Noted economist and former RBI Deputy Governor Subir Vithal Gokarn passed away on Tuesday after a brief illness. He was appointed by the Narendra Modi government as Executive Director on the board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in November 2015. He had represented India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan on the IMF’s Executive Board.

He was the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor from 2009-12 and oversaw Monetary Policy, Research, Financial Markets, Communications and Deposit Insurance. He had the distinction of being the youngest RBI Governor at the time.

While he was expected to get an extension after his three-year-term at the RBI had concluded, it did not happen and Urjit Patel was appointed as the next Deputy Governor.

A noted economist, he was associated with the Brookings Institution India Centre as the Director of Research. He was also Chief Economist of Standard & Poor’s Asia-Pacific and before that the Executive Director and Chief Economist of CRISIL.

He had a Master’s Degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics and received a doctorate in Economics from Case Western Reserve University, USA in 1989.

A great sense of humour

He was widely seen as one of the brightest economists in the country and though many perceived him to be reserved, he was in fact known to have had a great sense of humour.

"I am deeply saddened by the death of Subir Gokarn, who represented India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan at the IMF Executive Board. On behalf of the Fund, I would like to express my deepest condolences to his family and the authorities of his constituency," said David Lipton, acting MD, IMF.

"What a loss! Not only one of our finest brains an equally nice human being. Will miss his generosity and wisdom," tweeted DK Joshi, Chief Economist, CRISIL.

"I share this with a heavy heart...Subir Gokarn, my friend and colleague, passed away a few hours back. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and daughter," Shamika Ravi, Member, PM's Economic Advisory Council said.