In late July, Raghuram Rajan, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) delivered a speech at the inauguration of the Meghnad Desai Academy of Economics where he pointed out India’s need for competent and accomplished economists.
It is exactly this urgent requirement that is being fulfilled by Dr Prachi Mishra, a 40-year-old from Patna, who used to be a Senior Economist with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). She joined the RBI as a Specialist Adviser in the Department of Economic and Policy Research in November 2014.
Her appointment at the RBI is made more interesting by the fact that it was a lateral entry into the central bank – the first of its kind.
Earlier, she worked in the Office of the Chief Economic Advisor between 2012 and 2013 and in the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India in 2012.
She acquired her PhD in Economics from Columbia University with a thesis titled Essays on Globalization and Wages in Developing Countries and received her Master’s degree from the Delhi School of Economics, ranking first in the university.
When she topped our batch, we felt she was headed for greater things, and here she is – an RBI economist. While we were mostly trying to have campus and beyond campus fun, Prachi was different.
— Souvik Banerjee, Mishra’s Delhi School Economics batchmate, and Additional Director & Head of Economic Affairs & Policy, Indian Chamber of Commerce to The Economic Times
Her list of accomplishments include her role as a Visiting Scholar at Georgetown University and at the World Bank Research Department.
Mishra’s choice of economics was a disappointment for her family, which is full of medical practitioners. The heartburn was precipitated by the fact that she did not even take up the civil services examination, which in most Bihari families, is a given.
— The Economic Times
She told The Economic Times that the research undertaken by her and her department will be “driven by data and evidence, which I am trying to inculcate in my team”.
My main job is to do research on topics of relevance to RBI that are crucial to policy making, using state-of-the-art research practices.— Prachi Mishra to The Economic Times
She loves street food, especially pani puri and vada pav as well as weekend movies, Marine Drive jogs and a game of tennis with her daughters.
Her husband, Devesh Roy, is a researcher working with the International Food Policy Research Institute in New Delhi.