Dr. Duvvuri Subbarao


Dr. Duvvuri Subbarao is an Indian Economist, Central Banker and Civil Servant. He is known to be a reformer at heart who has favoured inclusive economic policies. In 2009, he was conferred with the Distinguished Alumnus Award in recognition of his outstanding managerial contributions


Born in Eluru in West Godavari, Andhra Pradesh, on 11th August 1949, he did his schooling in Korukonda Sainik School. In 1969, he graduated in B.Sc. Honors (Physics) from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. During his graduation, he received the Director, Gold Medal. Later, he went for a Master's degree in Physics from Indian Institute of Technology,Kanpur. In 1978,he received another Master's degree in Economics from the Ohio State University, United States. After a few years, Dr. Subbarao joined the Humphrey Fellowship program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study Quantitative Economic Modelling and became a Humphrey Fellow at MIT in 1982. He later received a Ph.D. in Economics from Andhra University.

In 1972, Dr. Subbarao topped the Civil Services Examination and was assigned the Andhra Pradesh cadre. He was appointed as the joint secretary of Department of Economics Affairs in the Ministry of Finance in Government of India. He served in this position from 1988 to 1993. Later, he was made the Finance Secretary of Government of Andhra Pradesh and served in this position till 1998. From 1994 to 2004, he served as the lead economist at the World Bank.

Dr. Subbarao has vast experience on issues in public finance and has held important posts in this area. He has worked as Secretary to the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council. He took charge as the 22nd Governor of Reserve Bank of India in September 2008 and served under the then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. During his tenure as Governor of RBI, Dr. Subbarao took initiatives for the demystification of the Central Bank, including lucid presentation of terse macro-economic concepts in the RBI publications and grassroots level interaction with the masses through various financial inclusion, financial literacy and village outreach programmes. Dr. Subbarao is generally credited as having safely stewarded Indian economy through the financial crisis. However, it was during Subbarao's tenure that the value of Indian Rupee tumbled spectacularly, with USD/INR exchange rate for the first time breaching the psychological barrier of 60 and even hitting a new low of 69.

Dr. Subbarao is known to have a mind of his own and frequently vetoes / overrides the opinion of his fellow members of the Technical Advisory Group on Monetary Policy. He is criticized as lacking democratic spirit by regularly going against the majority opinion of fellow experts in the apex level committee. During Subbarao's last days at the helm of RBI, the banking industry in India was rocked by the infamous Cobra Post expose of money laundering by leading Indian banks through violation of RBI's KYC guidelines, which pointed to the slackness and loopholes in the supervisory role of RBI.

Achievements and Honors

  • Recipient of Distinguished Alumnus Award, 2009 by IIT Kanpur.