This refers to “Gokarn may not get extension as RBI Deputy Governor” (Business Line, November 5). Since the 1980s, the convention has been that, of the four deputy governors, one each will be an economist, a commercial banker, an IAS official and a staff member. When the Governor is from that service, the RBI gets an additional post. Since Raghuram Rajan is expected to be the next Governor, ceteris paribus, the IAS community will not let go the current opportunity in the RBI.

In any case, you can never reckon any senior appointment without considering the IAS babu. The Government’s decision not to renew the appointment of the current Deputy Governor (economist) straightaway, as it did in another case recently, and opting for selection is understandable. It would like someone in the post who can walk along with it on its chosen path, right or wrong. My guess is that the post will be filled by an IAS official with some minimum experience in an economic ministry, preferably from the South.

In any case, the average IAS man is equally at home with animal husbandry and atomic energy! If that happens, to minimise the damage, the Governor should think of handling the economic and monetary policy departments directly while distributing the portfolios among the deputy governors. He should have no difficulty in doing so since he is as much an economist as any of his predecessors and has competent supporting staff.

A. Seshan


(This article was published on November 5, 2012)
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