The Reserve bank of India (RBI) is the Central Bank of India. It is responsible to govern the monetary policy of the country. RBI was established on 1st April 1935 under the RBI Act, 1934 and was formed with the recommendation of “Hilton - Young Commission”. It was initially established as a privately owned bank and got nationalized on 1st January 1949 after the independence of India. RBI is headquartered in Mumbai but initially, it was located in Kolkata and shifted to Mumbai in 1937. Government Of India appoints the head of RBI who is referred to as governor. So far RBI has had 25 governors. Osborne Smith was the first governor of RBI in 1935 and Shaktikanta Das is the current governor of RBI. One of the major responsibilities that RBI holds is to form a monetary policy.

RBI consists of the following members:

One- Governor

Four- Deputy Governor

Fourteen- Directors

Two- Government Officers

RBI Governors List from 1935 to 2022

The list of RBI Governors from 1935 to 2022 is as mentioned below:

RBI Governors NamesTime Period 1935-2022
Sir Osborne SmithApril 1, 1935 – June 30, 1937
Sir James Braid TaylorJuly 1, 1937 – February 17, 1943
Sir C.D. DeshmukhAugust 11, 1943 – June 30, 1949
Sir Bengal Rama RauJuly 1, 1949 – January 14, 1957
K.G. AmbegaonkarJanuary 14, 1957 – February 28, 1957
H.V.R LyengarMarch 1, 1957 – February 28, 1962
P.C BhattacharyaMarch 1, 1962 – June 30, 1967
L.K. JhaJuly 1, 1967 – May 3, 1970
B.N. AdarkarMay 4, 1970 – June 15, 1970
S. JagannathanJune 16, 1970 – May 19, 1975
N.C. Sen GuptaMay 19, 1975 – August 19, 1975
K.R. PuriAugust 20, 1975 – May 2, 1977
M. NarasimhamMay 3, 1977 – November 30, 1977
I.G. PatelDecember 1, 1977 – September 15, 1982
Manmohan SinghSeptember 16, 1982 – January 14, 1985
Amitav GoshJanuary 15, 1985 – September 4, 1985
R.N. MalhotraFebruary 4, 1985 – December 22, 1990
S. VpnldraramananDecember 22, 1990 – December 21, 1992
C. RangarajanDecember 22, 1992 – November 21, 1997
Bimal JalanNovember 22, 1997 – September 6, 2003
Y.V. ReddySeptember 6, 2003 – September 5, 2008
D. SubbaraoSeptember 5, 2008 – September 4, 2013
Raghuram G. Raj anSeptember 4, 2013 – September 4, 2016
Urjit Ravindra PatelSeptember 4, 2016 – December 10,2018
Shaktikanta DasDecember 12, 2018 – to date

RBI Governor Powers

The RBI Governors carry many powers. We can understand them with the help of the following points:

➤ Banker’s banker

➤ Heads all the commercial banks

➤ Influence on micro and macro economies

➤ Control over stock market

➤ Signatures on currency notes

➤ Control over monetary, currency and credit system

RBI Governors Eligibility

Initially, RBI Governors were a part of Indian Civil services like C D Deshmukh, Bengal Rama Rao etc. but any individual who holds a Graduate degree/ Post Graduate/ Chartered Accountant can become a Governor of RBI provided that he had worked in any of the following institutions:

➤ IMF/ World Bank.

➤ Chairman or General Manager of a Bank.

➤ Reputed Financial or Banking organization.

➤ Ministry of Finance (GOI)

Other than the above any citizen who is 35 years or above than that is eligible. He must not be a member of the Parliament/State Legislature also he must not hold any other office for profit.

RBI Governors Appointment

The Governor of RBI is not appointed by the PMO (Prime Minister Office) on the recommendation of the Union Finance Minister.

RBI Governors Tenure

The tenure of an RBI governor as specified in the constitution is three years however it can be extended for two more years. The Governor can be terminated in two cases and they are as follows:

➤ If dismissed by the President.

➤ Resignation is submitted by the Governor to the President.

RBI Governors Responsibilities

Here are some duties which are generally performed by the RBI Governors.

➤ The RBI governors are responsible for maintaining the monetary stability in an economy. Thus, plays an important role in formulating the policies of the Reserve Bank of India.

➤ The responsibility for issuing licenses to open new foreign and private banks is also headed by the governor of RBI.

➤ The power to control the interest rates on advances and deposits of the country is vested upon the governors. However, the scope of this power is limited to prescribing minimum lending rates and interest rates on savings accounts.

➤ The financial system of the nation is regulated and administered by the Governor and he only sets the parameters within which the whole financial system functions.

➤ The Governor of RBI manages the external trade and payment also promotes orderly development and maintenance of foreign exchange market in India which comes under the foreign exchange management act, 1999.

➤ Monitoring of adequate quantities of currency notes and coins supply in the country and the issuance and destruction of currency not fit for circulation in public.

➤ RBI Governor also keeps a check on rules and regulations in order to make them more customer-friendly.

➤ Through Urban Bank Departments RBI governor leads and supervise primary co-operative banks.

➤ Furthermore, RBI Governor also has a part to play in facilitating and monitoring the flow of credit to small scale industries, rural, and agricultural sectors. The responsibility for regulating state co-operative banks, regional rural banks, and various local area banks.

The RBI Governors perform many more functions as the central bank of India.

Aspirants of Government exams or any other competitive exams must be well aware of the list of RBI Governors and the time duration they have served the organization. This topic holds relevance for the general awareness section of all types of competitive exams and for the Polity section in the exams.


RBI Governors List from 1935 to 2022- FAQs

Ans. Sir Osborne Smith was the first Governor of RBI.

Ans. Sir C. D. Deshmukh was the first Indian Governor of RBI.

Ans. Shaktikanta Das is the current Governor of RBI.

Ans. RBI was established on 1st April 1935 under the RBI Act, 1934.

Ans. On 1st January 1949 RBI was Nationalised.

Important Links