Shaktikanta Das is a former finance secretary and a member of India's Fifteenth finance commission. He replaces Urjit Patel, who resigned unceremoniously yesterday after a known argument with the government over RBI's autonomy issues. Das has been cleared for a period of three years as Patel steps down citing personal reasons.
Former RBI governor and Patel's immediate predecessor Raghuram Rajan said Patel's resignation is something "all Indians should be concerned about because the strength of our institutions is really important for our growth, sustainable growth and equity in the economy". [firstpost.com]
Here's a quick rundown on the governor from Odisha
Das held the position of the economic affairs secretary in 2016 when the prime minister announced demonetisation in November of the same year. While he is not a surprise choice, there is bound to be speculation as Das is known to be in close communion with Mr. Modi. Urijit Patel's resignation comes 'four days ahead of a crucial meeting of the board of the central bank that could have discussed issues of simmering differences with the government', reports the firstpost.com.
Shaktikanta Das has also held the post of union revenue secretary with two powerful boards under him; CBDT for direct taxes and CBEC for excise and customs.
The other posts that he has held are union fertilizer secretary, was joint secretary, then additional secretary and then special secretary in the Ministry of Finance between November 2008 and December 2013.
At the outset, Das was with the department of expenditure and then in department of economic affairs (DEA), that are both under the ministry of finance. Das is a retired 1980 IAS officer from the Tamil Nadu cadre.
Das has also been a noteworthy voice in the development of India's cryptocurrency regulations as a member of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Das is of the opinion that the main problem with cryptocurrencies is that they are not backed by any assets.
Even though some experts from India maintain that a complete ban on cryptocurrency would only bring more problems, the government of India has taken a negative stance towards cryptocurrencies in recent months.
Some other names doing the rounds for the position were N.S. Vishwanathan, Deputy Governor, RBI; Rajiv Kumar, Secretary, Department of Financial Services; Subhash Chandra Garg, Economic Affairs Secretary; Subir Gokarn, Executive Director at IMF; and Hasmukh Adhia, Former Finance Secretary. [business-standard.com]