Dr Prachi Mishra-Behind Big Ideas at the Reserve Bank of India

Dr Prachi Mishra, the Specialist Adviser of RBI
Dr Prachi Mishra, the Specialist Adviser at RBI

Raguhram Rajan , Governor of Reserve Bank of India is a not an easy person to impress. With a Phd from MIT and having held professorship at Chicago University and the position of Chief Economist at IMF, RBI governor surely knows what makes a good economist.

The governor has more than once indicated that the country needs good economists. His predecessor had termed central banks rate setting work “analytically bewildering”. Good data, good analysis and keen eyed economists is what the RBI Governors have sorely missed at their job. Keeping the economy comprising of a billion people in running order is itself a difficult task made more daunting because of want of data and sophisticated analysis.

Dr Rajan has taken the first step to change things at the Central Bank. He recently inducted Dr Prachi Mishra as ‘specialist adviser’ into the RBI. First time ever has RBI seen a lateral entry, which for last 80 years has believed in promotion through the ranks. Who is Dr Prachi Mishra?

 Dr. Prachi Mishra’s Journey:

Prachi obtained her Masters in Economics from the prestigious Delhi School of Economics in 1999, where she topped her class. She went on to do her MPhil and Phd in Economics from Columbia University. Her Phd was on Essays on Globalization and Wages in Developing Countries . In her thesis supervisory committee was the world renowned economist Jagdish Bhagwati. Subsequently Prachi joined International Monetary Fund where till recently she was the Senior Economist, Strategy Unit, Monetary and Capital Markets Department. A stint of awards followed including – IMF Research Award for Exceptional Contribution to Low-Income Country Work , IMF Award for Innovative Research in Political Economy, International Trade and Exchange Rates , Export-Import Bank of India International Economics Development Research Annual Award and many more.

It is indeed difficult to impress the mighty Rajan which she did during her stints in the government of India as Senior Economist, Office of the Chief Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance, Government of India in 2012-2013. At that time the Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India was Raghuram Rajan.

Dr Prachi Mishra’s Role as Specialist Adviser:

Prachi has her role cut out. She has to set up a cutting edge research team and infrastructure which will inform the RBI’s monetary policy calls. Setting up such a setup is not easy it takes patience and skills, which are abundant in Prachi.

Dr. Prachi Mishra – A Role Model

Prachi is married to Devesh Roy who is a researcher with International Food Policy Research Institute in New Delhi and has a 8-year-old daughter Avantika.

So when next time the RBI governor adjusts the monetary policy, you can be assured that Prachi and her team has done their economics and math right.

Prachi had to rebel against her family’s wishes to study economics, who wanted her to be a medical doctor. She now helps monitor the economic health of the nation, a doctor nonetheless, but of a different kind.

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