As Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman revealed the first post-COVID Union Budget 2021, all eyes are set on it. One of the expectations that are common across industries is certain relief measures that help them to cope-up with the pandemic-induced losses.

As the country`s economy was already on a downward trajectory even before the pandemic, everyone is hoping Union Budget 2021 to bring in some relief. And Gita Gopinath, the first woman chief economist at the IMF (International Monetary Fund), has a lot to say about India`s economic growth.

Without being hesitant even a bit, she has spoken boldly on the controversial farm laws, the revival of the economy and how the government must continue to support the economy, and more.

The 49-year old first woman chief economist also added that the government should try to focus on more reforms that are needed to accelerate the economic revival. If you find this powerful personality intriguing, here are 7 interesting facts about the trailblazing leader:

  1. The India-born Gita Gopinath was appointed as the first woman International Monetary Fund`s chief economist in 2018.
  2. Gita Gopinath completed her Bachelor`s in Economics from Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi. Later, she finished her Masters in Economics from Delhi School of Economics (1992-94), and University of Washington (1994-96). She did her Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University (1996-2001).
  3. Gita, 49, also serves as the Director of Research Department and Economic Counselor at IMF. She is also a John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University. However, she is currently on a leave of public service.
  4. In 2019, she was awarded Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, the highest honor for a person of Indian origin, by the Indian President- Ram Nath Kovind.
  5. She is also the co-editor of the current Handbook of International Economics with former IMF economic counselor Kenneth Rogoff.
  6. After former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan, Gita Gopinath is the second Indian who shall be holding the title of IMF`s chief economist.
  7. She has also written around 40 research articles on topics such as international financial crises, trade & investment, exchange rates, international financial crises, and monetary policy.
  8. After the Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, Gita is the third woman and the second Indian to become a permanent member of the Harvard economics department.

At the time of the pandemic, Gita said that around 90 countries had reached out to IMF to discuss financial assistance. She has referred to the pandemic-induced recession as the ‘The Great Lockdown’, while speaking to Trevor Noah in April 2020.

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