Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Biography


Manmohan Singh (Punjabi: ਮਨਮੋਹਨ ਸਿੰਘ; Hindi: मनमोहन सिंह, pronounced [mənˈmoːhən ˈsɪ́ŋɡ]; born 26 September 1932) is the 13th and current Prime Minister of India. He is the only Prime Minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to return to power after completing a full five-year term. He is the first Sikh to hold the office. Singh is also the 7th Prime Minister belonging to the Indian National Congress party.
Singh previously carried out economic reforms in India in 1991, during his tenure as the Finance Minister, under the leadership of P. V. Narasimha Rao, from 1991 to 1996. These reforms resulted in the end of the Licence Raj system, helping to open the Indian economy to greater international trade and investment.
In 2010, Newsweek magazine recognized him as a world leader who is respected by other heads of state, describing him as “the leader other leaders love.” The article quoted Mohamed ElBaradei, who remarked that Dr. Singh is “the model of what a political leader should be. Singh is number 18 on the 2010 Forbes list of the world’s most powerful people. Forbes magazine described Singh as being “universally praised as India’s best prime minister since Nehru”
Childhood and education
Manmohan Singh was born to Gurmukh Singh and Amrit Kaur on 26 September 1932, in Gah, Punjab, (now in Chakwal District, Pakistan), British India, into a Sikh Khatri family. He lost his mother when he was very young and was raised by his paternal grandmother, to whom he was very close.
After the Partition of India, his family migrated to Amritsar, India, where he studied at Hindu College. He attended Panjab University, Chandigarh, studying Economics and got his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 1952 and 1954, respectively, standing first throughout his academic career. He went on to read for the Economics Tripos at Cambridge as a member of St John’s College. He won the Wright’s Prize for distinguished performance in 1955 and 1957. He was also one of the few recipients of the Wrenbury scholarship. In 1962, Singh completed his studies from the University of Oxford where he was a member of Nuffield College. The title of his doctoral thesis was “India’s export performance, 1951–1960, export prospects and policy implications” and his thesis supervisor was Dr. I.M.D. Little. This thesis later grew into the book “India’s Export Trends and Prospects for Self-Sustained Growth”.
In 1997, the University of Alberta awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Law degree. The University of Oxford awarded him an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree in June 2006, and in October 2006, the University of Cambridge followed with the same honour. St. John’s College further honoured him by naming a Ph.D Scholarship after him, the Dr. Manmohan Singh Scholarship.
Early career
After completing his D.Phil, Singh worked for United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) from 1966–1969. During the 1970s, he taught at the University of Delhi and worked for the Ministry of Foreign Trade with the former Cabinet Minister for Foreign Trade, Lalit Narayan Mishra. As the Minister of Foreign Trade, Lalit Narayan Mishra was one of the first to recognize Singh’s talent as an economist and appointed him his advisor at the Ministry of Foreign Trade. Mr. Singh and Mr. Mishra first met, coincidentally, on a flight from India to Chile. Mr. Mishra was on his way to Santiago, Chile, to attend an UNCTAD meeting.
In 1982, he was appointed the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India and held the post until 1985. He went on to become the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission of India from 1985 to 1987. Following his tenure at the Planning Commission, he was Secretary General of the South Commission, an independent economic policy think tank headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland from 1987 to 1990.
Finance Minister of India
In 1991, India’s Prime Minister at the time, P.V. Narasimha Rao, chose Singh to be his Finance Minister. At this time, India’s fiscal deficit was close to 8.5 per cent of the gross domestic product, the balance of payments deficit was huge and the current account deficit was close to 3.5 percent of India’s GDP. India’s foreign reserves barely amounted to USD$1 billion, enough to pay for a few weeks of imports, in comparison to USD$283 billion today.
Evidently, India was facing an economic crisis. At this point, the government of India sought relief from the supranational International Monetary Fund, which, while assisting India financially, imposed several conditions regarding India’s economic policy. In effect, IMF-dictated policy meant that the ubiquitous Licence Raj had to be dismantled, and India’s attempt at a state-controlled economy had to end. Accordingly, Singh, who had thus far been one of the most influential architects of India’s socialist economy, slowly opened the Indian economy to foreign investment and business competition.
Rao and Singh thus implemented policies to open up the economy and change India’s socialist economy to a more capitalistic one, in the process dismantling the Licence Raj, a system that inhibited the prosperity of private businesses. They removed many obstacles standing in the way of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and initiated the process of the privatization of public sector companies. However, in spite of these reforms, Rao’s government was voted out in 1996 due to non-performance of government in other areas. In praise of Singh’s work that pushed India towards a market economy, long-time Cabinet minister P. Chidambaram has referred to Singh as the Deng Xiaoping of India.
In 1993, Singh offered his resignation from the post of Finance Minister after a parliamentary investigation report criticised his ministry for not being able to anticipate a USD$1.8 billion securities scandal. Prime Minister Rao refused Singh’s resignation, instead promising to punish the individuals directly accused in the report
Career in the Rajya Sabha
Singh was first elected to the upper house of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha, in 1991 and was re-elected in 2001 and 2007. From 1998 to 2004, while the Bharatiya Janata Party was in power, Singh was the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. In 1999, he contested for the Lok Sabha from South Delhi but was unable to win the seat.
Some opposition parties have criticised Singh’s election as a Rajya Sabha member from Assam, arguing that he was not eligible to become a Member of Parliament from a state where he does not reside.[citation needed]
Personal life
Singh married Gursharan Kaur in 1958. Their three daughters, Upinder Singh, Daman Singh and Amrit Singh, have successful, private-sector, careers.
Upinder Singh is a professor of history at Delhi University. She has written six books, including Ancient Delhi (1999) and A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India (2008). Daman Singh is a graduate of St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and Institute of Rural Management, Anand, Gujarat, and author of The Last Frontier: People and Forests in Mizoram and a novel Nine by Nine. Amrit Singh is a staff attorney at the ACLU.
Singh has undergone multiple cardiac bypass surgeries, the most recent of which took place in January 2009.
Singh and his wife both belong to the Kohli clan,though neither uses the name as their surname.
Public Image
Singh has always been perceived as a man of clean background with high intellect. He is seen as a man of few words and someone who stays away from controversies. The Independent described him as “one of the world’s most revered leaders” and “a man of uncommon decency and grace,” noting that he drives a Maruti 800, one of the humblest cars in the Indian market.[48]
Eminent writer Khushwant Singh lauded Dr. Singh as the best prime minister India has had, even rating him higher than Jawaharlal Nehru. He mentions an incident in his book Absolute Khushwant: The Low-Down on Life, Death and Most things In-between where after losing the 1999 Lok Sabha elections, Singh immediately returned the 2 lakh (US$4,400) he had borrowed from the writer for hiring taxis. Terming him as the best example of integrity, Mr. Khushwant Singh stated, “When people talk of integrity, I say the best example is the man who occupies the country’s highest office.
Degrees and posts held

