Named among the finest economists around the world, Dr Urjit Patel served as the Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from September 2016 to December 2018, succeeding the illustrious Dr Raghuram Rajan. Dr Patel was the 24th Governor of RBI, a position held famous economists such as Bimal Jalan, C. Rangarajan and former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh. Dr. Patel’s contribution to Indian economics is substantial and has led him to be at the centre of controversies as well. He headed a committee that introduced landmark changes like switching to inflation-targeting and adopting consumer prices as the new benchmark instead of wholesale prices.
Dr Urjit Patel was born on 28 October 1963 in Nairobi, Kenya. His ancestors were from Gujrat but his grandfather moved to Kenya in the 20th century. His father Ravindra Patel was also born in Kenya and went on to become a businessman running a chemical factory in Nairobi.
Education of Dr. Urjit Patel
He did his schooling at Visa Oswal Primary School and Jamhuri High School in Nairobi. His love for academics brought him to the London School of Economics (LSE) where he obtained his Bachelor’s in Economics. That was when his avenues to receiving world-class education were opened. Playing a central role in his becoming an acclaimed economist, the education at LSE helped him gain a solid foundation of the world of economics. After graduating from LSE, he completed his M.Phil from Oxford University in 1986. Following that, he did his Ph.D. in Economics at Yale University in 1990.
Career as Economist
After his Ph.D. at Yale, Dr. Patel worked with the International Monetary Fund for a period of 5 years, working in the US, Myanmar, and Bahamas, and was later posted to the IMF country mission in India in 1995. After making show-stopping entry into India’s economic playground, he played an important role in the development of the debt market, banking sector reforms, pension fund reforms, and targeting of the real exchange rate.
In 1998, Dr. Patel started working as a consultant to the Government of India in the Ministry of Finance and held that position till 2001. After serving in different capacities with several high-level committees at both state and central level, in January 2013, he was finally appointed as one of the Deputy Governors of RBI. He was recommened to this position by the former Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh. After Dr Raghuram Rajan completed his tenure in 2016 and against expectations wasn’t given an extension by the Govt of India, Dr Urjit Patel was formally appointed as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India.
Apart from working extensively with the Govt of India, he has worked as an advisor for energy & infrastructure at The Boston Consulting Group and was also the president of Business Development at Reliance Industries Limited. His 17 years of experience in the financial, energy, and infrastructure sectors strongly backed his profile for the appointment at RBI.
By now you might have already familiarized yourself with the important details about Dr Urjit Patel’s life and education. You might be surprised that you too can pursue the exact same programme that Dr. Urjit Patel studied at the London School of Economics that too in India at a substantially lesser amount of money. Indian School of Business and Finance, among other courses, offers BSc. Economics with academic direction from LSE, which means that students at ISBF study exactly the same curriculum as their counterparts in London. On completion of this programme and other undergraduate programmes by ISBF, the student is awarded a degree by the University of London.