Raghuram Rajan is a prominent economist hailing from India. He is perhaps best known for being the Governer of the Reserve Bank of India, the 23rd elected official in this capacity.
Rajan was born on 3rd February, 1963, Bhopal India. He had political roots as his father was a Senior Bureaucrat in the Indian Government. After completing his initial education from the Delhi Public School, he attended the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi to obtain his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, a feat he achieved in 1985. Rajan then pursued a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration, and in doing so, enrolled in the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. He managed to win the Gold medal at the institute before graduating in 1987. Rajan then travelled to the United States in his quest to obtain a Ph.D., and he did so from MIT in 1991 in the field of Management.
Rajan began his professional career as a teacher, joining the University of Chicago as Assistant Professor at the Booth School of Business. He later had the opportunity to travel to Northwestern University as visiting professor. In 2003, he became chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, heading the departments of research and counseling. He was also honored with the Fischer Black Prize by the American Finance Association the same year for his exceptional input to the field of finance. He later went on to become the President of the organization.
Rajan has also achieved some success with his written publications in which he is known to demonstrate his insightful views. In 2005, he wrote the paper, ‘Has Financial Development Made The World Riskier’, which managed to garner the attention of a wide audience. His other notable papers include ‘Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists’, which he co-authored alongside Luigi Zingales and ‘Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy’. The former went on to receive the Financial Times-Goldman Sachs award in 2010 for the best book related to business published. Rajan also authored a guest column for The Economist in 2009, arguing in favor of a regulatory mechanism which would ensure against the regular occurrence of boom bust cycles.
Rajan is also a member of a number of organizations, including the Group of Thirty and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, selected Rajan as his honorary economic consultant in 2008. Rajan also lead an official team regarding the introduction of financial reforms in India, providing their official proposals to the Planning Commission the same year.
He has slowly climbed up the ranks in the Indian government. on 10th August, 2012, he was nominated as Chief Economic Advisor, taking office from Kaushik Basu in the process. He thus became responsible for creating the Economic Survey of India, which he completed and submitted on 27th February 2013. After the announcement of Rajan’s appointment as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India in August, he was handed a 3 year tenure to succeed Duvvuri Subbarao. Rahan thus became the youngest RBI governor in the history of the nation.
Raghuram Rajan is very widely respected and acknowledged in the field of economics. He is considered to be amongst the Top 10 Economists of the World, especially due to his foresight of the 2008 economic recession. His fellow economists hailed him for producing ‘the most important ideas for a post crisis world’ in a poll carried out by The Economist in 2011. Rajan has also been honored with other prestigious awards, such as 5th Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics by the Center for Financial Studies.