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Manmohan Singh
ਮਨਮੋਹਨ ਸਿੰਘ
Portrait of Manmohan Singh

Assumed office 
22 May 2004
President Abdul Kalam
Pratibha Patil
Preceded by Atal Bihari Vajpayee

In office
6 November 2005 – 24 October 2006
Preceded by Natwar Singh
Succeeded by Pranab Mukherjee

In office
30 November 2008 – 24 January 2009
Preceded by Palaniappan Chidambaram
Succeeded by Pranab Mukherjee
In office
21 June 1991 – 16 May 1996
Prime Minister Narasimha Rao
Preceded by Madhu Dandavate
Succeeded by Jaswant Singh

In office
15 January 1985 – 31 August 1987
Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi
Preceded by Narasimha Rao
Succeeded by Shiv Shankar

In office
15 September 1982 – 15 January 1985
Preceded by Indraprasad Gordhanbhai Patel
Succeeded by Amitav Ghosh

Born 26 September 1932 (1932-09-26) (age 77)
Gah, Punjab, British India
Political party UPA (INC)
Spouse(s) Gursharan Kaur (m. 1958)
Children Upinder Singh
Daman Singh
Amrit Singh
Residence 7 Race Course Road, New Delhi, India (official)
Guwahati, Assam (private)
Alma mater Panjab University, Chandigarh (B.A., M.A.)
St John's College, Cambridge (Wright's Prize)
University of Cambridge (Wrenbury scholar)
Nuffield College, Oxford
(DPhil, D.Litt., Ph.D.)
Occupation Economist
Civil Service
Social Worker
Religion Sikhism
Signature Manmohan Singh
Website Manmohan Singh

Manmohan Singh (Punjabi: ਮਨਮੋਹਨ ਸਿੰਘ, born 26 September 1932) is the 14th and current Prime Minister of the Republic of India. He is the first Indian Prime Minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to return to power after completing a full five-year term. He is also the first Sikh to hold the post.

Earlier, during his tenure as the Finance Minister from 1991 to 1996, Singh was widely credited for carrying out economic reforms in India in 1991 which resulted in the end of the infamous Licence Raj system and the opening up of the Indian economy.[1]



An economist by profession, Singh was the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 1982 to 1985,[2] the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India from 1985 to 1987 and the Finance Minister of India from 1991 to 1996. He is also a Rajya Sabha member from Assam, currently serving his fourth term.[3]

Manmohan Singh is a graduate of Punjab University, Chandigarh, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Oxford. After serving as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India and the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India, Singh was appointed as the Union Minister of Finance in 1991 by then-Prime Minister Narasimha Rao. During his tenure as the Finance Minister, Singh was widely credited for carrying out economic reforms in India in 1991 which resulted in the end of the infamous Licence Raj system.[1]

Following the 2004 general elections, Singh was unexpectedly declared as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the Indian National Congress-led United Progressive Alliance. He was sworn in as the prime minister on 22 May 2004, along with the First Manmohan Singh Cabinet. After the Indian National Congress won the 2009 general elections, On 22 May 2009, Manmohan Singh was sworn in as the Prime Minister at the Asoka Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Childhood and education

Manmohan Singh was born to Gurmukh Singh and Amrit Kaur on 26 September 1932, in Gah, Punjab (now in Chakwal District, Pakistan), British India, into a Sikh family. He lost his mother when he was very young, and he was raised by his paternal grandmother, to whom he was very close. He was a hard working student who studied by candlelight, as his village did not have electricity. After the Partition of India, he migrated to Amritsar, India. He attended Punjab University, Chandigarh studying Economics and attaining his bachelor's and master's degrees in 1952 and 1954 respectively, standing first throughout his academic career. He went on to read for the Economics Tripos at Cambridge University as a member of St John's College. (In the Oxbridge tradition, holders of the BA degree with honours are entitled in due course to an MA degree.) He won the Wright's Prize for distinguished performance in 1955 and 1957. He was also one of the few recipients of the Wrenbury scholarship. In 1962, Singh completed his DPhil from the University of Oxford where he was a member of Nuffield College. The title of his doctoral thesis was "India’s export performance, 1951-1960, export prospects and policy implications", and his thesis supervisor was Dr I M D Little. From this thesis he published the book "India’s Export Trends and Prospects for Self-Sustained Growth".[4]

