Urjit Patel is an Indian economist, who is currently serving as 24th Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) since September 2016. Previously, as an RBI deputy governor, he looked after monetary policy, economic policy research, statistics and information management, deposit insurance, communication and Right to Information. Appointed by the Narendra Modi government, Patel succeeded Raghuram Rajan as RBI governor on 4 September 2016. He is the current governor of Reserve Bank of India.
Patel obtained his Bachelor's in Economics from the London School of Economics , M. Phil. degree from Oxford University in 1986. He received his doctorate in Economics from Yale University in 1990. He was at IMF India desk during the 1991–94 transition period. He was posted to IMF country mission in India 1992–95. He has also been a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution since 2009. Mahudha in Kheda district of Gujarat is his ancestral village.
After obtaining his PhD, Patel joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1990 worked on the USA, India, Bahamas and Myanmar desks at IMF till 1995. Thereafter he went on deputation from the IMF to the Reserve Bank of India, where he played an advisory role in the development of the debt market, banking sector reforms, pension fund reforms, targeting of real exchange rate. After the two-year deputation with RBI, Patel became a Consultant to the Government of India in the Ministry of Finance, Department of Economic Affairs - a position he held from 1998 to 2001.
Between 2000 and 2004, Patel worked with several High Level Committees at both Central and State Government level, including Competition Commission, Task Force on Direct Taxes, Prime Minister’s Task Force on Infrastructure, Group of Ministers on Telecom Matters, Advisory Committee on Research Projects and Market Studies, Committee on Civil Aviation Reforms, Expert Group on State Electricity Boards and High Level Expert Group on Civil & Defence Services Pension System.
Prior to his appointment as the Deputy Governor at RBI in 2013, Patel was advisor (Energy and Infrastructure) with Boston Consulting Group, while he has also worked with Reliance Industries in the past.
On 11 January 2013, Patel was appointed as Deputy Governor of RBI for a period of three years. He took over charge of the vital Monetary Policy Department, succeeding Subir Gokarn to the post. As the Deputy Governor of RBI from 2013, he looked after monetary policy, economic policy research, statistics and information management, deposit insurance, communication and Right to Information.
On 20 August 2016, he was appointed as the governor of Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) succeeding Raghuram Rajan. During his tenure, the Government of India demonetised the ₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series, with the stated intention of curbing corruption, black money, fake currency and terrorism from 9 November 2016.
When the UPA Government in India came into power for a second term in 2009, it announced a '100-day’ action plan, which became a hot topic for media discussion. Surprisingly, Urjit Patel was the expert commentator on UPA's first 100 days on Hindi News Channel, although he had no prior media exposure in India.