MUMBAI: A 42-year-old IITian, he is passionate about Kishore Kumar songs, has an album to his credit, and has now set a new record at the Reserve Bank of India.
Viral Acharya, named by RBI as its new deputy governor on Wednesday, comes with an unusual bag of talents and a formidable academic profile. The youngest deputy governor to be appointed post-liberalisation, Acharya is the CV Starr professor of economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business and earlier taught at London Business School.
Acharya fills in the vacancy created by the elevation of Urjit Patel as RBI governor. Of the four deputy governors, two are internal appointees, NS Vishwanathan and R Gandhi. The one in charge of banking operations, SS Mundra, is a former bank chief. The fourth, who gets the portfolio of monetary policy and research, is always an economist.
Acharya who refers to fellow IITian Raghuram Rajan as “a great source of inspiration”, has co-authored papers along with the former RBI chief. As a solo artist, Acharya has scored compositions and lyrics for a Hindi music album called ‘Yaadon Ke Silsile—An ode to friends and some romantic moods.’
Known for his work in financial stability – an area of regulation which came into focus during the global financial crisis — the new RBI deputy governor is remembered for his views on public sector banks, which were published in a 2015 report that he jointly authored. Describing their condition as precarious, his report recommended recapitalization, improved governance and privatization of some of the banks in the long run.