Pick the next Governor of the Reserve Bank of India

UPDATE, 20 AUG. 2016: Urjit Patel has been selected to replace Raghuram Rajan as governor of the Reserve Bank of India. As Rajan’s former deputy, Patel brings continuity to the position, along with an impressive C.V. that includes stints with the International Monetary Fund and the Brookings Institution.

But there were many worthy candidates. Who would you have chosen?

As Raghuram Rajan prepares to step down as governor of the Reserve Bank of India in September, speculation has swirled around who will be chosen to replace him as the leader of the country's central bank.

Dozens of candidates have been suggested, each with different expertise and qualifications. We've narrowed the list to 15 of the most likely candidates. The rest is up to you.

Click the filters to narrow down your list of candidates. Click the pictures of the candidates to conduct an interview. Scroll down to learn more about the criteria.

The next RBI governor should be an academic a banker a civil servant, should favour not favour lower interest rates, and should be not be younger than 65 years old.
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Should the next RBI governor be an academic, a banker, or a civil servant?

Members of the Indian Administrative Service (Bose, Chawla, Das, and Watal) might be seen as desirable candidates because they understand the bureaucracy and are perceived as being able to work well with the government. Most former governors have come from the IAS and other public sector institutions.

The government may also choose an academic (Basu, Gokarn, Kelkar, Lahiri, Mohan, Panagariya, Patel, Shome, Subramanian) who could be seen as independent and well-regarded by the international community.

Bankers (Bhattacharya, Kamath) could be criticised for serving the interests of commercial banks and not the country's larger economic needs, but a banker may be seen as best qualified to deal with the current bad loan crisis.

Should the next RBI governor favour lower interest rates?

Rajan made targeting inflation his primary goal during his governorship, bringing down inflation from about 10 percent to about 5 percent. But in order to rein in inflation, he refused to cut interest rates, even after his critics urged him to do so. Rajan's opponents felt inflation was under control, and rate cuts were necessary to stimulate the economy.

It is difficult to predict which course a prospective RBI governor is likely to pursue, but Basu, Bhattacharya, Kelkar, Panagariya, and Subramanian are perceived as being most likely to favour cutting interest rates.

Should the next RBI governor be younger than 55?

Several sources claim otherwise, but there is no age limit to be governor of the Reserve Bank of India (Alpana Killawala, an RBI spokesperson, confirmed this over the phone). That said, there is no precedent for appointing an RBI governor over the age of 65, and the government might be loathe to appoint someone seen as too old to handle the strain of a difficult job.

The oldest candidate, Kelkar, is 74, which could hurt his chances even though he may be qualified for the job in other ways. Chawla (65), Kamath (68), Mohan (68), and Shome (65) are all 65 or older.

Rajan was just 50 when he became RBI governor. If the government wants to once again inject youth into the position, they may appoint his deputy, Patel, who is 52. Other candidates in their fifties are Gokarn (56), Subramanian (57), and Das (59).