BA (Hons) in Economics 1952; MA First Class in Economics, 1954 Panjab University, Chandigarh, India
Honours degree in Economics, University of Cambridge – (St John’s College; 1957)
Senior Lecturer, Economics (1957–1959)
Reader (1959–1963)
Professor (1963–1965)
Professor of International Trade (1969–1971)
DPhil in Economics, University of Oxford – (Nuffield College; 1962)
Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi
Honorary Professor (1966)
Chief, Financing for Trade Section, UNCTAD, United Nations Secretariat, Manhattan, New York
1966 : Economic Affairs Officer 1966
Economic Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Trade, India (1971–1972)
Chief Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance, India, (1972–1976)
Honorary Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (1976)
Director, Reserve Bank of India (1976–1980)
Director, Industrial Development Bank of India (1976–1980)
Secretary, Ministry of Finance (Department of Economic Affairs), Government of India, (1977–1980)
Governor, Reserve Bank of India (1982–1985)
Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission of India, (1985–1987)
Secretary General, South Commission, Geneva (1987–1990)
Advisor to Prime Minister of India on Economic Affairs (1990–1991)
Finance Minister of India, (21 June 1991 – 15 May 1996)
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha (1998–2004)
Prime Minister of India (22 May 2004 – Present)

Early activity

He was built-in on 26 September 1932, in Gah, Punjab (now in Chakwal District, Pakistan). He has an Undergraduate (1952) and a Master’s amount (1954) from Panjab University, Chandigarh; an Undergraduate amount (1957) from Cambridge University (St. John’s College) and a D.Phil (1962) from Oxford University (Nuffield College). The University of Oxford awarded him an honorary Doctor of Civil Law amount in June 2005, and in October 2006, the University of Cambridge followed with the aforementioned honour.Singh affiliated Gursharan Kaur in 1958, and they acquire three daughters.

