NEW DELHI: The Government on Wednesday announced the appointment of Viral V Acharya, a New York University economics professor, as a new Deputy Governor at the Reserve Bank of India. Quite apart from authoring several important economic papers, some with former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, Acharya is also known to have composed at least ten songs and released a music album.
The 42-year-old Acharya’s appointment for a three-year tenure was cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. Acharya will fill a post that fell vacant after Urjit Patel was made RBI Governor with effect from September 4. The existing three Deputy Governors of RBI are S S Mundra, N S Vishwanathan and R Gandhi.
Acharya’s similarity to the former RBI governor does not just come from his own declaration, but in the background too. Acharya also comes from an academic background and co-authored at least three papers with the former RBI governor.
While giving a Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics plenary lecture in 2013, Acharya narrated an incident when someone asked him on a flight whether he was Raghuram Rajan, after seeing him, an Indian, with papers on banking and crisis. That was the day, he quipped when he realised that he could have easily passed off as “poor man’s Raghuram Rajan” on flights.
Acharya has also been a strong votary of the independence of central banks and favoured them being “democratically accountable, yet be operationally independent of political influence”.
An alumnus of IIT, Mumbai, with a degree of Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science and Engineering in 1995 and PhD in Finance from NYU-Stern in 2001, Acharya was with the London Business School (2001-08) and served as the Academic Director of the Coller Institute of Private Equity at LBS (2007-09) and a Senior Houblon-Normal Research Fellow at the Bank of England (Summer 2008).