Manmohan Singh

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NameManmohan Singh
Born on09/26/32
Tenure as FM1991-1996, 2008-2009
Current StatusMember of the Rajya Sabha

Manmohan Singh was the 13th Prime Minister of India. He was the second Prime Minister after Jawaharlal Nehru to have been elected successively to the post. He was also the first ever non-Hindu PM of India. Besides, he was also the 7th Prime Minister from the Indian National Congress.

He has been elected to the Rajya Sabha 4 times and has represented Assam. He served his first tenure from May 22, 2004 to February 26, 2009 during the 14th Lok Sabha. His term during the 15th Lok Sabha started on May 22, 2009 and ended on 26 May 2014.

Manmohan Singh – Political Career
The political career of Manmohan Singh started in 1991, when he was selected as the Finance Minister by the then Prime Minister, P. V. Narasimha Rao. India had a fiscal deficit of almost 8.5% at that time, and the deficit in its balance of payments was a substantial one. Its current account deficit was almost 3.5%. At that time India's foreign reserves were lesser than 1 billion US dollars, which was insufficient to purchase imports for even a week.

India sought assistance from the IMF, which suggested several measures for improving its economic situation. The License Raj was done away with and India relinquished public control over economy. Singh, who was one of the chief creators of India's socialist economy, gradually made the market available for foreign investors and private organisations.

Together Singh and Rao implemented policies that transformed India's economic policies to a capitalistic one. They removed the License Raj and made FDI easier in India. The process of privatising public sector companies started in India at this time but the Rao government failed to win the 1996 elections due to the lack of performance in other areas.

Singh offered to resign from his post as Finance Minister in 1993 after his ministry was criticised in a parliamentary investigation report for failing to stop a securities scandal of 1.8 billion US dollars. His resignation was rejected by the Prime Minister, who instead wanted to directly apprehend the ones responsible for the crime.

Manmohan Singh was originally elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1991 by the state legislature of Assam, and was elected again in 1995, 2001 and 2007. When the BJP was at the center from 1998 to 2004, he was the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.

During 1999 he contested the elections for the Lok Sabha seat from South Delhi, but was not successful in winning it. He was selected, quite surprisingly, as the Prime Minister of India in 2004 by Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi for his clean image and immense popularity.

Manmohan Singh – Major Steps as Prime Minister
  • His policies have helped India become the economic heavyweight it is today. His decisions, in combination with the ones followed by P. Chidambaram, have ensured India stayed on a positive path of growth with an average economic growth rate of 7 to 8 percent per year.

  • Has been an ardent advocate of globalisation and has helped India utilise its abundant labour resources to become one of the biggest global service providers.

  • Has kept up the highway modernisation and Golden Quadrilateral programs started by the Vajpayee administration.

  • Initiated the Value Added Tax in 2005 to replace the Sales Tax.

  • In 2005 the Manmohan Singh government and the health ministry initiated the National Rural Health Mission.

  • Continued the work on the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan program to counter illiteracy.

  • Amended the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act incorporating majority of the provisions of POTA.

  • Created the National Investigation Agency after the Mumbai terror attacks of 26-28 November 2011.

  • Set up the Unique Identification Authority of India during February 2009. This agency has come up with the Multipurpose National Identity Card.

  • Undertaken large scale reconstruction efforts in Kashmir.

  • Passed the Right to Information Act and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

  • Has maintained the peace process with Pakistan.

  • Started efforts to end border-related issues with the People's Republic of China.

  • Improved relations with Afghanistan, Japan and the US. The ties with European nations such as UK, Germany and France have become better too.

  • Maintained ties with Iran and bettered relations with South Africa and Brazil along with Russia and Israel.

Manmohan Singh – Major Awards and Recognition
The following table lists the accolades received by the former Indian Prime Minister throughout his career :

OrganizationAward or Honor NameYear of Receipt
Panjab University, University Medal for achieving first position in BA (Economics)1952
Panjab University, University Medal for achieving first position in MA (Economics)1954
St. John’s College, Cambridge UKWright Prize for Distinguished Performance1955
University of Cambridge UKAdam Smith Prize1956
University of Cambridge UKElected Wrenbury Scholar1957
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New DelhiHonorary Professorship1976
Indian Institute of BankersElected Honorary Fellow, Indian Institute of Bankers1982
St. John’s College, Cambridge UKElected Honorary Fellow, St. John’s College1982
Indian Economic AssociationElected President of the Indian Economic Association1985
National Institute of EducationElected National Fellow, National Institute of Education1986
President of IndiaPadma Vibhushan1987
AsiamoneyFinance Minister of the Year1993
EuromoneyFinance Minister of the Year1993
All India Management AssociationElected Honorary Fellow of the All India Management Association1994
London School of Economics, Centre for Asia Economy, Politics and SocietyElected Distinguished Fellow of the London School of Economics1994
Nuffield College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UKElected Honorary Fellow, Nuffield College1994
Indian Science Congress AssociationJawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary Award (1994-95)1995
Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, DelhiHonorary Professorship1996
Nihon Keizai Shimbun Inc.Nikkei Asia Prize for Regional Growth1997
Justice KS Hegde FoundationJustice KS Hegde Foundation Award1997
Tilak Smarak Trust, PuneLokmanya Tilak Award1997
National Academy of Agricultural SciencesFellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi1999
Shri R Venkataraman, The Centenarian TrustHH Kanchi Sri Paramacharya Award for Excellence1999
Annasaheb Chirmule TrustAnnasaheb Chirmule Award2000
Indian Parliamentary GroupOutstanding Parliamentarian Award 2002
TimeTop 100 Influential People in the World2005
Appeal of Conscience FoundationWorld Statesman Award2010

Last Updated on : July 17, 2014