Dr Manmohan Singh

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Dr. Manmohan Singh, India's fourteenth Prime Minister

India's fourteenth Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh is rightly acclaimed as a thinker and a scholar. He is a follower of the Sikh faith and is the first non-Hindu prime minister of India. He is well regarded for his diligence and his approach to work, as well as his accessibility and his unassuming demeanour.

The first Sikh Indian prime minister, Singh was sworn in on May 22, 2004. He is a native Punjabi speaker. Manmohan Singh is the 14th and current Prime Minister of India, considered to be the "architect of modern India."[1] He was born on 26 September 1932, in Gah, West Punjab (now in Pakistan) and is a member of the Indian National Congress party.

Singh is an economist by trade, and has formerly served in the International Monetary Fund. His economics education included an undergraduate (1952) and a master's degree (1954) from Punjab University; an undergraduate degree (1957) from Cambridge University (St. John's College); and a doctorate (1962) from Oxford University (Nuffield College).

He is the most educated Indian Prime Minister in history. Singh is also known to be an unassuming politician, enjoying a formidable, highly respected and admired image. Due to his work at the UN, International Monetary Fund and other international bodies, he is very highly respected in the world.

He was awarded the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award in 2002. Before becoming prime minister, he served as the finance minister under Prime Minister Narasimha Rao. He is widely credited for transforming the economy in the early 90s, during the financial crisis. He was leader of the opposition, of the Upper house, from 1998 - 2004 when India was governed by a coalition led by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Singh has been married since 1958; he and his wife, Mrs. Gursharan Kaur, have three daughters. His economic policies - which included the reduction of several socialist policies - were popular, especially among the middle class. He enjoys strong support among the middle and educated classes of India due to his educational background.

Singh lost his seat in the Lok Sabha from South Delhi in 1999. He is thus the only Indian Prime Minister never to have been an elected member of the Lower House of Parliament. He is also a member of the Rajya Sabha for Assam since 1991. Moreover, he has acted in the past as a political advisor to Sonia Gandhi.

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  • Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was born on September 26, 1932, in a village in the Punjab province of undivided India. Dr. Singh completed his Matriculation examinations from the Punjab University in 1948. His academic career took him from Punjab to the University of Cambridge, UK, where he earned a First Class Honours degree in Economics in 1957. Dr. Singh followed this with a D.Phil in Economics from Nuffield College at Oxford University in 1962. His book, India's Export Trends and Prospects for Self-Sustained Growth [Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1964] was an early critique of India's inward-oriented trade policy.
  • Dr. Singh's academic credentials were burnished by the years he spent on the faculty of Punjab University and the prestigious Delhi School of Economics. He had a brief stint at the UNCTAD Secretariat as well, during these years. This presaged a subsequent appointment as Secretary General of the South Commission in Geneva between 1987 and 1990.
  • In 1971, Dr. Singh joined the Government of India as Economic Advisor in the Commerce Ministry. This was soon followed by his appointment as Chief Economic Advisor in the Ministry of Finance in 1972. Among the many Governmental positions that Dr. Singh has occupied are Secretary in the Ministry of Finance; Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission; Governor of the Reserve Bank of India; Advisor of the Prime Minister; and Chairman of the University Grants Commission.
  • In what was to become the turning point in the economic history of independent India, Dr. Singh spent five years between 1991 and 1996 as India's Finance Minister. His role in ushering in a comprehensive policy of economic reforms is now recognized worldwide. In the popular view of those years in India, that period is inextricably associated with the persona of Dr. Singh.
  • Among the many awards and honours conferred upon Dr. Singh in his public career, the most prominent are India's second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan (1987); the Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary Award of the Indian Science Congress (1995); the Asia Money Award for Finance Minister of the Year (1993 and 1994); the Euro Money Award for Finance Minister of the Year (1993), the Adam Smith Prize of the University of Cambridge (1956); and the Wright's Prize for Distinguished Performance at St. John's College in Cambridge (1955). Dr. Singh has also been honoured by a number of other associations including by the Japanese Nihon Keizai Shimbun.
  • Dr. Singh has represented India at many international conferences and in several international organizations. He has led Indian Delegations to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Cyprus (1993) and to the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993.
  • In his political career, Dr. Singh has been a Member of India’s Upper House of Parliament (the Rajya Sabha) since 1991, where he was Leader of the Opposition between 1998 and 2004.

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Dr. Singh and his wife Mrs. Gursharan Kaur have three daughters.

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