Mysuru: It has indeed been a meteoric rise for Gita Gopinath, who was on Monday appointed as Chief Economist by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and hails from a Mysuru-based family who have their roots in Kannur, Kerala. Or was it all hard work, grit and determination which took her from simple beginnings in the Heritage City to Lady Sriram College in Delhi and then to Delhi School of Economics and the famed Princetown University in the US? Raghuram Rajan had earlier occupied the post.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, her father Mr T.V. Gopinath, a farmer-entrepreneur and resident of Kuvempunagar here, said, "We are proud and excited that she achieved this deserving position through hard work. She is no doubt hard working with a penchant for playing the guitar. She studied at an ordinary school- Nirmala Convent and later at the Mahajana's College which proves you don't have to study in a top class institute to excel in your career."
Mr Gopinath, and wife Vijayalakshmi, have been residents of Mysuru for the past 38 years. Gita has an elder sister Anitha, who works in the garment export sector. Her father is said to be related to Communist stalwarts A.K. Gopalan who was Opposition leader in the Lok Sabha, and T.C. Narayanan Nambiar, a Communist MLA who represented Irrikur in Kannur.
Born in December, 1971, Gita after her PU at Mahajana's College, went to Delhi to pursue her BA(Honours) at Lady Sriram College. She then shifted to Delhi School of Economics and topped in her studies before moving to the US to do her PhD at Princeton. She was the only student chosen during the campus selection as assistant professor at Chicago university in 2001. She was later invited by Harvard University to serve as visiting professor and in 2008, was offered tenured professorship (lifetime) by Harvard University. She has served as advisor to the Kerala chief minister too.