Subir Gokarn appointed IMF executive director
Other | Photo Credit: Reuters

Former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deputy governor Subir Gokarn has been appointed as an executive director on the board of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Gokarn, 56, will replace Rakesh Mohan, whose three-year tenure at IMF will end this month, a government release said.

This is not the first time that Gokarn has been appointed to a post vacated by Mohan. In 2009, Gokarn, then Asia-Pacific chief economist for Standard & Poor's (S&P), was appointed as a deputy governor of RBI, four months after Mohan vacated the post.

Gokarn will represent India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan on the executive board of the Washington-based thinktank.

Gokarn, who currently serves as director of research at the Indian arm of global thinktank Brookings Institution, will be one of the 24 governors appointed by countries or a set of countries to the IMF board.

The managing director of the IMF board is former finance minister of France, Christine Lagarde.

The term for Gokarn’s appointment was not specified by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Gokarn was also seen as a contender for the post of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) chairman. The post will fall vacant in February when incumbent chairman UK Sinha retires. The finance ministry had invited applications for the post with last date of filing as October 7, 2015. 

With Gokarn out of the picture, the main contenders left in the fray will be former joint secretary Thomas Mathew, ex-chairman of Forward Markets Commission Ramesh Abhishek and divestment secretary Aradhana Johri.

While Mohan was appointed as IMF executive director in 2012, he’s not the only economist from India who has served at the IMF. RBI's current governor, Raghuram Rajan, has also served at IMF as chief economist. Rajan was appointed as chief economist at IMF in 2003.  

Gokarn has in the past served as chief economist of global rating agency Standard and Poor's (S&P) and head of Crisil's research and information business.

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