Raghuram Rajan Biography

(Former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India)

Birthday: February 3, 1963 (Aquarius)

Born In: Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

Raghuram Rajan is an Indian economist and the former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, who is currently the Vice-Chairman of the Bank for International Settlements. He served as the 23rd Governor of the Reserve Bank of India and his three year tenure is known for bringing the bleeding rupee back to strength and for battering down the inflation fangs to 6 per cent from double-digit levels. After a glorious career as an academician at the Booth School of Business, he was hired by the International Monetary Fund as its Chief Economist. Always a high-achiever, Rajan completed his schooling from some of the best educational institutions in the country and abroad. An alumnus of IIT-Delhi and IIM-A, Rajan's thesis 'Essays on Banking' earned him a Ph.D. in management from MIT Sloan School of Management. He is always known to be a pragmatist, which is reflected in his various papers especially the controversial piece of writing ‘Has Financial Development Made the World Riskier?’. Though initially ridiculed, Raghuram was later commended for predicting the US economic crisis of 2008 beforehand. His straight forward and practical approach has been instrumental in battling the inflation which plagued the nation when he assumed the role of RBI Governor. A member of the Group of Thirty, Rajan is a crusader of the free market system. In his book ‘Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists’ he has suggested that capitalism serves as a handy tool to abate poverty and provides equal opportunities for all.

Quick Facts

Indian Celebrities Born In February

Also Known As: Raghuram Govindarajan

Age: 60 Years, 60 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Radhika Rajan

father: R Govindarajan

siblings: Jayashree Rajan, Mukund Rajan, Srinivas Rajan

Born Country: India

Economists Indian Men

Height: 6'1" (185 cm), 6'1" Males

Ancestry: Indian American

Notable Alumni: Indian Institute Of Management, Ahmedabad, Indian Institute Of Technology, Delhi

City: Bhopal, India

More Facts

education: Massachusetts Institute Of Technology, Indian Institute Of Technology, Delhi, Indian Institute Of Management, Ahmedabad

awards: Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

Childhood & Early Life
Raghuram Govind Rajan is the son of former intelligence officer R. Govindarajan and his wife. The third child in the family, he was born on February 3, 1963 in the Bhopal city of Madhya Pradesh, India.
He completed his schooling from ‘Delhi Public School R. K. Puram’ and then went on to ‘Indian Institute of Technology’, Delhi. He was presented with the ‘Director’s Gold Medal’ upon completion of his graduation in electrical engineering from the Ivy League institution, in 1985.
Raghuram then went on to study at the coveted ‘Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad’. In 1987, he completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from the celebrated management school with flying colours and earned the distinction of winning the Gold Medal.
Pursuing his Ph.D. overseas, at the ‘MIT Sloan School of Management’, he successfully defended his thesis ‘Essays on Banking’ to receive a doctoral degree in Management in 1991.
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Rajan embarked on an academic career as an assistant professor at the ‘Booth School of Business’ which is affiliated with the ‘University of Chicago’. During his tenure he was invited to deliver guest lectures at many reputed institutions such as the ‘Stockholm School of Economics’ and ‘Kellogg School’.
His prowess as an economist was proved when he was appointed as the IMF Economic Counsellor and Director of Research during 2003-2006. Also in 2003, he penned the book ‘Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists: Unleashing the Power of Financial Markets to Create Wealth and Spread Opportunity’ in collaboration with Luigi Zingales.
Rajan put forth his analysis of the global economies in 2005 in a paper titled ‘Has Financial Development Made the World Riskier?’ The paper attracted much criticism at the time but the eventual downturn in the international markets made many concur with his views.
Rajan then returned to teaching in 2007 for a short while before he was offered the position of an honorary economic adviser by the then Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, in November the following year. He was at the helm of financial reforms committee formed by Indian Government’s Planning Commission.
His article on minimizing the boom-bust financial cycles, which occur as a result of financial liberalization, appeared in the ‘The Economist’, in 2009.
In 2010, this prodigal economist authored ‘Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy’. The book was well received by audiences and critics alike and was also named as the best business book of the year by Financial Times.
Raghuram is also a member of several prestigious organizations which include the ‘Group of Thirty’ and ‘American Academy of Arts and Sciences’. During the year 2011, he presided over the ‘American Academy of Arts and Sciences’.
The following year saw another appointment in the Indian Government when he was named as successor of Kaushik Basu, the outgoing Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India. In this capacity, he was assigned the task of conducting the Economic Survey for India 2012-13.
On September 5, 2013 he assumed office of the Governor of Reserve Bank of India, the central bank of India. His appointment made him one of the youngest ever to hold the position, after Manmohan Singh. Ever since joining office, the pragmatist financial expert has been dedicated towards bringing down inflation in the country.
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Rajan's three year tenure as RBI Governor is known for bringing the bleeding rupee back to strength and for battering down the inflation fangs to 6 per cent from double-digit levels. He demited the office of the Governor of RBI on 4 September 2016.
He is currently serving as the Vice-Chairman of the Bank for International Settlements.
Major Works
Rajan has made immense contribution to the field of economics, the greatest being his prediction of the economic turmoil in the US. Though he was ridiculed as a ‘Luddite’ initially but the ensuing economic crisis in the US and then Europe during 2008-2012, cemented his position among some of the greatest economists of our times.
Rajan's three year tenure as RBI Governor is known for bringing the bleeding rupee back to strength and for battering down the inflation fangs to 6 per cent from double-digit levels. He demitted the office of the Governor of RBI on 4 September 2016.
Awards & Achievements
The ‘American Finance Association’ conferred upon Rajan the ‘Fischer Black Prize’ in 2003. The award is presented to economists under the age of 40 for their outstanding contribution to the world of finance.
He won the fifth ‘Deutsche Bank Prize for Financial Economics 2013’ for the "ground-breaking research work which influenced financial and macro-economic policies around the world".
Personal Life & Legacy
Rajan exchanged the nuptial vows with Radhika Puri, whom he met at IIM-A; the couple has two children. Radhika is a teacher of law at ‘University of Chicago Law School’.
The economist is also an avid sports and quiz fan and even took part in the ‘Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2015’, among others.
As part of research for the documentary ‘Inside Job’, this famous economist was interviewed where he had a detailed discussion on the global crisis in financial sector.
Rajan is an avid quizzer who appeared on national television with some of his friends in 1980s.

See the events in life of Raghuram Rajan in Chronological Order

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