September 26, 2012

Vijay Kumar

Manmohan Singh Biography

Name: Manmohan Singh
Nick Name: Mohna, "Architect of India’s economic reform."
Date of birth:September 26, 1932
Birth place:Gah, Punjab, British India.
Current Residence:Panchavati
Occupation:Economist, Prime Minister of India
Graduation:M.A., D.Phil. (Oxford), D.Litt.(Honoris Causa); I.N.C.(Assam)
Mother:Amrit Kaur
Father:Gurmukh Singh
Spouse (s):Gursharan Kaur (1958)
ChildrenUpinder, Daman, Amrit
Hobby:Reading and writing.
Favorite Dish:Vegetarian food and fish; Dosa.
Favorite Quote:"Victor Hugo said no power can stop an idea whose time has come."
Languages:Hindi, English, Punjabi

          Manmohan Singh (born 26 September 1932) is the 13th and 14th Prime Minister of India. A renowned economist, he is the only Prime Minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to return to power after completing a full five-year term, and the first Sikh to hold the office.

Born in Gah (now in Punjab, Pakistan), Singh's family migrated to India during its partition in 1947. After obtaining his doctorate in economics from Oxford, Singh worked for the United Nations in 1966–69. He subsequently began his bureaucratic career when Lalit Narayan Mishra hired him as an advisor in the Ministry of Foreign Trade. Over the 70s and 80s, Singh held several key posts in the Government of India, such as Chief Economic Advisor (1972–76), Reserve Bank governor (1982–85) and Planning Commission head (1985–87).

In 1991, as India faced a severe economic crisis, newly elected Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao surprisingly inducted the apolitical Singh into his cabinet as Finance Minister. Over the next few years, despite strong opposition, he as a Finance Minister carried out several structural reforms that liberalised India's economy. Although these measures proved successful in averting the crisis, and enhanced Singh's reputation globally as a leading reform-minded economist, the incumbent Congress party fared poorly in the 1996 general election. Subsequently, Singh served as Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha (the upper house of India's Parliament) during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government of 1998–2004.

In 2004, when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) came to power, its chairperson Sonia Gandhi unexpectedly relinquished the premiership to Manmohan Singh. This Singh-led "UPA I" government executed several key legislations and projects, including the Rural Health Mission, Unique Identification Authority, Rural Employment Guarantee scheme and Right to Information Act. In 2008, opposition to a historic civil nuclear agreement with the United States nearly caused Singh's government to fall after Left Front parties withdrew their support. Although India's economy grew rapidly under UPA I, its security was threatened by several terrorist incidents (culminating in the 2008 Mumbai attacks) and a growing Maoist insurgency.

The 2009 general election saw the UPA return with an increased mandate, with Manmohan Singh retaining the office of Prime Minister.

Early life and education:

Manmohan Singh was born to Gurmukh Singh and Amrit Kaur on 26 September 1932, in Gah, Punjab, British India, into a Sikh 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, then in Hoshiarpur, Punjab, studying Economics and got his bachelor's and master's degrees in 1952 and 1954, respectively, standing first throughout his academic career. He completed his Economics Tripos at University of Cambridge as he was a member of St John's College in 1957.

In a 2005 interview with the British journalist Mark Tully, Singh said about his Cambridge days:- "At (Cambridge) university I first became conscious of the creative role of politics in shaping human affairs, and I owe that mostly to my teachers Joan Robinson and Nicholas Kaldor. Joan Robinson was a brilliant teacher, but she also sought to awaken the inner conscience of her students in a manner that very few others were able to achieve. She questioned me a great deal and made me think the unthinkable. She propounded the left wing interpretation of Keynes, maintaining that the state has to play more of a role if you really want to combine development with social equity. Kaldor influenced me even more; I found him pragmatic, scintillating, stimulating. Joan Robinson was a great admirer of what was going on in China, but Kaldor used the Keynesian analysis to demonstrate that capitalism could be made to work.”

After Cambridge, Singh returned to India to his teaching position at Punjab University. In 1960, he went to the University of Oxford for the D.Phil where he was a member of Nuffield College. His 1962 doctoral thesis under supervision of IMD Little was titled "India’s export performance, 1951–1960, export prospects and policy implications", and was later the basis for his book "India’s Export Trends and Prospects for Self-Sustained Growth".

Family and personal life:

Singh married Gursharan Kaur in 1958. They have three daughters, Upinder Singh, Daman Singh and Amrit Singh. They belong to the Kohli clan, though neither uses the name as their surname.

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, she is married to an I.P.S official Ashok Patnaik who is on deputation to Intelligence Bureau. Amrit Singh is a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union.


1932: Manmohan Singh was born in Gah in Punjab.
1958: He got married to Gurusharan Kaur.
1982: He was appointed as the Governor of Reserve Bank of India and bestowed with the Honorary Fellow of St. John's College in Cambridge.
1985: Became the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India.
1971: Worked as an economic advisor to the Indian Civil Services.
1982: Given the Honorary Fellow of St. John's College in Cambridge.
1991: Manmohan Singh was appointed as the Finance Minister in the P.V. Narasimha Rao Government.
1994: He was elected as Distinguished Fellow of the London School of Economics.
1998: He was appointed as the opposition leader in the Rajya Sabha.
1999: National Academy of Agricultural Sciences in New Delhi honored him with a fellowship.
2000: The Annasaheb Chirmule Award by Annasaheb Chirmule Trust was given to him.
2004: He was elected as the Prime Minister of India.
2008: Manmohan Singh established the National Investigation Agency to fight terrorism.
2009: Re-elected as Prime Minister of India and created the Unique Identification Authority of India to increase national security.
2010: The World Statesman Award by Appeal of Conscience Foundation was conferred upon him.

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