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Shock resignation: on Urjit Patel quitting as RBI chief

Urjit Patel stepping down as RBI Governor is a major embarrassment for the government
The Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel has cited personal reasons for resigning with immediate(तुरंत) effect, but anyone who has followed the events(आयोजन/ घटनाओं ) of the last couple of months will know it was anything but that. It was a period during(दौरान) which the Centre and the RBI were engaged(व्यस्त/खाली नहीं) in an unseemly(अनुचित/असीम )tussle(खींचतान,संघर्ष झगड़ा) over a clutch(पकड़/झुकाव) of issues that had a bearing(असर) on the RBI’s autonomy, something that Mr. Patel had sought to preserve(रक्षित). As his predecessor(पूर्वज) Raghuram Rajan pointed out, when a public servant resigns, it is a sign of protest(विरोध/आपत्ति उठाना). Mr. Patel’s decision clearly caught everyone by surprise as it came following perceptions(अनुभव/अनुभूति) of a thaw in relations between the Centre and the RBI, after an agreement was hammered out at a board meeting last month on some of the contentious(विवादित ) issues(मुद्दों), including a controversial(विवादास्पद ) proposal(प्रस्ताव) to use the central bank’s reserves for fiscal(वित्तीय ) purposes. But clearly, the larger issue that divided(अलग/विभाजित ) the Centre and the RBI — which related to autonomy(स्वत्व अधिकार)and the independent functioning of the Governor — was never fully resolved(संकल्प लिया।/विचार). Mr. Patel’s resignation(इस्तीफा) is a serious embarrassment(शर्मिंदगी/परेशानी) to the NDA government, which has scrambled(संघर्ष करना/लड़ना) to make statements expressing surprise at his action(कार्रवाई ) and praising( प्रशंसा) him for his work. As attempts(प्रयास) to signal that it had nothing to do with Mr. Patel stepping down and to reinforce(प्रबलित करना /शक्ति बढ़ाना) that he did indeed quit for personal reasons, these remarks were largely unconvincing(दुविधा में पड़ा हुआ).

Mr. Patel’s resignation is bound to raise questions about the Centre’s ability(योग्यता/क्षमता) to work with independent-minded economists, coming as it does following the departures(प्रस्थान) of former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, who was at odds with the Centre on many issues, and the sudden(अचानक) resignations of Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya and Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian. It is true that Mr. Patel’s reclusive and non-communicative style may not have endeared(प्रिय बना) him to some bankers, but his eminence(श्रेष्ठता/महानता) as an economist and his understanding of macro-economic issues is undisputed(निर्विवाद/स्पष्ट). Governments have sparred with the RBI before on the issue of autonomy, but the NDA government went one step further by starting consultations(विचार-विमर्श) under Section 7 of the RBI Act, which gives the Centre the power to direct the RBI to act in specific(विशिष्ट ) ways. The immediate priority now is for the Centre to fill the breach without wasting time. Global investors and the markets are already on edge, and they will be keenly watching, along with the ratings agencies, how the Centre handles this self-created crisis(संकट). The incoming Governor is bound to be judged, among other things, by perceptions about his independence. The RBI cannot be treated as if it is just another government department. And the Centre will now need to demonstrate(दिखाना/प्रदर्शन ) that a post-Patel central bank will continue to enjoy operational autonomy. Anything less will not go down well with both investors(निवेशक ) and the markets.

Important Vocabulary

1. Immediate(तुरंत)
Synonyms: actual, prompt, urgent, at once, at present time
Antonyms: away, distant, eventually, far, later

2. Tussle(खींचतान,संघर्ष झगड़ा)
Synonyms: brawl, fray, free-for-all, scuffle, skirmish
Antonyms: agreement, harmony, peace, accord, calm

3. Engaged(व्यस्त/खाली नहीं) 
Synonyms: committed, hooked, matched, affianced, betrothed
Antonyms: available, disengaged, inoperable, not working, uninvolved

4. Perceptions(अनुभव/अनुभूति)
Synonyms: approach, attention, attitude, awareness, concept
Antonyms: concrete, ignorance, stupidity, thing, unconsciousness

5. Contentious(विवादित )
Synonyms: antagonistic, combative, testy, argumentative, belligerent
Antonyms: agreeable

6. Clutch(पकड़/झुकाव)
Synonyms: clamp, clasp, clench, clinch, connection
Antonyms: misconception, misunderstanding, release

7. Scrambled(संघर्ष करना/लड़ना)
Synonyms: clamber, climb, contend, crawl, jostle
Antonyms: etreat, rest, stay, stop

8. Endeared(प्रिय बना)
Synonyms: captivate, cherish, attach, bind, charm
Antonyms: disconnect, dislike, hate, release, unfasten

9. Eminence(श्रेष्ठता/महानता)
Synonyms: greatness, prestige, prominence, renown, authority
Antonyms: importance, dishonor, disrespect, ill repute

10. Demonstrate(दिखाना/प्रदर्शन )
Synonyms: determine, establish, exhibit, expose, indicate
Antonyms: conceal, cover, disprove, hide, confuse

11. Resolved(संकल्प लिया।/विचार)
Synonyms: agree, answer, clear up, conclude, deal with
Antonyms: begin, forget, hesitate, oppose, question



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