KJ Udeshi Becomes RBIs First Woman Dy Governor

Mumbai, June 10: | Updated: Jun 11 2003, 05:30am hrs
Ms KJ Udeshi was on Tuesday appointed deputy governor (DG) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Ms Udeshi is the first woman deputy governor of RBI.

The government, in a notification, stated that she will hold charge as the deputy governor till October 12, 2005, when she attains the age of 62 or until further orders. Ms Udeshi replaces GP Muniappan who retired as deputy governor on May 31.

Joining RBI in 1965, Ms Udeshi rose from the ranks and was appointed as executive director in 2001. She has had a long stint in exchange control and the central banks internal administration and human resources departments.

Ms Udeshi has been an RBI nominee on the board of State Bank of India (SBI), has been a member of the governing board of the National Institute of Bank Management, the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection, a member on the Governing Council of Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology and a member on the Apex Committee on Market Awareness, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

She has also been a co-chairperson on sub-group on banking and finance, the Indo-Russian inter-governmental commission for trade, economic, scientific, technological and cultural cooperation.

Born in 1943, Ms Udeshi is a post-graduate in Economics. She is a diploma holder in bank management from the National Institute of Bank Management and is a Certificated Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers (CAIIB).

Ms Udeshis (in her capacity as executive director-RBI) keynote address at the Assembly of the Forex Dealers Association of India at Bangalore on September 28, 2002, was a benchmark one that chronicled the countrys progress on forex management over a decade. With debates over the level of reserves, its cost and the issue of capital account convertibility raging, it would be worthwhile recollecting her views: ... it also leads me to the current spate of debates and opinions in respect of the level and cost of reserves. Should countries hold larger reserves or less reserves Countries need to set their reserves holding on the basis of capital as well as current account variables. Apart from the computable charge on the reserves arising out of commitments relating to capital account transactions, both long and short term, as well as trade requirement, the impact of external and internal shocks have to be kept in view in formulating policy on reserves.

As the capital account becomes more open and international capital flows more readily, the demand for reserves will increase. Merely comparing global interest rates with domestic interest rate as a proxy for cost of reserves may not be appropriate. It is not the arithmetical difference in interest rate on substitutable assets but the various other unquantifiable benefits that the economy derives on account of strong reserves which needs due recognition in such discussions, she had noted.