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C. D. Deshmukh – Life of RBI’s First Indian Governor

More than half a century ago, when India was still in the shackles of the British Raj, this man was appointed the first Indian Governor of the RBI. Sir Chintaman Dwarakanath Deshmukh, better known as C. D. Deshmukh, was appointed the Governor of the RBI in 1943, 4 years before India got her independence.

C. D. Deshmukh

Throughout his life, he has held the responsibility of many prestigious roles including the Finance Minister. Let’s brief ourselves with the life of this inspiring man.

Early Life

Chintaman was born to a lawyer, Dwarakanath Ganesh Deshmukh on 14th January 1896, in Bombay. He spent his schooling life in Bombay itself.

He was a sharp and hardworking student. In 1912, he aced the University Exam and secured the first Jagannath Shankarseth Scholarship in Sanskrit.

3 years later, in 1915, he went to England where he studied for 2 years and graduated with a degree in Natural Sciences Tripos from Jesus College, Cambridge.

C. D. Deshmukh wasn’t fond of history, but he surely loved creating it.

  • He topped the 1918 Civil Services Examination that was held only in London at that time.
  • He received Frank Smart Prize in Botany and was also the president of the Majlis Society.

Return to India

Deshmukh returned to India in 1920. He served in the Central Provinces and Berar, where he went on to hold several posts.

Starting with being the undersecretary to the government, Deputy Commissioner and Settlement Officer, C.D Deshmukh also worked as a Joint Secretary to the Government of India in the departments of education and health.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

C. D. Deshmukh

C. D. Deshmukh had a major contribution to the RBI in the early days. But before moving towards the contribution, let’s clear ourselves with what RBI actually is.

  • RBI plays a major role in the Development Strategy of the Government of India. It is India’s Central Banking Institution.
  • RBI was the banker for Government of Burma until 1947. It also served as the Central Banking Institution for Pakistan till 1948.
  • RBI launched a website to make people aware of fake money.
  • RBI’s dedication to the government of India is visible when they transferred their profit of over ₹ 52,000 Crore to the Government.

C. D. Deshmukh and His Contribution to RBI

Deshmukh joined RBI in 1939. Within 4 years of his service, he was elected to be the first Indian governor of the RBI. He was the 3rd Governor since the establishment of RBI. His major contributions include –

  • Deshmukh was aware of the fact that in order for the country to grow, its pillars must be strong. The Rural area of the country covered the maximum proportion. He established the Industrial Finance Corporation and focused on the promotion of rural credit.
  • It was in his tenure when RBI invested heavily in the Research and Statistics department.
  • Demonetisation of bank notes of ₹ 500 and above was undertaken by C.D. Deshmukh, to help curb black money and other threats to the economy of India.
C. D. Deshmukh

He went on become the Finance Minister after resigning from the post. He served there for 6 years from 1950 – 56.


Reference

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