In 1997, the University of Alberta presented him with an Honorary Doctor of Laws. The University of Oxford awarded him an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree in June 2006, and in October 2006, the University of Cambridge followed with the same honour. St. John's College further honored him by naming a PhD Scholarship after him, the Dr Manmohan Singh Scholarship

Early career

After completing his D.Phil, Singh worked for United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) from 1966–1969. During the 1970s, he taught at the University of Delhi and worked for the Ministry of Foreign Trade with then Cabinet Minister for Foreign Trade Lalit Narayan Mishra and for Finance Ministry of India. In 1982, he was appointed the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India and held the post until 1985. He went on to become the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission of India from 1985 to 1987.


Finance Minister of India

In 1991, India's then-Prime Minister, P.V. Narasimha Rao, chose Singh to be the Finance Minister. At the time, India was facing an economic crisis. Rao and Singh implemented policies to open up the economy and change the socialist economic system to a capitalist economy. The economic reform package included dismantling Licence Raj that made it difficult for private businesses to exist and prosper, removal of many obstacles for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and initiating the process of the privatization of public sector companies. These economic reforms are credited with bringing high levels of economic growth in India, and changing the annual 3%, to an average of 8–9% economic growth in the following years. However, in spite of these reforms, Rao's government was voted out in 1996 due to non-performance of government in other areas.

Career in the Rajya Sabha

Singh was first elected to the upper house of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha, in 1991[5] and was re-elected in 2001 and 2007. 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 ran for the Lok Sabha from South Delhi but was unable to win the seat[6].

Prime ministership

14th Lok Sabha

A renowned economist,[7] Singh is also regarded as one of the "greatest statesmen in Asian history".[8] Shown here are BRIC leaders in 2008 – Manmohan Singh, Dmitry Medvedev, Hu Jintao, and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

After the 2004 general elections, the Indian National Congress stunned the incumbent National Democratic Alliance (NDA) by becoming the political party with the single largest number of seats in the Lok Sabha. In a surprise move, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairwoman Sonia Gandhi declared Manmohan Singh, a technocrat, as the UPA candidate for the Prime Minister post. Despite the fact that Singh had never won a Lok Sabha seat, his considerable goodwill and Sonia Gandhi's nomination won him the support of the UPA allies and the Left Front. He took the oath as the Prime Minister of India on 22 May 2004,

Foreign policy

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the 34th G8 Summit.

Manmohan Singh's Government has continued the pragmatic foreign policy that was started by P.V. Narasimha Rao and continued by Bharatiya Janata Party's Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The Prime Minister has continued the peace process with Pakistan initiated by his predecessor, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Exchange of high-level visits by top leaders from both countries have highlighted his tenure, as has reduced terrorism and increased prosperity in the state of Kashmir. Efforts have been made during Singh's tenure to end the border dispute with People's Republic of China. In November 2006, Chinese President Hu Jintao visited India which was followed by Singh's visit to Beijing in January 2008. A major development in Sino-Indian relations was the reopening of the Nathula Pass in 2006 after being closed for more than four decades. As of 2010, the People's Republic of China is the second biggest trade partner of India.[9]

Relations with Afghanistan have also improved considerably, with India now becoming the largest regional donor to Afghanistan.[10] During Afghan President Hamid Karzai's visit to New Delhi in August 2008, Manmohan Singh increased the aid package to Afghanistan for the development of more schools, health clinics, infrastructure, and defense.[11] Under the leadership of Singh, India has emerged as one of the single largest aid donors to Afghanistan.[11]

Singh's government has worked towards stronger ties with the United States. He visited the United States in July 2005 initiating negotiations over the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement. This was followed by George W. Bush's successful visit to India in March 2006, during which the declaration over the nuclear agreement was made, giving India access to American nuclear fuel and technology while India will have to allow IAEA inspection of its civil nuclear reactors. After more than two years for more negotiations, followed by approval from the IAEA, Nuclear Suppliers Group and the US Congress, India and the U.S. signed the agreement on 10 October 2008.[12]

Manmohan Singh with American President Barack Obama at the White House.