Political Career

Singh, an economist by profession, formed for the All-embracing Monetary Fund in his adolescent days. Dr. Singh is accepted to be an backward politician, adequate a formidable, awful admired and admired image. Due to his assignment at the UN, All-embracing Monetary Fund and added all-embracing bodies, he is awful admired about the world. He was awarded the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award in 2002. Before acceptable Prime Minister, he served as the Accounts Abbot beneath Narasimha Rao. He is accustomed with transforming the abridgement in the aboriginal 1990s during the banking crisis. He served as Baton of the Action in the Rajya Sabha (upper house) from March 1998 to May 2004, back the Bharatiya Janata Party-led affiliation government was in office.His bread-and-butter behavior – which included accepting rid of several left-wing policies, abnormally the License Raj – were popular. He enjoys able abutment amid the average classes of India due to his education. Singh absent the acclamation in the Lok Sabha from South Delhi constituency in the 1999 accepted elections. He is appropriately the alone Indian Prime Abbot never to acquire been an adopted affiliate of the Lower Abode of Parliament. In actuality he has not won a absolute election. He has been a affiliate of the Rajya Sabha from Assam back 1995. He was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2001 and 2007.

Economic reforms and ascendance to power

Singh served as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 1982 to 1985, and was duke best as accounts abbot in chiffonier of again Prime Abbot Narasimha Rao in 1991.Singh is broadly admired as the artist of India’s aboriginal bread-and-butter ameliorate programme, which was allowable in 1991 beneath Rao’s administration. The bread-and-butter liberalization amalgamation pushed by Singh and Rao opened the nation to adopted absolute investment. The liberalization was prompted by an astute balance-of-payments crisis whereby the Indian government, larboard afterwards acceptable affluence to accommodated its obligations, had amorphous affairs to mortgage its gold affluence to the Bank of England in adjustment to access the banknote affluence bare to run the country.Many see the 1991 liberalization as the aboriginal of a alternation of bread-and-butter restructuring efforts throughout the 1990s and 2000s that acquire aloft India’s advance ante to amidst accomplished in world. Despite its advanced bread-and-butter policies, Rao’s government was voted out in the abutting accepted acclamation in 1996.

Opposition and 2004 election

Singh became baton of action in aerial abode of Indian Parliament, and backward with the Congress Affair during a above breach in 1999, back three chief Congress leaders objected to Sonia Gandhi’s acceleration as Congress President. Being accustomed as the Congress best for the PM’s job, Gandhi had become a ambition of nationalists who objected to her Italian birth.An accord led by the Congress Affair won a decidedly aerial cardinal of seats in the Parliamentary elections of 2004. The Larboard Front absitively to abutment a affiliation government led by the Congress Affair from the outside. Sonia Gandhi was adopted baton of the Congress Parliamentary Affair and was accepted to become the Prime Minister. In a abruptness move, she beneath to acquire the column and instead nominated Dr. Singh. He anchored the choice for prime abbot on May 19, 2004 back the again President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam clearly asked him to anatomy a government. Although best accepted him to arch the Accounts Ministry himself, he entrusted the job to P. Chidambaram.His arrangement is notable as it comes 20 years afterwards India witnessed cogent tensions amid the Indian axial government and the Punjabi Sikh community. Afterwards Congress Affair Prime Abbot Indira Gandhi, the mother-in-law of Sonia Gandhi, ordered axial government troops to storm the Golden Temple (the holiest armpit of Sikhism) in Amritsar, Punjab to annihilate a agitator movement, she was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards. The aftereffect was a genocidal attack adjoin Sikhs and abounding innocent Sikhs absent their lives during riots answer by the Congress Affair anon afterwards the assassination.Singh’s angel is about admired as intellectual, honest but cautious, alert to alive chic bodies (on whose votes he was elected), and technocratic. Although aldermanic achievements acquire been few and the Congress-led accord is commonly bedfast by conflicts, Singh’s administering has focused on abbreviation the budgetary deficit, accouterment debt-relief to poor farmers, extending amusing programs and advancing the pro-industry bread-and-butter and tax behavior that acquire launched the country on a above bread-and-butter amplification advance back 2002. Singh has been the angel of the Congress attack to defuse religious tensions and conflicts and bolster political abutment from minorities like Muslims, Christians and Sikhs.His government has endeavored to body stronger relations with the United States, the People’s Republic of China and European nations. The Government suffered a setback back it absent the abutment of a key ally, several African Union members, for its bid for a abiding associates to the U.N. Security Council with veto privileges. One of the better achievements of Manmohan Singh’s Government has been a nuclear accord amid India and the U.S.A. Beneath Dr. Singh, an economist and Accounts abbot P. Chidambaram, India’s bread-and-butter advance has continued, with the GDP growing at a actual fast amount of 9%. This has resulted in India acceptable a abundance dollar economy.


