Patel is one the four deputy governors at the RBI. He heads the monetary policy department.
He was appointed by the UPA government in 2013.
His term, which was supposed to end this year, was extended by three years in January.
Reserve bank officials consider him to be incumbent RBI governor Raghuram Rajan’s closest lieutenant.
Patel has an M.Phil from Oxford University, and a PhD (economics) from Yale University.
He worked on the India, US, Myanmar, and Bahamas desks at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 1990 to 1995.
He served as an IMF advisor to the RBI from 1996 to 1997.
Patel also worked as an consultant with the Department of Economic Affairs of India’s Ministry of Finance from 1998 to 2001.
Before his 2013 RBI appointment, he was an advisor to the Boston Consulting Group, an American think-tank.
A committee headed by Urjit Patel recommended shifting the focus away from wholesale prices, and targeting consumer inflation with an aim to check volatile prices. In March last year, the Reserve Bank and the Ministry of Finance – headed by Arun Jaitley – agreed on a consumer inflation target of 4 percent, with a leeway of 2 percent more or less, by the financial year 2016-2017. The decision to use inflation-targeting is considered to be one of the most important changes to monetary policy since the 1991 reforms.