Book Review: ‘RBI Governors – Demy: The Czars of Monetary Policy (1935-2021)’ by Gokul Rathi

Know the unknown sides of the exceptional people - RBI Governors.


RBI Governors - Demy The Czars of Monetary Policy (1935-2021) by Gokul Rathi Book Cover

Book Title: RBI Governors – Demy: The Czars of Monetary Policy (1935-2021)
Author: Gokul Rathi
Publisher: Rupa Publications
Number of Pages: 248
ISBN: 978-9357021777
Date Published: Apr. 05, 2023
Price: INR 309

Book Review

Gokul Rathi authored the book “RBI Governors – Demy: The Czars of Monetary Policy (1935-2021)“, which chronicles the history of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and its governors from its inception in 1935 to the present day. The book highlights that most RBI governors came from the IAS/ICS cadres, the financial industry, or were well-known academics, with Mr. K R Puri being the exception during his term from 1975 to 1977. During Mr. Puri’s term, he approved the loan file of Maruti Udyog, controlled by the Prime Minister’s son, without consulting his peers at the RBI, causing controversy.

The book also notes that after the inflation rate surpassed 7%, the RBI raised the repo rate by 40 basis points and the CRR by 50 basis points in an off-cycle move. The RBI had been urging the government to reduce duties on petroleum products, which the government eventually did.

Since its establishment in 1935, the RBI has played a vital role in shaping India’s economy. Its governors have implemented policies to contain inflation, stabilize the economy, and modernize the financial system. The RBI Governors have significantly impacted India’s economic growth and continue to play an essential role in the country’s economic management.

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The book provides an in-depth look at the distinguished individuals who have served as the head of the RBI, from experienced British managers to current technocrats, highlighting their efforts to change the RBI’s systems and processes. Sir C. D. Deshmukh was the first Indian governor of the RBI.

During his tenure, he supervised India’s partition and the division of assets and obligations between India and Pakistan. The governor of the RBI is a part of the National Security Council’s Strategic Policy Group, led by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

RBI Governors – Demy: The Czars of Monetary Policy (1935-2021)” is a comprehensive book that captures the vital role played by the RBI Governors in shaping India’s economy.

The book review was first published in Storizen Magazine April 2023 Issue.