Former RBI Governor S Venkitaramanan passes away, he was 92

Venkitaramanan who took over as the Governor of RBI in 1990, a critical time in the Indian economy, served for two years from 1990 to 1992.
S Venkitaramanan
S VenkitaramananFacebook/Shailesh Tripathi
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Former Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) S Venkitaramanan, passed away on Saturday, November 18, at age 92. He was admitted at a private hospital in Chennai with age-related ailments, where he breathed his last. He is survived by daughters - Girija Vaidyanathan, former chief secretary of Tamil Nadu and Sudha Vaidyanathan.

Venkitaramanan was born on January 28, 1931, and completed Masters in Physics from University College Thiruvananthapuram, following which he joined the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1953. Later, in 1968, he also obtained another Masters degree in Management from Carnegie Mellon University in the United States.

He served as private secretary to the then Union Minister C Subramaniam, and was a part of the team that implemented the Green Revolution programme. In 1969, he became the Finance Secretary of Tamil Nadu under Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, a position he served till 1974. He also served as the Vice-Chairman and President of Southern Petrochemical Industries Corporation (SPIC) in 1977-1983. In 1985, he was appointed the Finance Secretary of the Union government and served till 1989.

He took over as the Governor of RBI in 1990, which was a critical time in the Indian economy. He served as RBI Governor for two years from 1990 to 1992. According to a The Hindu report, C Rangarajan, former Deputy Governor of RBI who worked with Venkitaramanan, said that it was a time when the Union government was making changes in the system and the RBI responsibility became more critical. “He faced the situation with great determination and courage. We had to raise the necessary resources to bridge the gap. We took the extraordinary step of shipping gold out of India to raise the foreign exchange,” Rangarajan said.

Expressing condolences, the current RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said, “Very sad to hear about the demise of Shri S.Venkitaramanan, former Governor of the RBI. He was an outstanding personality and public servant. Made immense contributions during periods of crisis. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, expressing condolences to Venkitaramanan’s family, said that Venkitaramanan was widely-known for the contributions he made to the country.

“One of India's most brilliant civil servants who left his mark, especially in the field of finance, has just passed away in Chennai at the age of 92. S. Venkitaramanan was RBI Governor at a most crucial time of our economic history during 1990-92. Apart from this he made major contributions in industrial development and energy as well. He was a key aide of C. Subramaniam who played a pivotal role in ushering in the Green Revolution in the mid-60s. I have many fond memories of our association that spanned almost three decades and from which I learned much,” Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said.

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