C. D. Deshmukh

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Chintaman Dwarakanath Deshmukh
CD Deshmukh.jpg
C. D. Deshmukh at Palam airport in 1952 (left)
Minister of Finance
In office
29 May 1950[1]–1957
Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru
Preceded by John Mathai
Succeeded by T. T. Krishnamachari
3rd Governor of the Reserve Bank of India
In office
Preceded by James Braid Taylor
Succeeded by Benegal Rama Rau
Personal details
Born (1896-01-14)14 January 1896
Nate, Mahad, Raigad, Maharastra
Died 2 October 1982(1982-10-02) (aged 86)
Nationality Indian
Alma mater University of Cambridge
Religion Hindu

Sir Chintaman Dwarakanath Deshmukh, CIE, ICS (14 January 1896 – 2 October 1982) was an Indian civil servant and the first Indian[2] to be appointed as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India in 1943 by the British Raj authorities. He subsequently served as the Finance Minister in the Union Cabinet (1950–1956). It was during this time that he also became a founding member of the Governing Body of NCAER, the National Council of Applied Economic Research in New Delhi, India's first independent economic policy institute established in 1956 at the behest of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. After resignation from Union Cabinet he worked as Chairman of UGC(1956–1961). He served as Vice-Chancellor of University of Delhi (1962–67). He was also President of I.S.I.(Indian Statistical Institute)from 1945 to 1964, Honorary Chairman of National Book Trust (1957–60). He founded India International Center in 1959 and served as Lifetime President of it. He was also chairman of Indian Institute of Public Administration.

Early life and education[edit]

Chintaman Deshmukh was born in a Marathi-speaking Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu family, to Dwarakanath Ganesh Deshmukh, a respected lawyer, and Bhagirathibai, a deeply religious lady, on 14 January 1896 at Nata, near Fort Raigad, Maharashtra. He spent his childhood in Tala & Roha, Raigarh district. The family was affluent, and of land-holding background with a tradition of public service.[2] Deshmukh had a brilliant academic career. He topped the Matriculation Examination of the University of Bombay in 1912 and secured the first Jagannath Shankarseth Scholarship in Sanskrit. He went on to graduate from Jesus College, Cambridge, England, in 1917 Natural Sciences Tripos (literally, with 3 main subjects) with Botany, Chemistry and Geology; he secured the Frank Smart prize in Botany. Finally, he topped the Indian Civil Services examination in 1918, then held only in London.

Civil service career[edit]

Deshmukh joined the Indian Civil Services, and became associated with the Reserve Bank of India from 1939 as its liaison officer to the Government. He then consecutively served as the Bank's Secretary, Deputy Governor (1941–43), and Governor (1943–50).

Bretton Woods Conference[edit]

Deshmukh represented India at the Bretton Woods Conference on 1–22 July 1944. The conference led to the establishment of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). He was a member of the Board of Governors of both of these institutions for the next ten years. In 1950, at the Paris conference of these institutions, he served as the Chairman of the Joint Annual Meeting.

Post partition[edit]

When British India was partitioned into India and Pakistan in 1947, Deshmukh oversaw the post-partition division of the assets and liabilities of the Reserve Bank between India and Pakistan.

The Indian Government nationalised the Reserve Bank on 1 January 1949. Deshmukh saw through the smooth transition of the Bank from a shareholder's institution to a national institution.

Union Finance Minister and resignation[edit]

Deshmukh held the office of Union Finance Minister from 1950 until 1956 when the Central Government reorganised the states in India on linguistic basis. The Central Government with Jawaharlal Nehru as the Prime Minister made, however, an exception by newly forming the State of Bombay which comprised the neighbouring Gujarati and overwhelmingly Marathi regions, the City of Mumbai, the nation's prime economic center, being made the new state's capital.

C. D. Deshmukh, Asoka Mehta, and William Phillips in New Delhi in 1962

The large Marathi-speaking majority of the region took as exception to this and wished to have it as a part of the separate Marathi-speaking state to be called Maharashtra; the Gujarati region also being organised as a separate Gujarati speaking state to be called Gujarat.

After the Central Government announced the above scheme, Deshmukh, who was a Maharashtrian, resigned from the office of Union Finance Minister to register his protest against the idea of not letting the City of Mumbai be a part of a separate Marathi-speaking State of Maharashtra.

After the Marathi-speaking community's long, four-year struggle under the Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti, the Central Government finally partitioned in 1960, the bilingual State of Bombay into the Marathi speaking State of Maharashtra with the City of Bombay (now Mumbai) as its capital, and the Gujarati speaking State of Gujarat.[3]

Personal life[edit]

He was first married to an Englishwoman with whom he had a daughter; this marriage ended when his wife returned to England and the attempt at reconciliation by him in 1946 failed. He later married Durgabai Deshmukh who was a childless widow, a freedom fighter, and a member of the Congress Party.

In 1974 he published his autobiography The Course of My Life.[4]


In 1937, Deshmukh was appointed a CIE (Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire).

In 1944, the British Government conferred a knighthood upon Deshmukh.

In 1957, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science by the University of Calcutta.[5]

In 1959, Deshmukh was a co-recipient (along with Jose Aguilar of the Philippines[6]) of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for distinguished Government Service. Jesus College, Cambridge, Deshmukh's alma mater, elected him its Honorary Fellow in 1952 in recognition of his distinguished contribution in the areas of Indian and international finance and administration.

In 1975, the Government of India honoured Deshmukh with a Padma Vibhushan award.


  1. ^ http://photodivision.gov.in/waterMarkdetails.asp?id=14554.jpg
  2. ^ a b "Chintaman Deshmukh Memorial Lectures". Reserve Bank of India. Retrieved 8 December 2006. 
  3. ^ "Prelude to storms". Frontline. 6 May 2005. Retrieved 21 January 2008. 
  4. ^ The Course of My Life C D Deshmukh ISBN 8125008241
  5. ^ Honoris Causa
  6. ^ "The Ramon Magsaysay Awardees by Name". The Ramon Magsaysay Foundation. Retrieved 8 December 2006.