|Full Name||Manmohan Singh|
Manmohan Singh (Punjabi: [mÉ™nËˆmoËÉ¦É™n ËˆsÉªÌÅ‹É¡] (About this sound listen); born 26 September 1932) is an Indian economist and politician who served as the Prime Minister of India from 2004 to 2014. The first Sikh in office, Singh was also the first prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to be re-elected after completing a full five-year term.
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 during 1966–69. He subsequently began his bureaucratic career when Lalit Narayan Mishra hired him as an advisor in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. 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 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 relinquished the premiership to Manmohan Singh. Singh's first ministry 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 (including the 2008 Mumbai attacks) and the continuing Maoist insurgency.
The 2009 general election saw the UPA return with an increased mandate, with Singh retaining the office of Prime Minister. Over the next few years, Singh's second ministry government faced a number of corruption charges—over the organisation of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the 2G spectrum allocation case and the allocation of coal blocks. After his term ended in 2014 he opted out from the race to the office of the Prime Minister of India during 2014 Indian general election. Singh was never a member of the Lok Sabha but continues to serve as a member of the Parliament of India, representing the state of Assam in the Rajya Sabha for the fifth consecutive term since 1991.
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, 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.
After completing his D.Phil, Singh returned to India until 1966 when he went to work for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) from 1966–1969. Later, he was appointed as an advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Trade by Lalit Narayan Mishra, in recognition of Singh's talent as an economist.
From 1969 to 1971, Singh was a Professor of International Trade at the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi.
n 1972, Singh was Chief Economic Adviser in the Ministry of Finance and in 1976 he was Secretary in the Finance Ministry. In 1980–1982 he was at the Planning Commission, and in 1982, he was appointed Governor of the Reserve Bank of India under then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and held the post until 1985.He went on to become the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission (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 November 1990.
Singh returned to India from Geneva in November 1990 and held the post as the Advisor to Prime Minister of India on Economic Affairs during the tenure of V. P. Singh.In March 1991, he became Chairman of the University Grants Commission.
In June 1991, India's Prime Minister at the time, P. V. Narasimha Rao, chose Singh to be his Finance Minister. Singh told Mark Tully the British journalist in 2005 ""On the day (Rao) was formulating his cabinet, he sent his Principal Secretary to me saying, 'The PM would like you to become the Minister of Finance'. I didn't take it seriously. He eventually tracked me down the next morning, rather angry, and demanded that I get dressed up and come to Rashtrapati Bhavan for the swearing in. So that's how I started in politics".
In 1991, 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 US$1 billion, enough to pay for 2 weeks of imports,in comparison to US$283 billion today.
Evidently, India was facing an economic crisis. At this point, the government of India sought funds 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 Manmohan explained to the PM and the party that India is facing an unprecedented crisis. However the rank and file of the party resisted deregulation.So Chidambaram and Manmohan explained to the party that the economy would collapse if it was not deregulated.To the dismay of the party, Rao allowed Manmohan to deregulate the Indian economy.
Subsequently, Singh, who had thus far been one of the most influential architects of India's socialist economy, eliminated the permit raj,reduced state control of the economy, and reduced import taxes.
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 privatisation 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 US$1.8 billion securities scandal. Prime Minister Rao refused Singh's resignation, instead promising to punish the individuals directly accused in the report.[
Singh was first elected to the upper house of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha, in 1991 by the legislature of the state of Assam, and was re-elected in 1995, 2001, 2007 and 2013.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.
After the 2004 general elections, the Indian National Congress ended the incumbent National Democratic Alliance (NDA) tenure by becoming the political party with the single largest number of seats in the Lok Sabha. It formed United Progressive Alliance (UPA) with allies and staked claim to form government. In a surprise move, Chairperson Sonia Gandhi declared Manmohan Singh, a technocrat, as the UPA candidate for the Prime Ministership. Despite the fact that Singh had never won a Lok Sabha seat, according to the BBC, he "has enjoyed massive popular support, not least because he was seen by many as a clean politician untouched by the taint of corruption that has run through many Indian administrations."He took the oath as the Prime Minister of India on 22 May 2004.
India held general elections to the 15th Lok Sabha in five phases between 16 April 2009 and 13 May 2009. The results of the election were announced on 16 May 2009. Strong showing in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh helped the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) form the new government under the incumbent Singh, who became the first prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru in 1962 to win re-election after completing a full five-year term. The Congress and its allies were able to put together a comfortable majority with support from 322 members out of 543 members of the House. These included those of the UPA and the external support from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Samajwadi Party (SP), Janata Dal (Secular) (JD(S)), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and other minor parties.
On 22 May 2009, Manmohan Singh was sworn in as the Prime Minister during a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.The 2009 Indian general election was the largest democratic election in the world held to date, with an eligible electorate of 714 million.
The 2012 report filed by the CAG in Parliament of India states that due to allocation of coal blocks to certain private companies without bidding process the nation suffered estimated loss of Rs 1.85 trillion (short scale) between 2005 and 2009 in which Manmohan Singh was the coal minister of India.
Manmohan Singh declined to appear before a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) in April 2013 when called upon by one of the members of JPC Yashwant Sinha for his alleged involvement in the 2G case.
Singh did not contest the 2014 general election for the 16th Lok Sabha and resigned his post as prime minister at the end of his term on 17 May 2014. He served as the acting prime minister till 25 May 2014, when Narendra Modi was sworn in as the new prime minister.
Singh married Gursharan Kaur in 1958. They have three daughters, Upinder Singh, Daman Singh and Amrit Singh. 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 American Civil Liberties Union.Ashok Pattnaik, 1983 batch IPS officer, son-in-law of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was appointed CEO of National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) in 2016.
Singh has undergone multiple cardiac bypass surgeries, the most recent of which took place in January 2009.