List of RBI Governors - Names, Tenure of Office, Roles & Responsibilities

Knowing about the RBI Governors forms a very important part of your preparation for any competitive exam, be it UPSC exam, Bank exam, or any other Government exam. The list of RBI Governors is a static GK topic in terms of the UPSC syllabus.

  • Who was the first Governor of the Reserve Bank of India? – British banker, Sir Osborn Smith
  • Who was the first Indian Governor of RBI? – Sir C.D. Deshmukh (First Indian to be appointed as RBI Governor in 1943).
  • Who is the current RBI Governor of India? – Shri Shaktikanta Das, an IAS Retd., former Secretary, Department of Revenue and Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India assumed charge as the 25th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India effective from December 12, 2018.

This article will provide you with the RBI Governors list, their names, and the duration they have served in the Reserve Bank of India. You will also know about the roles and responsibilities of the RBI Governor.

For more such Static GK topics, check the article linked here.

The Reserve Bank of India, established by the British Government in 1935, is the highest monetary authority of the nation. Since its establishment, the organization has seen 25 people serving as the RBI Governor.

List of RBI Governors- Download PDF Here

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RBI Governors

The Governor of Reserve Bank of India is the Chief Executive Officer of the Central Bank of India and the Ex-officio Chairman of its Central Board of Directors.

The RBI Governors are appointed by the government of India for a fixed time period and not elected. The Indian note issued by the Reserve Bank of India is signed by the Governor of the RBI.

The list of Reserve Bank of India Governors is important for the Polity section in the UPSC exam. Candidates preparing for UPSC exam can check significant information on the exam in the linked article. 

Other important links:

Current Affairs Bank exams Insurance exams
SSC Exams Government exams After 12th Government Schemes

Duties, Roles & Responsibilities of RBI Governor

  1. Being the head of the most prestigious financial institutions, the RBI governors are responsible for maintaining the monetary stability in an economy. Thus, plays an important role in formulating the policies of Reserve Bank of India.
  2. The responsibility for issuing licenses to open new foreign and private banks is also headed by the governor of RBI.
  3. The power to control the interest rates on advances and deposits of the country is vested upon the governors. However, the scope of this power is limited to prescribing minimum lending rates and interest rates on savings accounts.
  4. The financial system of the nation is regulated and administered by the Governor and he only sets the parameters within which the whole financial system functions.
  5. The Governor of RBI manages the external trade and payment also promotes orderly development and maintenance of foreign exchange market in India which comes under the foreign exchange management act, 1999.
  6. Monitoring of adequate quantities of currency notes and coins supply in the country and the issuance and destruction of currency that is not fit for circulation in public.
  7. RBI Governor also keeps a check on rules and regulations in order to make them more customer-friendly.
  8. Through Urban Bank Departments RBI governor leads and supervise primary co-operative banks.
  9. Furthermore, RBI Governor also has a part to play in facilitating and monitoring the flow of credit to small scale industries, rural, and agricultural sectors. The responsibility for regulating state co-operative banks, regional rural banks, and various local area banks.

All these and many more responsibilities are shouldered by the person serving as the Governor in the Reserve Bank of India.

List of Governors Of Reserve Bank of India

The list of RBI Governors from 1935 to 2021 is as mentioned below:

RBI Governors Time Period 1935-2021
Sir Osborne Smith April 1, 1935 – June 30, 1937
Sir James Braid Taylor July 1, 1937 – February 17, 1943
Sir C.D. Deshmukh August 11, 1943 – June 30, 1949
Sir Bengal Rama Rau July 1, 1949 – January 14, 1957
K.G. Ambegaonkar January 14, 1957 – February 28, 1957
H.V.R Lyengar March 1, 1957 – February 28, 1962
P.C Bhattacharya March 1, 1962 – June 30, 1967
L.K. Jha July 1, 1967 – May 3, 1970
B.N. Adarkar May 4, 1970 – June 15, 1970
S. Jagannathan June 16, 1970 – May 19, 1975
N.C. Sen Gupta May 19, 1975 – August 19, 1975
K.R. Puri August 20, 1975 – May 2, 1977
M. Narasimham May 3, 1977 – November 30, 1977
I.G. Patel December 1, 1977 – September 15, 1982
Manmohan Singh September 16, 1982 – January 14, 1985
Amitav Gosh January 15, 1985 – February 4, 1985
R.N. Malhotra February 4, 1985 – December 22, 1990
S. Vpnldraramanan December 22, 1990 – December 21, 1992
C. Rangarajan December 22, 1992 – November 21, 1997
Bimal Jalan November 22, 1997 – September 6, 2003
Y.V. Reddy September 6, 2003 – September 5, 2008
D. Subbarao September 5, 2008 – September 4, 2013
Raghuram G. Raj an September 4, 2013 – September 4, 2016
Urjit Ravindra Patel September 4, 2016 – December 10,2018
Shaktikanta Das December 12, 2018 – to date

Important Note-

  • The person who served as the RBI Governor for the longest time period was Benegal Rama Rao. He worked for 7 years from 1st July 1949 to 14th January 1957.
  • Amitabh Ghosh served RBI as Governor for the shortest time, only for 20 days starting from January 15, 1985, to February 4, 1985.
Other Related Links
Banking Awareness Comprehensive News analysis
History of Banking in India SSC General Awareness
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Objectives of Monetary Policy

RBI Governor – Important Pointers

Given below is a piece of brief information about a few important things that a government exam aspirant must know about the RBI Governor, from the examination point of view:

  • Manmohan Singh is the only RBI Governor, who also served the country as the Indian Prime Minister
  • The first Indian Governor of RBI was Mr C.D. Deshmukh
  • Ms KJ Udeshi was the first woman Deputy Governor of the Reserve bank of India. Her tenure started from June 10, 2003, and lasted for over 2 years, till October 12, 2005
  • RBI Governor is appointed by the Prime Minster’s Office (PMO). The Union Finance Minister’s recommendation is taken into consideration while appointing the Governor
  • Both, the RBI Governor and Deputy Governor, are appointed as per the Section 8 of Reserve Bank of India Act 1934

Candidates must be aware of these details about the past and present RBI Governors. As the questions asked may be complex, and not always direct.

Aspirants of Bank exams, UPSC exams, Government exams or any other competitive exams must be well aware of the list of RBI Governors and the time duration they have served the organization. This topic holds relevance for the general awareness section of all types of competitive exams and for the Polity section in the UPSC exams.

For more such articles, keep checking BYJU’s page.

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Frequently Asked Questions on RBI Governor List


Q 1. What is the salary of an RBI Governor?

Ans. The RBI Governor salary is Rs. 2.5 lakhs per month. Until 2016, the basic pay of an RBI Governor was Rs.90,000 which was increased two times by the Government in 2017.

Q 2. Who is the current Governor of the Reserve Bank of India?

Ans. Shaktikanta Das is the current Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. He replaced Urjit Ravindra Patel and got appointed at the post on December 12, 2018.

Q 3. What are the responsibilities of the RBI Governor?

Ans. The responsibilities of an RBI Governor include:

  • Maintaining monetary stability in economy
  • Issuing licenses to new foreign and private banks
  • Regulating the financial system of the nation
  • Monitoring an adequate quantity of currency
  • Supervising Primary Co-operative Banks
  • Power to control the interest rates on advances and deposits

Q 4. Who was the first Governor of RBI?

Ans. Sir Osborne Smith was the first Governor of Reserve Bank of India. His tenure lasted from April 1, 1935 to June 30, 1937.

Q 5. Who has the authority to appoint the RBI Governor?

Ans. As per Section 8 of the RBI Act, 1934, the Central Government has the authority to appoint the Governors and Deputy Governors in The Reserve Bank of India.


  1. Who introduced the symbol of RBI and what is the slogan of RBI

    • Hi,
      The RBI Logo is inspired by the East India Company’s Gold Coin and The RBI Slogan is ‘Developing Banking’.