Viral Acharya’s Resignation Adds To List Of ‘Foreign-Trained’ Economists Who Quit
Outgoing RBI deputy governor Viral Acharya. (Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg)

Viral Acharya’s Resignation Adds To List Of ‘Foreign-Trained’ Economists Who Quit

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By announcing his resignation as the Reserve Bank of India's deputy governor, Viral Acharya joins the growing list of economists, who have chosen to quit amid growing differences with their employers.

The RBI on Monday announced the resignation of Viral Acharya, its youngest deputy governor ever. He is also the second-ever deputy governor to resign before end of term—Rakesh Mohan did so in May 2009.

And with that, Acharya joins the long list of several noted economists/technocrats, including his past bosses Raghuram Rajan and Urjit Patel, who quit before their end of term.

His resignation is also the first high-profile exit in the second term of the Narendra Modi government. The prime minister’s first term saw several such exits.

The first was Rajan on June 19, 2016. He was willing to stay back for a second term but chose not to. Then came Patel, who probably had the most acrimonious stint as RBI governor, calling it quits on Dec. 10, 2018.

In between, the Niti Ayog vice-chairman and India's chief economic adviser also furnished their resignations before end of their term.

After serving for two-and-a-half years as Niti Aayog’s vice-chairman, Arvind Panagariya, who was handpicked by the prime minister himself, quit in August 2017. He went back to academics in the U.S. In June 2018, chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian left for the U.S. Economist Surjit Bhalla resigned as part-time member of Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council in December 2018.

The term of Acharya, whose term as RBI deputy governor was to end on Jan. 20, 2020, resigned a few weeks ago due to unavoidable "personal circumstances" and “will not be able to continue his term as a deputy governor beyond July 23, 2019”, according to an RBI statement on Monday.

Though Acharya has not announced his future plans, it is understood that he is going back academics at the Stern School of Business, New York University.

Acharya was known for airing his views publicly and effectively, and many of his public speeches were an affirmation of his strong conviction.

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