Prime Minister Singh had the first official state visit to the White House during the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama. The visit took place in November 2009, and several discussions took place, including on trade and nuclear power. It was set during a wider visit to the United States by Dr. Singh.

During Singh's tenure as Prime Minister, relations have improved with Japan and European Union countries, like the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. Relations with Iran have continued and negotiations over the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline have taken place. New Delhi hosted an India–Africa Summit in April 2006 which was attended by the leaders of 15 African states.[13] Relations, have improved with other developing countries, particularly Brazil and South Africa. Singh carried forward the momentum which was established after the "Brasilia Declaration" in 2003 and the IBSA Dialogue Forum was formed.[14]

Manmohan Singh's government has also been especially keen on expanding ties with Israel. Since 2003, the two countries have made significant investments in each other[15] and Israel now rivals Russia to become India's defense partner.[16] Though there have been a few diplomatic glitches between India and Russia, especially over the delay and price hike of several Russian weapons to be delivered to India,[17] relations between the two remain strong with India and Russia signing various agreements to increase defense, nuclear energy and space cooperation.[18]

Economic policy

Dr. Singh first became the finance minister of India in the year 1991. During which time 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 per cent of GDP.[19] Essentially the country was hemorrhaging money. It was during this time Dr. Singh opened the Indian economy to foreign investment and introduced competition.[19][20] At the time Indian foreign reserve was barely a billion dollars as compared to $283 billion today.[21] Singh also freed India from the strong hold of License Raj - which created social instability and low economic growth - and essentially liberalizing Indian economy, which put the country on fast track for development. Dr. Singh, along with the former Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, have presided over a period where the Indian economy has grown with an 8–9% economic growth rate. In 2007, India achieved its highest GDP growth rate of 9% and became the second fastest growing major economy in the world.[22][23] Dr. Singh is a strong believer of globalization, and the fact that with India's immense labor-intensive capacity, its goods would be able to find its way on the world market and relieve poverty.[24]

Singh's government has continued the Golden Quadrilateral and the highway modernization program that was initiated by Vajpayee's government. Singh has also been working on reforming the banking and financial sectors and has been working towards reforming public sector companies. The Finance ministry has been working towards relieving farmers of their debt and has been working towards pro-industry policies. In 2005, Singh's government introduced the VAT tax that replaced the complicated sales tax. In 2007 and early 2008, inflation became a big problem globally.[25]

Healthcare and education

Manmohan Singh with Indian delegation at the 33rd G8 summit in Heiligendamm.

In 2005, Prime Minister Singh and his government's health ministry started the National Rural Health Mission, which has mobilized half a million community health workers. This rural health initiative was praised by the American economist Jeffrey Sachs.[26]

Dr. Singh has announced that eight more Indian Institutes of Technology will be opened in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Orissa, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh,Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh. The Singh government has also continued the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan programme, begun by his predecessor, Mr. Vajpayee. The programme has included the introduction and improvement of mid-day meals and the opening of schools all over India, especially in rural areas, to fight illiteracy.

Security and Home Affairs

Dr. Singh's government has been criticised by opposition parties for revoking POTA and for the many bomb blasts in various cities, like in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Jaipur, etc. and for not being able to reduce the Naxal terrorism that is menacing rural areas in Eastern and Central India. Singh's government has, however, extended the ban on the radical Islamic terror group Student's Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

Manmohan Singh administration initiated a massive reconstruction effort in Kashmir to stabilize the region but after some period of success, infiltration and terrorism in Kashmir has increased since 2009.[27] However, the Singh administration has been successful in reducing terrorism in north-east India.[27]


The important National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) and the Right to Information Act were passed by the Parliament in 2005 during his tenure. While the effectiveness of the NREGA has been successful at various degrees, in various regions, the RTI act has proved crucial in India's fight against corruption.[28]


Manmohan Singh received strong criticism from India's Communist Parties for his role in the implementation of the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement. Shown here are Manmohan Singh and 43rd President of the United States George W. Bush exchanging handshakes in New Delhi in 2006.

