Since 1935, RBI has had 25 governors over the years. From Osborn Smith to Shaktikanta Das, the position of the governor has been held by some of the most intellectual minds of the nation. The succession of governors began with Sir Osborn Smith.
P.C. Bhattacharya was the seventh governor of the Reserve Bank of India. Prior to his appointment as Governor, he was a member of the Indian Audit and Account Services. He also served as Sectary in the Finance Ministry and as chairman of the State Bank of India. During the course of his tenure, the Agricultural Refinance Corporation was established. In 1964, the Unit Trust of India and the Industrial Development Bank of India was formed.
The tenure of the eight governor of RBI, L.K. Jha, was rocky. This was because the commercialization of 14 major commercial banks did not have the endorsement of the RBI. In 1968, social controls over commercial banks were introduced as an experiment. Gold controls were brought on a statutory basis. Prior to the completion of his term as Governor, L.K. Jha was appointed as India’s Ambassador to the United States in 1970.
Tenure: 04/05/1970- 15/06/1970
By the time S. Jagannathan could take over as Governor, B.N. Adarkar held the post from 4th May 1970 to 15th June 1970. He played a very important role in the establishment of the National Institute of Bank Management. Prior to his appointment, he held the position of the Deputy Governor and he also served in the office of the Economic Adviser of the Government of India.
S. Jagannathan, the tenth governor of the RBI, was one of the four RBI governors to ever give up the position. But it was not due to any friction with the government. It was because he became the Indian Executive Director at the IMF. Before he was appointed as the Governor, he served as the executive director at the World Bank. His tenure was marked with unprecedented inflation in the country because of the oil shock.
Till K.R. Puri could assume office in August 1975, NC Sen Gupta was appointed as Governor for three months from 19th may 1975 to 19th August 1975.
K.R. Puri was the twelfth governor of the Reserve Bank of India. His Tenure lasted from 1975 to 1977. During his time at the office, the twenty point economic programme was announced and implemented. The Asian Clearing Union commenced operations and a new money supply series was introduced.
The only governor to be appointed from the Reserve Bank cadre was M. Narasimham, the 13th governor of the RBI. He had a short tenure of seven months from 2nd May 1977 to 30th November 1977.
The fourteenth governor of the RBI was Indraprasad Gordhanbhai Patel. He held office from 1977 to 1982. Dr.I.G.Patel was the first person of Indian origin to head the London School of Economics in the UK. He became the Deputy Administrator of the UN Development Programme in 1972 for five years. Patel returned to take up the position of the Governor of the RBI. His tenure was marked by turbulence in the foreign exchange markets. High denomination notes of Rs. 1000, Rs. 5000 and Rs. 10000 were demonetized. The reserve bank of India conducted gold auctions on behalf of the government.