The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is the Central Bank of India and the governor of RBI is the Chief Executive Officer of Central Bank of India & the ex-officio chairperson of its Central Board of its Directors. It is the highest monetary authority of the nation. The paper currency of India is signed by the governor of RBI. RBI was established on April 1st, 1935 under the RBI Act on recommendation of “Hilton – Young Commission”. It was private till 1949 and then the bank got nationalised by the govt. of India. It had its headquarter in Calcutta but after nationalisation it was shifted to Mumbai. There are four main offices of RBI, location is,

  • Mumbai (represents West region)
  • Kolkata (represents East region)
  • Delhi (represents North region)
  • Chennai (represents South region)

Other offices of RBI are at places as shown in the given picture.

Main Objectives of RBI :-

  • Its primary objective is to supervise and take steps for the financial sector of India (commercial banks, financial institutions, non-banking financial companies)
  • Issues the bank notes (except one rupee notes which are issued by the Ministry of Finance).
  • It regulates the Indian currency in the country.
  • The foreign exchange reserves of India are maintained by RBI.
  • One of the major roles done by RBI is to develop the financial structure of the country.

Responsibilites of RBI Governor:-

  • Formulates the policies of RBI.
  • Administers and monitors the issue of currency.
  • Controls the rates of interest and advances of the country.
  • Have the power of regulating & administering the Indian Financial System.

The list of governors from beginning to till date is tabulated below:

Name of GovernorTime PeriodDetails
Sir Osborne SmithApril 1, 1935 – June 30, 1937He was the first governor and a British banker. However, he did not sign any currency during his tenure.
Sir James Braid TaylorJuly 1, 1937 – February 17, 1943He was a member of Indian Civil Service (ICS), served in Currency Department as Deputy Controller, and then he became Controller of Currency, and additional secretary in the Finance Department. And then finally he became the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank.
Sir C. D. DeshmukhAugust 11, 1943 – June 30, 1949He was the first Indian Governor; he saw the transition to Independence and therefore the partition of the country and also the division of the assets and liabilities of the banking company between India and Pakistan.
Sir Bengal Rama RauJuly 1, 1949 – January 14, 1957He was the longest serving governor. His tenure led to the transformation of Imperial Bank of India to the State Bank of India. He also witnessed the commencement of Planning Era in addition to innovative initiatives within the spheres of co-operative credit and industrial finance.
K.G. AmbegaonkarJanuary 14, 1957 – February 28, 1957He didn’t sign any currency during his tenure, but he established close connections of agricultural enterprise & Reserve Bank’s operations.
H.V.R LyengarMarch 1, 1957 – February 28, 1962He was the chairman of State bank of India before becoming the governor of RBI. He saw the change in Indian coinage system from earlier paise/ anna system to modern decimal coinage system.
P.C BhattacharyaMarch 1, 1962 – June 30, 1967He was a member of Indian Audits and Accounts Service; during his time period, IDBI (Industrial Development Bank of India) in 1964, the Agricultural Refinance Corporation in 1963 and the Unit Trust of India in 1964 got established .
L.K. JhaJuly 1, 1967 – May 3, 1970The notes of denominations of Rs. 2, 5, 10 & 100 commemorating the birth century of Mahatma Gandhi were released.
B.N. AdarkarMay 4, 1970 – June 15, 1970He was an economist & served in office of Economic advisor. Before serving as interim governor, he served as deputy governor in the bank.
S. JagannathanJune 16, 1970 – May 19, 1975He was India’s Executive Director in World Bank, before serving as governor.
N.C. Sen GuptaMay 19, 1975 – August 19, 1975He served as governor for three months till the time K.R. Puri became governor. Only the note of Rs.1000/- beared his signature.
K.R. PuriAugust 20, 1975 – May 2, 1977Before becoming governor, he was chairman and Managing Director of LIC. He was the last to sign Rs.1000/- notes before there de-monetisation in 1978, which were re-introduced in 2000.
M. NarasimhamMay 3, 1977 – November 30, 1977He served for time period of 7 months. He was the first governor for whom in-house promotion upheld (as in- house promotions is not held for deputy governor & governor).
I.G. PatelDecember 1, 1977 – September 15, 1982The demonetization of Rs. 1000/-, 5000/-, 10000/- and gold money was done during his tenure.
Manmohan SinghSeptember 16, 1982 – January 14, 1985Legal reforms related to banking career carried out and the Urban Banks Department was settled, during his tenure.
Amitav GoshJanuary 15, 1985 – February 4, 1985He was the shortest ever governor who served for 20 days only.
R.N. MalhotraFebruary 4, 1985 – December 22, 1990During his service, The Discount and Finance House of India, the National Housing Bank and the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research were established .
S.VenkitaramananDecember 22, 1990 – December 21, 1992External sector faced lot difficulties during his tenure.
C. RangarajanDecember 22, 1992 – November 21, 1997He set measures to strengthen and improve the competitive efficiency of financial sector.
Bimal JalanNovember 22, 1997 – September 6, 2003During his tenure, India saw the Asian Crisis and the consolidation of the gains of liberalisation and economic reforms.
Y.V. ReddySeptember 6, 2003 – September 5, 2008Several policies in the areas of financial sector reforms, trade finance, and centre-state financial relations were formed.
D. SubbaraoSeptember 5, 2008 – September 4, 2013He served under the prime minister, De. Man Mohan Singh and got extension in 2011 of 4 years to serve as governor.
Raghuram G. RajanSeptember 4, 2013 – September 4, 2016During his tenure in RBI, he became Vice chairman of Bank for International Settlements.
Urjit Ravindra PatelSeptember 4, 2016 – December 10,2018Prior to this, he was deputy governor who looked after monetary policy, economic policy research, statistics and information management, deposit insurance, communication and Right to information.
Shaktikanta DasDecember 12, 2018 – to dateHe is a retired IAS officer of 1980 batch. Prior to this, he was member of 15th Finance Commission & India’s Sherpa to the G20.