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RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya resigns six months before term ends

RBI Deputy Governor Viral V Acharya has resigned and will return to academics

RBI Deputy Governor Viral V Acharya has resigned from his post, six months before the scheduled end of his term, sources have confirmed to The Indian Express, adding that he was not expecting his term to be renewed in any case. Confirming the resignation, the Reserve Bank of India in a statement said, "Due to unavoidable personal circumstances, Viral Acharya is unable to continue as deputy governor beyond July 23. Consequential action arising from his letter is under consideration of the competent authority"

Acharya joined the central bank in January 2017 and was RBI’s youngest deputy governor, post economic liberalisation. Acharya will be returning to New York University as CV Starr Professor of Economics.

This is the second high profile resignation in the past six months at the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). In December, governor Urjit Patel resigned nearly nine months before the end of his schedule term over differences with the government. The RBI is now left with three deputy governors N S Vishwanathan, B P Kanungo and M K Jain.

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Considered to be an expert in credit risk, Acharya recently had a difference of opinion with Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das in the monetary policy announced on April 4, according to minutes released by the bank. While Das argued in favour of focussing on economic growth with a repo rate cut, Deputy Governor Viral Acharya cautioned on another rate cut in the wake of high inflation excluding food and fuel. The six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to reduce the policy repo rate by 25 basis points to 6 per cent in a 4-2 majority decision.

Acharya completed his BTech in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT Mumbai in 1995 and PhD in finance from NYU Stern in 2001. Prior to joining Stern, he was at London Business School (2001 2008), 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). Acharya who joined New York University Stern School of Business in September 2008 is now CV Starr Professor of Economics.

According to NYU, his primary research interest is in theoretical and empirical analysis of systemic risk of the financial sector, its regulation and its genesis in government-induced distortions, an inquiry that cuts across several other strands of research credit risk and liquidity risk, their interactions and agency theoretic foundations, as well as their general equilibrium consequences.

Viral Acharya has co-authored research papers with former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan and has called him a "source of inspiration."