Year-end Quiz 2022

Quiz 2022, like last year, focuses on central banking in India.

Reserve Bank of India, Chennai, around 1960, when the building was inaugurated.

There is a prize, like last year, for the first person to answer all questions correctly. The details are in my substack post. Participation in the quiz is open to those who were following me on substack at as on 31 December 2022.


1.     As is well known, Sir Osborne Arkell Smith, an Australian national, was the first Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. Smith had a unique academic background among all Reserve Bank of India Governors. What was it?

2. Sir Osborne Smith and Sir James Taylor, the first two Governors of the Reserve Bank of India, were born outside India. Who were the other two born outside India?

3.     Dr C Rangarajan wrote in his memoir, Forks in the Road, released recently, that he was only the second Governor of the Reserve Bank of India to become the Governor of an Indian State, the state of Andhra Pradesh. Who was the first, and of which state?

4.     When Dr Raghuram Rajan became a member of the Group of Thirty, the global think tank, he was only the second Governor of the Reserve Bank of India to do so. Who was the first?

5.     LK Jha, the civil servant and former Governor, was a member of which Commission, better known after the person who chaired it, which looked into North-South issues?

6.     Who was the first Governor of the Reserve Bank of India to receive one of the three Padma awards, the highest national honours after the Bharat Ratna?

One bank

7.     The autobiography of one Governor and a biography of another discuss this bank. A third Governor makes a passing reference without naming the bank or discussing the issue in detail. The official history of the Reserve Bank of India skipped the episode. So did the then Finance Minister in his memoirs. Which bank are we discussing here? Who were the Finance Minister and the Governors? What was the issue? What was the global fallout for banking supervision from the case?

Finance Ministers

8.     Last year, I had a question about which Indian college produced the maximum number of Governors of the Reserve Bank of India. With the annual budget around the corner, this time is the turn of Finance Ministers. Which Indian college had the maximum number of future Finance Ministers on its rolls? Name the finance ministers. It is possible that the college itself is not aware of this. At least, I did not see a claim to the effect on their website or Wikipedia page, both of which are incomplete.

One bungalow

9.     The costliest real estate transaction in India, involving a bungalow, was the sale of Madhu Kunj, on Narayan Dabholkar Road in Malabar Hill, Mumbai, in April 2021 for Rs 1001 crore. So, what was the distant connection between the building and Indian banking and financial history?

Another bank

10. In 1921, the three Presidency Banks of Bengal, Bombay, and Madras merged to become the Imperial Bank of India. Its jurisdiction on the western side bordered present-day Afghanistan. On the east, it included Burma or present-day Myanmar. In other words, up to the border of Siam (believed to be derived from the Sanskrit word Shyam), now known as Thailand. The new bank was given a stiff target for its total number of branches. This was to be achieved within five years. What was the target? Did the bank achieve it?

Thus ends RBI Quiz 2022. I will post the answers after 31 January 2023.

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