List of RBI Governors of India Since Independence

List of RBI Governors of India

Complete List of RBI Governors of India since Independence. This is one of the major topics under Banking Awareness as well as General Knowledge.

RBI Governors of India

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What is the History of Reserve Bank of India?

  • RBI was established on 1st April, 1935 in accordance with the provisions of the RBI act,1934.
  • It was established under the recommendations of the“Hilton Young Commission” also known as “Royal Commission On Indian Currency And Finance”.
  • Initially it was setup in Calcutta and permanently moved to Mumbai in 1937.
  • Initially the RBI was started with private share holder’s fully paid up capital of Rs 5 crores.
  • It also acted as central banking institute for Myanmar till 1948 and till 1947 for Pakistan.

Did You Know?

  • The RBI was nationalized on 1st January, 1949 in accordance with the RBI (Transfer to Public Ownership) Act, 1948.
  • It empowered RBI to act as central banking institution to control monetary policy of Indian Rupee and to control,regulate,monitor,inspect banks in the country as mentioned in the 2nd schedule of RBI act1934.

What are the Subsidiaries of RBI?

  • Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Coporation (DICGC).
  • National Agriculture and Rural Development Bank (NABARD).
  • National Housing Bank.
  • Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL).

List of RBI Governors of India

  • Reserve bank of India controls the monetary policy of the Indian Rupee.
  • The Governor of the Reserve Bank of India is the Chief Executive of India’s Central Bank and the ex-officio chairperson of the Central Board of Directors. Till Date, the RBI has been headed by 24 governors and a term of the RBI governor usually runs for 3 years. Even though there have been instances of RBI governors serving two terms or being the RBI governor for 5-7 years, but is usually rare.

Did You Know?


The first office bearer of the RBI governor was Osborne Smith, a British banker. C.D. Deshmukh was the first Indian governor. Currently Urijit Patel serves as the RBI governor, while the post was earlier held by Raghuram Rajan.

List of RBI Governors of India

S No



1 Sir Osborne A. Smith
1st April 1935 to 30th June 1937
Sir Osborne Smith was the first Governor of the Reserve Bank. A professional banker, his outlook on policy issues like the exchange rates and interest rates was at variance with that of the Government Sir Osborne, however, did not sign any bank notes during his tenure.
2 Sir James Braid Taylor ICS 1st July 1937 to 17th February 1943 His stewardship saw the Bank through the war years and the financial experiments it engendered and catalysed, including the decisive break away from a silver currency to fiat money.
3 Sir Chinataman D.Deshmukh ICS 11th August 1943 to 30th June 1949 Saw the transition to Independence and the partition of the country and the division of the assets and liabilities of the Reserve Bank between India and Pakistan.
4 Sir Benegal Rama Rau ICS 1st July 1949 to 14th January 1957 His tenure witnessed the commencement of the Planning Era as well innovative initiatives in the spheres of co-operative credit and industrial finance. The recommendations of the All India Rural Credit Survey Committee appointed during his tenure led to the transformation of the Imperial Bank of India to State Bank of India.
5 K.G.Ambegaonkar ICS 14th January 1957 to 28th February 1957 He forged closer connections between agricultural enterprise and the Reserve Bank’s operations. K G Ambegaonkar did not sign any bank notes.
6 H.V.R. Iyenger ICS 1st March 1957 to 28th February 1962 His tenure witnessed India’s shift to decimal coinage from the earlier system.
7 P.C. Bhattacharya 1st March 1962 to 30th June 1967 His tenure saw the establishment of the Industrial Development Bank of India (1964), and the establishment of the Agricultural Refinance Corporation (1963) and the Unit Trust of India (1964). The devaluation of the Rupee in 1966.
8 L.K. Jha 1st July 1967 to 3rd May 1970 Amongst other developments, gold controls were brought on a statutory basis,Deposit Insurance was in principle extended to Cooperative banks,the Lead Bank Scheme was introduced to facilitate credit delivery, and the setting up of the Agricultural Credit Board.
9 B.N. Adarkar 4th May 1970 to 15th June 1970 He played an active role in the establishment of the National Institute of Bank Management.

