Shaktikanta Das, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has been awarded the prestigious title of ‘Governor of the Year for 2023’ by Central Banking, an international economic research journal. This honour comes as recognition for his exemplary leadership during a tumultuous period, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the collapse of a major non-bank firm, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which caused inflationary pressure in India.
The Central Banking publication praised Das for his unwavering and steady leadership during the most challenging times, which has been instrumental in ensuring India’s economic stability. Under his guidance, the RBI implemented critical reforms, introduced innovative payment systems, and provided growth-supportive measures during the pandemic.
Das has been lauded for steering the central bank through intense political pressures and economic difficulties. His insistence on applying ‘sunset clauses’ to most of the RBI’s COVID-19 interventions has been seen as a sign of his prudent leadership, which aims to balance economic recovery with fiscal discipline.
In addition, Das provided targeted liquidity to key sectors, foreign exchange, and more generous terms to state governments on their overdraft facilities. These measures have helped to alleviate some of the pandemic’s economic impact and support India’s growth prospects.
The Central Banking publication also highlighted Das’s role in championing financial inclusion and promoting sustainable growth. He has been instrumental in introducing measures that make banking more accessible to all sections of society, including the marginalized and rural populations.
In his acceptance speech, Das expressed his gratitude for the recognition and thanked the RBI’s staff and leadership for their unwavering support. He stated that the award was a testament to the RBI’s resilience and commitment to India’s economic well-being.
The ‘Governor of the Year’ award is a significant achievement for Das, as it recognizes his leadership and the RBI’s efforts in ensuring economic stability in a challenging period. It is a well-deserved honour for a central bank governor who has demonstrated exceptional vision and leadership in navigating India’s economy through unprecedented times.