Some opposition parties have criticized Singh's election as a Rajya Sabha member from Assam, arguing that he was not eligible to become a Member of Parliament from a state where he does not reside.[citation needed]

Manmohan Singh has been criticized by the Leader of Opposition and prominent member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Lal Krishna Advani, for being the "weakest Prime Minister until now".[29] Opposition parties in India, particularly the BJP, allege that Sonia Gandhi, the current Chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance, enjoys greater say in government affairs than the Prime Minister. Manmohan Singh and government officials have strongly rebuked the charge.[30][31]

Dr. Singh is also the only Indian Prime Minister to have never won a Lok Sabha election.[citation needed]

On 22 July 2008, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) faced its first confidence vote in the Lok Sabha after the Communist Party of India (Marxist) led Left Front withdrew support from the government over India approaching the IAEA for Indo-US nuclear deal. The President had asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to prove the majority. The UPA won the trust vote with 275–256, after two days of debate and deliberations. The vote was delayed by one hour due to allegations from the opposition BJP party that certain coalition allies of the government had bribed certain opposition parliamentarians to abstain from the confidence vote[32]

15th Lok Sabha

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[33]. 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.[34] The Congress and its allies was able to put together a comfortable majority with support from 322 members out of 543 members of the House. The oppossition having accepted defeat admitted that the specific targeting of Singh as "weak PM" was wrong and had benefited Singh instead. This led to infighting in the BJP and criticism of Mr.Advani by many prominent leaders of the BJP.[35]. The tally of 322 seats 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.[36]

On 22 May 2009, Manmohan Singh was sworn in as the Prime Minister during a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan. As is the norm, earlier, on 18 May 2009, he submitted his resignation as the Prime Minister to President Pratibha Patil.[37][38]

Personal life

Singh married Gursharan Kaur in 1958. However, the family has largely stayed out of the limelight. Their three daughters - Upinder, Daman and Amrit, have successful, non-political, careers.[39] 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).[40] 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.[41] Amrit Singh is a staff attorney at the ACLU.[42]

Singh has undergone multiple cardiac bypass surgeries, most recently in January 2009.[43] He resumed his duties on 4 March 2009.[citation needed]

Degrees and posts held

Rajya Sabha
Preceded by
Member for Assam
1991 – present
Political offices
Preceded by
Indraprasad Gordhanbhai Patel
Governor of the Reserve Bank of India
1982 – 1985
Succeeded by
Amitav Ghosh
Preceded by
Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao
Deputy Chairperson of the Planning Commission of India
1985 – 1987
Succeeded by
Punjala Shiv Shankar
Preceded by
Yashwant Sinha
Minister of Finance of India
1991 – 1996
Succeeded by
Jaswant Singh
Preceded by
Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Prime Minister of India
2004 – present
Chairperson of the Planning Commission of India
2004 – present
Preceded by
Kunwar Natwar Singh
Minister of External Affairs of India
2005 – 2006
Succeeded by
Pranab Mukherjee
Preceded by
Palaniappan Chidambaram
Minister of Finance of India
2008 – 2009
Succeeded by
Pranab Mukherjee

