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Biography

Manmohan Singh

Manmohan Singh was born on 26 September 1932, an Indian economist and politician who served as Prime Minister of India from 2004 to 2014.

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About Manmohan Singh

Born in Gah (now in Punjab, Pakistan) during his partition in 1947, Singh’s family immigrated to India. After obtaining his doctorate in economics from Oxford, Singh worked for the United Nations during 1966–69. He later started his bureaucratic career when Lalit Narayan Mishra appointed him as a consultant in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. In the 70s and 80s, Singh held several key positions in the Government of India, such as Chief Economic Advisor (1972–76), Governor of the Reserve Bank (1982–85) and Head of the Planning Commission (1985–87).In 1991, when India faced a severe economic crisis, newly elected Prime Minister P.K. V. Narasimha Rao surprisingly included himself in the Cabinet as Finance Minister. Over the next few years, despite strong opposition, he took several structural reforms as finance minister, which liberalized India’s economy. Although these measures proved successful in averting the crisis, and Singh’s reputation as a leading reformist economist increased, the Congress party fared poorly in the 1996 general election. Subsequently, Singh served as the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of the Parliament of India) 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 premiered Manmohan Singh. Singh’s first ministry implemented several major legislations and projects, including the Rural Health Mission, the Unique Identification Authority, the Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the Right to Information Act. In 2008, Singh’s government collapsed after the Left Front withdrew its support due to opposition to a historic civil nuclear deal with the United States. Although India’s economy grew rapidly under UPA I, its security was threatened by numerous terrorist incidents (including the 2008 Mumbai attacks) and continued Maoist insurgency. UPA’s comeback to the 2009 general election came with a mandate in which Singh retained the post of Prime Minister. Over the next few years, Singh’s second ministry government faced several allegations of corruption – over the 2010 Commonwealth Games organization, the 2G spectrum allocation case and the allocation of coal blocks. After his term ended in 2014, he dropped out of the race for the post of Prime Minister of India during the 2014 Indian general election. Singh was never a member of the Lok Sabha, but served as a member of the Parliament of India, representing the state of Assam in the Rajya Sabha for five terms from 1991 to 2019.

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Facts About Manmohan Singh

  • Manmohan Singh lost his mother at a very young age and was then raised by his grandmother
  • There was no electricity in Manmohan Singh’s village. He used to study under a kerosene lit lamp
  • Manmohan Singh studied in Hindu College in Amritsar. He then did his Bachelor’s and Master’s from Panjab University
  • He did his Economics Tripos from Cambridge University and pursued DPhil from the University of Oxford
  • Manmohan Singh worked for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), from 1966 to 1969
  • Singh worked as an advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Trade. He was appointed by Lalit Narayan Mishra
  • In 1972, Manmohan Singh became the Chief Advisor in the Ministry of Finance and in 1976, he became a Secretary in Finance Ministry
  • Manmohan Singh was elected in Rajya Sabha in 1991 and was re-elected in 1995, 2001, 2007 and 2013
  • In 1982, Manmohan Singh was appointed as the Governor of RBI Manmohan Singh was one of the eminent people who responsible for post-liberalisation of India

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