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Chintaman Dwarkanath Deshmukh

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Chintaman Dwarkanath Deshmukh

Chintaman Dwarakanath Deshmukh
File:C. D. Deshmukh.jpg
C. D. Deshmukh in 1950
Minister of Finance
In office
May 29, 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, Indian Institute of Public Administration. Due to the rare combination of his excellent qualities of idealism and objectivity, culture and science, integrity, dedication and imagination, and energy to work Chintaman Deshmukh is highly regarded in India.

Early life and education

Chintaman Deshmukh was born in a Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu family to Dwarakanath Ganesh Deshmukh, a respected lawyer, and Bhagirathibai, a deeply religious lady, on January 14, 1896 at Nata, near Fort Raigad, Maharashtra. He spent his childhood in 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

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

Deshmukh represented India at the Bretton Woods Conference on July 1–22, 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

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 nationalized the Reserve Bank on January 1, 1949. Deshmukh saw through the smooth transition of the Bank from a shareholder’s institution to a national institution.

Union Finance Minister and resignation

Deshmukh held the office of Union Finance Minister from 1950 until 1956 when the Central Government reorganized 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.

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 organized 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

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.


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