Urjit R Patel, also known as Urjit Ravindra Patel, is a noted Indian economist, who is known for being the 24th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Besides being one of the prominent economists in India, Mr. Patel has also been known for his firm stand over some economic policies, which often took the form of a feud between the RBI and the Central Government.
Urjit Patel was born to Manjula and Ravindra Patel on 28 October 1963 (aged 58; as of 2021) in Nairobi, Kenya. His ancestors belong to the Indian state of Gujarat: as his grandfather had migrated from Mahudha (a village in Gujarat’s Kheda district) to Kenya in the 20th century. He did his schooling from Gujarati community-run Visa Oswal Primary School and Jamhuri High School in Nairobi. After obtaining his Bachelor’s in Economics from the London School of Economics, he went for his M. Phil. degree in Economics from Linacre College, Oxford University in 1986. In 1990, Mr. Patel received his Doctorate in Economics from Yale University.
Family & Caste
Urjit Patel’s father, Ravindra Patel, was a businessman who had a chemical factory named Rexo Products Ltd. in Nairobi. His mother is a homemaker, and Urjit lives along with her in a flat in South Mumbai. Urjit Patel hails from the Patidar Community, which is mainly confined in Gujarat. Urjit Patel is unmarried. According to sources, Mr. Patel has one sister (name not known); who lives in New Jersey, United States.
After completing his doctorate in Economics from Yale University in 1990, Mr. Patel interned at IMF India desk during the 1991–94 transition period. During 1992-95, he was posted to IMF country mission in India. Urjit Patel’s initial stint with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) started in 1995 when he was on deputation from the IMF to the Reserve Bank of India, where he played an advisory role in the development of the debt market, banking sector reforms, pension fund reforms, targeting of the real exchange rate, etc. From 1998 to 2001, Mr. Patel served as a Consultant to the Government of India in the Ministry of Finance, Department of Economic Affairs. Between 2000 and 2004, he served in different capacities with several High-Level Committees at both Central and State Government level. In 2006-07, when Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Urjit Patel was inducted into the board of the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation. In 2010, he was made the President of the Gujarat Economic Association (GEA) Annual Conference. On 11 January 2013, he was appointed as one of the Deputy Governors at RBI; where he looked after several significant monetary and economic policies. On 20 August 2016, Urjit Patel was appointed as the 24th Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI). On 10 December 2018, he resigned from the post of the RBI Governor; citing personal reasons. In January 2022, he replaced former Gujarat Chief Secretary D.J. Pandian as vice-president of the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); he was appointed for a three-year term on this post. The Hindu
- President (Business Development), Reliance Industries (1997-2006)
- Non-Executive Director, Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation
- Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India
- Governor, Reserve Bank of India (4 September 2016-10 December 2018)
In October 2018, a feud between Urjit Patel and the Central Government of India had surfaced over the autonomy of RBI. The Central Government blamed him for making the rift public.
- His ancestors belong to the Kheda District in Gujarat.
- Earlier, Urjit Patel had Kenyan citizenship.
- He worked in close association with Narendra Modi when the latter was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
- He has also worked with Reliance Industries.
- He lives in a small flat along with his mother in South Mumbai.
- During his tenure as the RBI Governor, the Government of India demonetized the ₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes.