S. Venkitaramanan, the 92-year-old former governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), passed away on November 18 in a private hospital in Chennai due to age-related complications.
Born on January 28, 1931, in Tirumayam of Pudukottai district, Venkitaramanan was not only academically inclined but also had a diverse educational background.
He earned a post-graduate degree in physics from the University College Thiruvananthapuram. Subsequently, in 1968, he obtained a post-graduate degree in management from the Carnegie Mellon University in the U.S.
In 1953, he enlisted in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). In addition to his administrative prowess, he had a deep comprehension of complex financial and economic issues.
When Venkitaramanan took over as RBI Governor in December 1990, he had to deal with a serious balance of payments situation.
Throughout his term, the Central government underwent fast changes, therefore he had to show strength and resolve in the face of hardship.
During Venkitaramanan’s two years in office, there were calls for his resignation on a regular basis and a multi-crore securities scam.
Nonetheless, Manmohan Singh, the Union Finance Minister at the time, gave Venkitaramanan a clean sheet in Parliament by praising his unwavering performance in the face of difficulty.
Serving as an advisor on economic matters in the Prime Minister’s Office under Rajiv Gandhi further demonstrated Venkitaramanan’s dedication to public service.
In May 1989, he also worked as an advisor to the Karnataka governor during a crucial phase of the president’s administration.