Gandhi will have a critical role to play in the bank licence process, which was spearheaded by his predecessor
Mumbai:R. Gandhi, an executive director at the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has been named as deputy governor, succeeding Anand Sinha, whose term ended in January.
Gandhi has been appointed for a period of three years, the central bank said in a statement on Thursday. Gandhi’s name was approved by the appointments committee of the cabinet led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
As deputy governor, Gandhi will look after critical portfolios such as the department of banking operations and development, department of non-banking supervision, urban banks department, department of expenditure and budgetary control, department of information technology and legal department. Born in 1956, Gandhi has a Master’s degree in Economics from the Annamalai University, in Tamil Nadu.
Gandhi, executive director since March 2011, was in charge of banking operations and development, administration and personnel management, human resources development and information technology.
RBI generally has four deputy governors—two RBI insiders, one an economist and the other a banker. The central bank usually chooses the banker candidate from the public sector. The current deputy governors are H.R. Khan and Urjit Patel.
K.C. Chakrabarty, another deputy governor, resigned last month for personal reasons, nearly three months before the end of his term. Chakrabarty will remain in office till 25 April.
There was an element of controversy in the selection of Sinha’s successor, with the department of personnel and training raising questions about the exclusion of G. Gopalakrishna, the most senior among RBI executive directors.
Gandhi will have a critical role to play in the licensing process, which was spearheaded by Sinha till his retirement. On Wednesday, RBI gave an in-principle approval to Bandhan Financial Services Pvt. Ltd and IDFC Ltd to become new banks from a list of 25 applicants.
Following the retirement of Sinha, RBI had redistributed his portfolios among the other three deputy governors.
The department of banking operations and development was given to Khan, while that of urban banks is being managed by Chakrabarty, RBI said in a statement on 20 January.
The departments of information technology and expenditure and budgetary control were given to Khan and Patel, respectively. Khan will also look after the inspection portfolio, while the legal portfolio has been transferred to Chakrabarty. On 11 March, Mint had reported that Gandhi may succeed Anand Sinha as RBI deputy governor.