Viral Acharya joins the long list of ‘foreign trained’ economists who abruptly quit RBI

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Published: June 24, 2019 7:25:27 PM

More significantly, Acharya' resignation is the first high profile exit in the second term of the Narendra Modi government and comes within a month of the new government coming to power, while his first term saw many such exits.

Though Acharya has not announced his future plans, it is understood that he is going back academics at the Stern School of Business at the New York University.

By announcing his decision to quit as the deputy governor of the central bank, Viral Acharya joins the growing list of technocrats in economic policymaking who have chosen to quit amidst growing differences with their employers. The Reserve Bank Monday announced the departure of Viral Acharya, its youngest deputy governor ever and the second one to do so in its history–Rakesh Mohan who had left the job in May 2009, before their term, effective July 23.

And Acharya joins the long list of many noted economists/technocrats, especially his immediate past bosses Raghuram Rajan (who was keen for a second term but chose not to seek one due to the growing differences with the government) and Urjit Patel, who quit much before the end of his three-year term. More significantly, Acharya’ resignation is the first high profile exit in the second term of the Narendra Modi government and comes within a month of the new government coming to power, while his first term saw many such exits.

The first was the past Reserve Bank governor Raghuram Rajan, who was willing to stay back for a second term but chose not to after his term ended in September 2016. Then came his immediate successor Urjit Patel, who probably had the most acrimonious stint at the Mint Road in recent history, calling it quits on December 10, 2018. In between, there were many more from the government side such as the Niti Ayog head and the chief economic advisor to the finance minister. After serving for two-and-a-half years as the head of the national planning body Niti Aayog, Arvind Panagariya, who was handpicked by the prime minister himself, quit in August 2017.

He went back to academics in the US. In June 2018, the chief economic advisor to the finance minister Arvind Subramanian also left the post though he had the tenure till May 2019. Similarly, economist and columnist Surjit Bhalla also resigned as part-time member of the PM’s economic advisory council in December 2018. The term of Acharya, the youngest deputy governor, was to end on January 20, 2020, resigned a few weeks ago due to unavoidable “personal circumstances” and will not be able to continue his term as a deputy governor beyond July 23, 2019, the RBI said confirming his resignation.

Though Acharya has not announced his future plans, it is understood that he is going back academics at the Stern School of Business at the New York University. Acharya was known for airing his views publicly and effectively and many of his public speeches were an affirmation of his strong conviction.

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