radhika, a classmate from IIM and has two children.

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Raghuram Rajan graduated in electrical engineering from IIT Delhi and then he joined Tata Administrative Services as a management trainee. However, he soon left this to pursue a doctoral program in management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. After that, he acquired a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from IIM, Ahmedabad in 1987 and later Raghuram Rajan did his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Raghuram Rajan was appointed as the Vice-Chairman of Bank for International Settlements (BIS) on 9th November 2015.  Wikimedia Commons
Raghuram Rajan was appointed as the Vice-Chairman of Bank for International Settlements (BIS) on 9th November 2015. Wikimedia Commons

During his academic days, he won the Director’s Gold Medal in IIT Delhi and was a Gold medalist at IIM Ahmedabad. Even after being so bright, he admitted of having poor command over the Hindi language.

Take a look at some of the aspects related to the life of one of the genius economist of India: 

  1. After Raghuram Rajan joined as the Governor of the RBI, the rupee rose 2.1 percent against the US dollar. Before that, the rupee had weakened sharply against the dollar, hitting almost Rs 69 to a single dollar.
  2. To bring down the inflation, the RBI under Rajan adopted the Consumer Price Index (CPI) despite the Central Government’s disapproval. Consequently, the CPI dropped from 9.52 percent in August 2013 to 5.24percent in April 2016, accompanied by the required drop in global commodity prices.
  3. Under Raghuram Rajan, the RBI licensed two universal banks and approved eleven payments banks. It was done to extend the country’s banking services to the two-thirds of the population, who were until then still deprived of basic banking facilities.
  4. Raghuram Rajan has the privilege to be appointed as the youngest-ever Economic Counselor and Director of Research (chief economist) at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from October 2003 to December 2006.
  5. During his stay at IIT Delhi, Raghuram Rajan was the head of the student’s council.
  6. Raghuram Rajan was ranked by his fellow mates as the economist with ‘the most important ideas for a post-crisis world’ in a 2011 poll in The Economist.
  7. Raghuram Rajan has the distinction of being featured on Foreign Policy magazine’s Top 100 Global Thinkers list in 2010 and 2012.
  8. Raghuram Rajan has also served as a professor in the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business in the economics faculty. Before leaving the position due to public service commitments, he was awarded the accolade in 2007 which he held till 2013.
  9. Raghuram Rajan was appointed as the Vice-Chairman of Bank for International Settlements (BIS) on 9th November 2015. The bank was established as an international company by shares of the central banks of different countries. The bank provides banking facilities to the central bank and is also regarded as the key bank of the central banks.
  10. Raghuram Rajan authored a very popular book, ‘Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy,’ was awarded the Best Business Book of the Year in 2010 by Financial Times-Goldman Sachs. This book argued that serious flaws in the economy are to blame for the current economic crisis.

    After Raghuram Rajan joined as the Governor of the RBI, the rupee rose 2.1 percent against the US dollar. Wikimedia Commons
    After Raghuram Rajan joined as the Governor of the RBI, the rupee rose 2.1 percent against the US dollar. Wikimedia Commons
  11. Raghuram Rajan was awarded the inaugural Fischer Black Prize by the American Finance Association in January 2003. The award is given to the financial economist under the age of 40 who has made the significant contribution to the sector and is given in every two years.
  12. In 2005, Raghuram Rajan presented a theory outlining the looming financial dangers and risks associated with the current system and he got a very negative response for it. But when an actual global economic crisis occurred in 2008, his analytical skills came true.
  13. During Raghuram Rajan’s term as the RBI(Reserve Bank of India) governor, the RBI sold the longest ever government bonds with a 40-year maturity.
  14. In September 2003, Raghuram Rajan became the youngest ever to be appointed as the Economic Counselor and Director of Research (Chief Economist) of the International Monetary Fund.
  15. Raghuram Rajan has served at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business as the Eric J. Gleacher Distinguished Service Professor.

