Central bank governor Shaktikanta Das trolled for degree in history; 'hopes he doesn't make RBI history', say BJP party member

Shaktikanta Das, the new governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), was lambasted by Jay Narayan Vyas, a member of the BJP, for his lack of an educational degree in economics.

Das, a career bureaucrat, is a post-graduate in history from St Stephens College and the first non-economist to take charge of the central bank. However, he has pursued a financial management course from IIM Bangalore.

BJP member Vyas, who was a minister in Narendra Modi's cabinet in Gujarat has questioned Shaktikanta Das's credentials to be governor of the RBI. He tweeted this tongue-in-cheek remark:

He explained his tweet later. Talking exclusively with ANI, Vyas said, "To manage RBI you have to have a fair knowledge of the domestic and international economy. I respect IAS officers, but the issue is that he is exposed to a little of many things but the acceptance among the international community, which earlier Governors commanded (is not there)."

He said he 'sympathised' with Das, who has a Master's degree in history. "He will have to pull out a lot more at his age that is near retirement. He has to control and steer the RBI and answer issues like the use of RBI reserves," Vyas said to ANI.

A file photo of Shaktikanta Das. News18

A file photo of Shaktikanta Das. News18

Typically, the RBI governor tends to have a Ph.D. degree in economics. The previous five RBI governors, of which three were bureaucrats had a Ph.D. in some branch of economics. Das's predecessor Urjit Patel is a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University and a graduate of the University of London and Oxford. He has also worked with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Patel's predecessor Raghuram Rajan, a career economist, graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and did his postgraduate diploma in Business Administration at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He holds a Ph.D. in management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and was a chief economist and director of research at the IMF.

D Subbarao, a career bureaucrat like Das holds an M.SC degree from IIT, Masters degree in economics from the Ohio State University, United States and a Ph.D. in economics from Andhra University.

RBI governor has right credentials, says Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley termed Das as a person with "right credentials" for the RBI top job.

"Das has been a very senior and an experienced civil servant. He has almost his entire career in the management of finances and economic management of the country both, when he was in the state government of Tamil Nadu and also when he was in the Government of India in the Ministry of Finance," Jaitley said.

Jaitley said his appointment was necessitated by the resignation of Urjit Patel as Governor of the RBI on Monday.

"I think, he (Das) has the right credentials. He has been extremely professional, has worked under various governments and has excelled himself. I am sure, in meeting the challenges before India's economy as Governor of Reserve Bank, he will certainly act," the finance minister said, a PTI report said.

Das's appointment 'wrong'

Earlier, senior BJP member Subramanian Swamy told ANI that the appointment of Das was 'wrong'. His reasoning was that Das had worked closely in 'corrupt activities with P Chidambaram and even tried to save him in court cases'. Swamy said he had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about it.

P Chidambaram, senior Congress leader, too expressed his displeasure on Twitter on Das's appointment as the central bank governor.

He also said he was not 'surprised' by Urjit Patel's decision to resign as governor of the RBI. Chidambaram tweeted that no self-respecting scholar or academic could work with the government.

Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.

Updated Date: Dec 13, 2018 11:15:16 IST

Also See