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RBI Innovation Hub Appoints Founding UIDAI Member Rajesh Bansal as CEO

The Reserve Bank of India’s Innovation Hub (RBIH) appointed Rajesh Bansal as its chief executive officer, with effect from May 17 onwards. The RBIH was set up in August last year to promote innovation across the financial sector with the help of technology.

Bansal, who was part of the founding team of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), has advised several RBI committees in the past and has worked with the Centre in areas of technology, financial inclusion and payment systems. He played a key role in designing India’s Direct Benefits Transfer system and electronic KYC, a statement by RBIH said.

“Bansal has over 25 years of experience in designing technology-led population-scale payment products, electronic cash transfers, digital financial services, and digital IDs to enable inclusive development in India and multiple Asian and African markets,” it said.

In November last year, the RBI appointed Kris Gopalakrishnan, co-founder and former co-Chairman of Infosys Ltd, as the first chairman of the RBIH. Gopalakrishnan is currently the chief mentor of Start-up Village, a start-up incubator. He is also the chairperson of a Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology expert committee on non-personal data, which submitted its report on non-personal data governance in July last year.

The other members of RBIH’s governing council include:

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  1. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
  2. H. Krishnamurthy, professor, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru
  3. Gopal Srinivasan, chairperson and managing director, TVS Capital Funds
  4. AP Hota, former CEO, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)
  5. Mrutyunjay Mahapatra, former CMD, Syndicate Bank
  6. T Rabi Sankar, executive director, RBI (ex-officio)
  7. Deepak Kumar, chief general manager, Department of Information Technology, RBI (ex-officio)
  8. K Nikhila, director, Institute for Development & Research in Banking Technology, Hyderabad (ex-officio)

The RBI says that the RBIH will maintain an arms-length functional relationship with the central bank to ensure free play of creative forces. “The setting up of the RBIH is a continuation of the efforts of the Bank to keep up with technological evolution in the finance space, with a more active involvement and intention of shaping an organised evolution rather than passively adapting to random changes,” it said.

The release added that over time the RBIH will be the dominant centre for technological innovation with a focus on financial inclusion and promoting access to financial markets. “It would develop internal infrastructure to promote FinTech research and facilitate engagement with innovators and start-ups,” it said.

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