Resume of Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, and the original Architect of the Economic Liberlization.

Born on: September 26, 1932

Place of Birth: Gah (West Punjab)

Father: Gurmukh Singh

Mother: Amrit Kaur

Married on: September 14, 1958

Wife: Gursharan Kaur

Children: Three daughters


Stood first in BA (Hons), Economics, Panjab University, Chandigarh, 1952; stood first in MA (Economics), Panjab University, Chandigarh, 1954; Wright’s Prize for distinguished performance at St John’s College, Cambridge, 1955 and 1957; Wrenbury scholar, University of Cambridge, 1957; DPhil (Oxford), DLitt (Honoris Causa); PhD thesis on India’s export competitiveness


Professor (Senior lecturer, Economics, 1957-59; Reader, Economics, 1959-63; Professor, Economics, Panjab University, Chandigarh, 1963-65; Professor, International Trade, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, 1969-71; Honorary professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 1976 and Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, 1996) and Civil Servant


1971-72: Economic advisor, ministry of foreign trade
1972-76: Chief economic advisor, ministry of finance
1976-80: Director, Reserve Bank of India; Director, Industrial Development Bank of India; Alternate governor for India, Board of governors, Asian Development Bank; Alternate governor for India, Board of governors, IBRD
November 1976 – April 1980: Secretary, ministry of finance (department of economic affairs); Member, finance, Atomic Energy Commission; Member, finance, Space Commission
April 1980 – September 15, 1982 : Member-secretary, Planning Commission
1980-83: Chairman, India Committee of the Indo-Japan joint study committee September 16, 1982 – January 14, 1985: Governor, Reserve Bank of India
1982-85: Alternate Governor for India, Board of governors, International Monetary Fund
1983-84: Member, economic advisory council to the Prime Minister
1985: President, Indian Economic Association
January 15, 1985 – July 31, 1987 : Deputy chairman, Planning Commission
August 1, 1987 – November 10, 1990 : Secretary-general and commissioner, south commission, Geneva
December 10, 1990 – March 14, 1991 : Advisor to the Prime Minister on economic affairs
March 15, 1991 – June 20, 1991 : Chairman, UGC
June 21, 1991 – May 15, 1996 : Union finance minister
October 1991: Elected to Rajya Sabha from Assam on Congress ticket
June 1995: Re-elected to Rajya Sabha
1996 onwards: Member, Consultative Committee for the ministry of finance
August 1, 1996 – December 4, 1997 : Chairman, Parliamentary standing committee on commerce
March 21, 1998 onwards: Leader of the Opposition, Rajya Sabha
June 5, 1998 onwards: Member, committee on finance
August 13, 1998 onwards: Member, committee on rules
Aug 1998-2001: Member, committee of privileges 2000 onwards: Member, executive committee, Indian parliamentary group
June 2001: Re-elected to Rajya Sabha
Aug 2001 onwards: Member, general purposes committee


India’s Export Trends and Prospects for Self-Sustained Growth ? Clarendon Press, Oxford University, 1964; also published a large number of articles in various economic journals.


Adam Smith Prize, University of Cambridge, 1956
Padma Vibhushan, 1987
Euromoney Award, Finance Minister of the Year, 1993;
Asiamoney Award, Finance Minister of the Year for Asia, 1993 and 1994


1966: Economic Affairs Officer
1966-69: Chief, financing for trade section, UNCTAD
1972-74: Deputy for India in IMF Committee of Twenty on International Monetary Reform
1977-79: Indian delegation to Aid-India Consortium Meetings 1980-82: Indo-Soviet joint planning group meeting
1982: Indo-Soviet monitoring group meeting
1993: Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Cyprus 1993: Human Rights World Conference, Vienna

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