Next Story

Despite Tariff War With U.S, China’s Economic Growth is Steady

The fight between the two biggest global economies has disrupted trade in goods from soybeans medical equipment, battering exporters on both sides and rattling financial markets.

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An employee working on the production line of an electronics factory is seen reflected on an equipment, in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, China, April 2, 2019. VOA

China’s economic growth held steady in the latest quarter despite a tariff war with Washington, in a reassuring sign that Beijing’s efforts to reverse a slowdown might be gaining traction.

The world’s second-largest economy expanded by 6.4% over a year earlier in the three months ending in March, the government reported Wednesday. That matched the previous quarter for the weakest growth since 2009.

“This confirms that China’s economic growth is bottoming out and this momentum is likely to continue,” said Tai Hui of JP Morgan Asset Management in a report.

Government intervention

Communist leaders stepped up government spending last year and told banks to lend more after economic activity weakened, raising the risk of politically dangerous job losses.

Beijing’s decision to ease credit controls aimed at reining in rising debt “is starting to yield results,” Hui said.

Consumer spending, factory activity and investment all accelerated in March from the month before, the National Bureau of Statistics reported.

The economy showed “growing positive factors,” a bureau statement said.

A delivery worker pushes boxes of goods at the capital city's popular shopping mall in Beijing, April 4, 2019. The U.S. and China opened a ninth round of talks Wednesday, aiming to further narrow differences in an ongoing trade war.
A delivery worker pushes boxes of goods at the capital city’s popular shopping mall in Beijing, April 4, 2019. The U.S. and China opened a ninth round of talks Wednesday, aiming to further narrow differences in an ongoing trade war. VOA

Recovery later this year

Forecasters expect Chinese growth to bottom out and start to recover later this year. They expected a recovery last year but pushed back that time line after President Donald Trump hiked tariffs on Chinese imports over complaints about Beijing’s technology ambitions.

The fight between the two biggest global economies has disrupted trade in goods from soybeans medical equipment, battering exporters on both sides and rattling financial markets.

The two governments say settlement talks are making progress, but penalties on billions of dollars of each other’s goods are still in place.

China’s top economic official, Premier Li Keqiang, announced an annual official growth target of 6% to 6.5% in March, down from last year’s 6.6% rate.

Li warned of “rising difficulties” in the global economy and said the ruling Communist Party plans to step up deficit spending this year to shore up growth.

Beijing’s stimulus measures have temporarily set back official plans to reduce reliance on debt and investment to support growth.

Also in March, exports rebounded from a contraction the previous month, rising 14.2% over a year earlier. Still, exports are up only 1.4% so far this year, while imports shrank 4.8% in a sign of weak Chinese domestic demand.

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Chinese leaders warned previously any economic recovery will be “L-shaped,” meaning once the downturn bottomed out, growth would stay low. VOA

Auto sales fell 6.9% in March from a year ago, declining for a ninth month. But that was an improvement over the 17.5% contraction in January and February.

Tariffs’ effect long-lasting

Economists warn that even if Washington and Beijing announce a trade settlement in the next few weeks or months, it is unlikely to resolve all the irritants that have bedeviled relations for decades.

The two governments agreed Dec. 1 to postpone further penalties while they negotiate, but punitive charges already imposed on billions of dollars of goods stayed in place.

Even if they make peace, the experience of other countries suggests it can take four to five years for punitive duties to “dissipate fully,” said Jamie Thompson of Capital Economics in a report last week.

Chinese leaders warned previously any economic recovery will be “L-shaped,” meaning once the downturn bottomed out, growth would stay low.

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Credit growth accelerated in March, suggesting companies are stepping up investment and production.

Total profit for China’s national-level state-owned banks, oil producers, phone carriers and other companies rose 13.1% over a year ago in the first quarter, the government reported Tuesday. Revenue rose 6.3% and investment rose 9.7%. (VOA)