Urjit R Patel will be stepping into Raghuram Rajan’s big-sized shoes from September 4. But he has been walking through the minefield of Indian economy long enough behind Rajan. Patel’s promotion creates an historic milestone, his grandfather’s extended family hails from Palana village in Kheda district of Gujarat. Patel, who has been associated with major economic initiatives taken by the government, had also worked as an expert commentator on a TV show.
In 2009, the UPA had just come back to power with the voters backing original Mr Reforms — Dr Manmohan Singh — for a second term. The UPA announced a ‘100 day action plan”, which later became the subject of intense criticism. Patel was seen on a Hindi news channel as an expert in a series tracking the first 100 days. In January this year, when he was re-appointed the RBI deputy governor there were no raised eyebrows. India’s monetary policy framework was being radically altered and he was one of the key architects of the restructuring.