Chintaman Deshmukh had an outstanding educational career. He stood first in the Matriculation examination of the University of Bombay in 1912, and also secured the first Jagannath Sankersett Scholarship in Sanskrit. At the University of Cambridge in 1917, he graduated in the field of Natural Sciences Tripos with Botany, Chemistry and Geology, winning the Frank Smart Prize in Botany. He appeared for the Indian Civil Service Examination, then held only in London, in 1918, and topped the list of successful candidates. For most of his 21 years with the Indian Civil Service, Deshmukh was with the then Central Provinces and Berar Government where, among other things, he was probably the youngest among those who held the positions of Revenue Secretary and Finance Secretary. Chintaman Deshmukh’s association with the Reserve Bank of India began in July 1939, when he was appointed Liaison Officer in the Bank to keep the Government of India in touch with the Bank’s affairs. Three months later, he was appointed Secretary of the Central Board of the Bank and two years later in December 1941, as the Deputy Governor. He was Governor from August 1943 to June 1949.
Chintaman Deshmukh proved to be an outstanding Governor. He presided over the transformation of the Reserve Bank from a private shareholders’ bank to a nationalised institution and secured the enactment of a comprehensive legislation for the regulation of banking companies and the establishment of the first financial institution for the provision of long-term credit to industry, namely, the Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI). He also initiated a number of steps for building up an adequate machinery for rural credit. Chintaman Deshmukh played an important role in the Bretton Woods Conference in July 1944, which lead to the establishment of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). In both of these institutions, Chintaman Deshmukh was a Member of the Board of Governors for ten years and was the Chairman at the Joint Annual Meeting of these two institutions held in Paris in 1950.