MeraNews Network, Mumbai: Urjit Patel, the 24th governor of the Reserve Bank of India, stepped down from his post with immediate effect on Monday, citing personal reasons. Patel had taken charge as the governor on September 4, 2016, after the completion of the tenure of Raghuram Rajan. Previous to that, he was the deputy governor of the central bank.

In a statement, Patel said, “On account of personal reasons, I have decided to step down from my current position effective immediately. It has been my privilege and honour to serve the Reserve Bank of India in various capacities over the years. The support and hard work of RBI staff, officers and management has been the proximate driver of the Bank’s considerable accomplishments in recent years. I take this opportunity to express gratitude to my colleagues and Directors of the RBI Central Board, and wish them all the best for the future.”

It was under his tenure, the government of India scrapped the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 banknotes on November 8, 2016, with the intention to curb corruption, black money, counterfeit notes, and terrorism. Prior to these, he has held important positions like advisor to Boston Consulting Group, member of the integrated energy policy committee of the union government, and at the India, USA, Bahamas and Myanmar desks at the International Monetary Fund during his initial days.

Patel, a native of Kheda district in Gujarat and born to immigrant parents in Nairobi in Kenya, holds a bachelors degree in Economics from the London School of Economics, M.Phil in Economics from Linacre College of Oxford University and a doctorate in Economics from the Yale University.

He is the first governor since the 1990s to have quit before completing his term of three years. The RBI and the government have been embroiled in a tussle since October seeking the release of its excess reserves. While the government said that it would use these reserves for development, the bank contended that keeping excess reserves was important in view of possible emergencies.