S. Jagannathan

16th June 1970 to 19th August 1975 The setting up of State Level Bankers’ Committees and the shift to floating rates regime.

N. C. Sen Gupta

19th May 1975 to 19th August 1975 N C Sen Gupta was appointed Governor for three months till K R Puri could assume office.
12 K.R. Puri 20th August 1975 to 2nd May 1977 During his tenure, Regional Rural Banks were set up.
13 M. Narasimham 2nd May 1977 to 30th November 1977 He had a short tenure of seven months.
14 Dr. I.G. Patel 1st December 1977 to 15th September 1982 His tenure witnessed the demonetisation of high denomination notes as well as the “gold auctions” conducted by the Bank on behalf of Government of India. During his tenure six private sector banks were nationalised, targets for priority sector lending introduced and the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporations were merged and a Departmental reorganisation was undertaken in the Bank.

Dr. Manmohan Singh

16th September 1982 to 14th January 1985 During his tenure comprehensive legal reforms were carried out related to the banking sector and a new chapter introduced in the Reserve Bank of India Act and the Urban Banks Department was set up.

A. Ghosh

15th January 1985 to 4th February 1985 Ghosh was the Deputy Governor of the Bank since 1982 when he was appointed Governor for a brief period of 15 days till R N Malhotra could take over.
17 R.N. Malhotra  IAS 4th February 1985 to 22nd December 1990 During his tenure efforts were made to develop the money markets and new instruments were introduced. The Discount and Finance House of India, the National Housing Bank were set up and the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research inaugurated.
18 S.VenkitaramananIAS 22nd December 1990 to 21st December 1992 The country faced difficulties related to the external sector during his tenure. His adroit management saw the country tide over the balance of payments crisis. Rupee underwent a devaluation and the launch of  the   programme of economic reforms.
19 Dr. C. Rangarajan 22nd Decmeber 1992 to 22nd November 1997 His tenure as Governor saw unprecedented central bank activism to put in place a comprehensive set of measures to strengthen and improve the competitive efficiency of the financial sector.

Dr. Bimal Jalan

22nd November 1997 to 5th September 2003 During his tenure, India weathered the Asian Crisis and has seen the consolidation of the gains of liberalisation and economic reforms.

Dr. Y.V. Reddy IAS

6th September 2003 to 5th September 2008  Made an significant policy contributions in the areas of financial sector reforms, trade finance, monitoring of balance of payments and exchange rate, external commercial borrowings,centre-state financial relations, regional planning and public enterprise reform and has been closely associated with institution building.
22 Dr. D. Subbaroa 5th September 2008 to 4th September 2013 Dr. Subbarao was also involved in initiation of fiscal reforms at the state level.

Dr. Subbarao  has written extensively on issues in public finance, decentralisation and political economy of reforms.

23 Dr. Raghuram G. Rajan 4th September 2013 to 4th September 2016 He was awarded the Financial Times-Goldman Sachs prize for best business book in 2010.The other awards he has received include the global Indian of the year award from NASSCOM in 2011, the Infosys prize for the Economic Sciences in 2012, and the Center for Financial Studies-Deutsche Bank Prize for financial economics in 2013.

Dr. Urjit R. Patel

4th September 2016 to 11th December 2018 Dr. Patel has several publications in the areas of Indian macroeconomics, monetary policy, public finance, the Indian financial sector, international trade, and regulatory economics.
25 Shaktikanta Das 12th December 2018 to till date Shaktikanta Das, IAS Retd., served as a former Secretary, Department of Revenue and Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.

Did You Know?

Shaktikanta Das has also served as India’s Alternate Governor in the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), New Development Bank (NDB) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). (Source RBI)

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