Urjit Patel’s elevation to the position of governor has created a vacancy for deputy governor in charge of monetary policy .
The position has been historically filled by an external economist.
There is a buzz that Michael Patra, adviser in charge of the monetary policy department, is a candidate. However, central bank watchers say that this would go against convention, which has been to appoint someone from outside the RBI.
Former RBI governor D Subbarao had indicated in his book that the government had in the past made appointments based on recommendations from the RBI governor. However, that has now changed with appointments now being decided by a panel on financial sector regulatory affairs.
Previous deputy governors in charge of the monetary policy department include Subir Gokarn, Rakesh Mohan, Y V Reddy . Incidentally , the deputy governor in charge of monetary policy is also a de facto member of the monetary policy committee which will take over interest rate decisions in future. This is likely to weigh on the mind of the government panel while making the next appointment.
Outgoing governor Rajan has already named Patra as the third of the three RBI nominees on the MPC.The first being the governor and the second being the deputy governor in charge of monetary policy .
Patra is a Fellow of Harvard University where he undertook post doctoral research in the area of financial stability. He has a PhD in economics from the Indian Institute of Technology , Mumbai. He has also received professional training at the IMF Institute on Financial Programming and Policy and at the Centre for Central Banking Studies, Bank of England.