See also


  1. ^ a b Biswas, Soutik (2005-10-14). "India's architect of reforms". BBC News. Retrieved 11 December 2008. 
  2. ^ "RBI History - Miscellany - Governors". Reserve Bank of India. Retrieved 2009-11-08. 
  3. ^ Manmohan Singh elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha
  4. ^ "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Prime Minister's Office. Retrieved 11 December 2008. 
  5. ^ "Profile: Prime Minister India". Indian gov.. Retrieved 2009-05-23. 
  6. ^ "Candidate Statistics Manmohan Singh". IBN Live. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  7. ^ Watson, Paul (2004-05-24). "Economist chosen to become next prime minister of India". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 11 December 2008. 
  8. ^ Strengthen Team India - The Australian
  9. ^ China becomes India's 2nd largest trade partner
  10. ^ Bajoria, Jayshree (2008-10-23). "India-Afghanistan Relations". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 11 December 2008. 
  11. ^ a b India announces more Afghan aid
  12. ^ "U.S., India ink historic civilian nuclear deal". People's Daily. 2008-10-11. Retrieved 2008-12-11. 
  13. ^ "Several African leaders to attend Africa-India summit, AU says". African Press International. 2008-03-28. Retrieved 11 December 2008. 
  14. ^ Beri, Ruchita (2008-12-10). "IBSA Dialogue Forum: A Strategic Partnership". The African Executive. Retrieved 11 December 2008. 
  15. ^ Halarnkar, Samar (2007-10-23). "India and Israel: The great seduction". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 11 December 2008. 
  16. ^ Waldman, Amy (2003-09-07). "The Bond Between India and Israel Grows". New York Times. Retrieved 11 December 2008. 
  17. ^ Dikshit, Sandeep (2008-04-17). "Centre admits to problems in naval deals". The Hindu. Retrieved 11 December 2008. 
  18. ^ Roychowdhury, Amitabh (2006-12-06). "India, Russia sign agreements to further strengthen ties". Outlook. Retrieved 11 December 2008. 
  19. ^ a b rediff Business Desk (26 September 2005). "Manmohan Singh: Father of Indian Reform". Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  20. ^ L. Friedman, Thomas (2008). The World is Flat - A brief history of the twenty-first century. Picador. p. 130. ISBN 0-374-29288-4. 
  21. ^ Mahalakshmi Hariharan (Saturday 2 January 2010). "Forex reserves swell 11% in 2009". Yahoo Finance India. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ "The India Report". Astaire Research. 
  24. ^ rediff Business Desk (26 September 2005). "Manmohan Singh: Father of Indian Reform". Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  25. ^
  26. ^ Jeffrey D. Sachs (06 Mar 2005). "The End of Poverty". Time Magazine.,9171,1034738,00.html. 
  27. ^ a b >Infiltration has not reduced in Kashmir, insurgency down in North East: Chidambaram
  28. ^ RTI Act: A strong tool to cleanse corruption in India
  29. ^ "Manmohan Singh India's weakest prime minister: Advani". Rediff. 2007-10-13. Retrieved 11 December 2008. 
  30. ^ "Manmohan to Advani: Change your astrologers, stop abuse against me". Thaindian News. 2008-07-22. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  31. ^ "Manmohan takes on Advani: Babri destruction his only contribution". Southasia Times. 2009-03-25. Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  32. ^ Thaindian News (25 July 2008). "BJP MPs file formal bribe complaint with Speaker". Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  33. ^ "India's ruling party wins resounding victory". The Associated Press. 16 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-16. 
  34. ^ "Second UPA win, a crowning glory for Sonia's ascendancy". Business Standard. 16 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  35. ^ . 
  36. ^ "Smooth sailing for UPA, parties scramble to support". CNN-IBN. 19 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  37. ^ "Team Manmohan set to form govt today". Times Now. 22 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  38. ^ "India PM Singh takes oath for second term". Reuters. 22 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  39. ^ "Dr. Manmohan Singh: Personal Profile". Prime Minister's Office, Government of India. Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  40. ^ Raote, Rrishi (2008-10-10). "This Singh is King of History". Business Standard. Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  41. ^ "Meet Dr. Singh's daughter". 2009-01-28. Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  42. ^ Rajghatta, Chidanand (2007-12-21). "PM's daughter puts White House in the dock". Times of India.,prtpage-1.cms. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  43. ^ "One graft successfully performed on Manmohan Singh". The Hindu. 2009-01-24. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 

External links

Government of India links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Manmohan Singh (Punjabi: ਮਨਮੋਹਨ ਸਿੰਘ) (born 1932-09-26) is the 17th and current Prime Minister of India. Singh, a member of the Indian National Congress party, became the first Sikh Prime Minister of India on May 22, 2004.


  • As the largest and most developed democracies of Asia (India and Japan), we have a mutual stake in each other’s progress and prosperity.
    • Prime Minister's speech to the Japanese diet, Embassy of India in Japan (2006-12-14)

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

Manmohan Singh

17th Prime Minister of India
Assumed office 
22 May 2004
Preceded by Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Born 26 September 1932
Gah, West Punjab, British India
Political party Indian National Congress

Manmohan Singh is the Prime Minister of India.

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