The selection committee headed by Reserve Bank of India Governor D Subbarao has shortlisted nine public sector bank chiefs for the deputy governor's post.
The panel shortlisted those bank chairmen who have headed an entity for at least two years and were less than 60 years of age when the vacancy arose, sources told Business Standard. V Leeladhar completed his term on December 6 and the post of the fourth deputy governor has been lying vacant since then.
Nine bank chiefs meet the criteria. The list includes T S Narayanasami (Bank of India), K C Chakrabarty (Punjab National Bank), A C Mahajan (Canara Bank), M D Mallya (Bank of Baroda), M V Nair (Union Bank of India), O P Bhatt (State Bank of India), Yogesh Agarwal (IDBI Bank), H A Daruwalla (former Central Bank of India chairperson and managing director) and P L Gairola (former Dena Bank chairman and managing director). Daruwalla and Gairola retired at the end of December, while Narayanasami is due to superannuate later this year.
The committee, during its next meeting, is expected to further narrow down the list to three candidates. While there was talk of the shortlisted candidates being called for an interview, sources close to the selection process said the committee is unlikely to do that. "They are beyond the stage where they need to be interviewed. We can always see how they have performed over three decades," said a source.
While it is the first time that a selection committee has been set up to shortlist candidates for the deputy governor post, general managers and executive directors are interviewed before they are promoted. There are instances of candidates turning down a chairman's job by not turning up for an interview.
The selection committee, which has already met once, was due to meet on January 5 but the meeting was postponed as the fifth member of the panel -- Indian School of Business Dean M Ramamohan Rao -- resigned. As a result, the exercise has been delayed. The government is now scouting for a replacement.
Apart from Subbarao, the panel consists of Finance Secretary Arun Ramanathan, Personnel Secretary Rahul Sarin and former RBI deputy governor Vepa Kamesan.
The committee is now expected to meet in the second half of January and a panel of three candidates will be recommended to the appointments committee of the cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The selection committee is expected to seek consent from the three candidates it finalises before sending the list to the ACC. "There is a possibility that some of them may not be interested as they have more than three years to retire. Besides, some of the bank chiefs are not interested in any role that is assigned to them in RBI. So, we need to consult them before we send their names," said a source.
At present, the central bank has three governors -- Rakesh Mohan, Shyamala Gopinath and Usha Thorat.