Manmohan Singh was born on 26 September 1932, is an Indian economist and politician who worked as the Prime Minister of India from 2004 to 2014. The first Sikh in office, Manmohan was also the first prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to be re-elected after completing a full five-year term. His career initiated with the United Nations in 1966. His bureaucratic career saw him holding key posts such as an advisor to the Foreign Trade Ministry, Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India, Governor of RBI and Head of Planning Commission.
Personal life and family
Singh was born to Gurmukh Singh and Amrit Kaur on 26 September 1932, in Gah, Punjab, British India, in a Sikh family. He lost his mother when he was very young and was raised by his paternal grandmother, to whom he was very attached. He joined 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 accomplished his Economics Tripos at the University of Cambridge as he was a member of St John’s College in 1957. In 1960, he went to the University of Oxford for the D.Phil, where he was a member of Nuffield College. His 1962 doctoral thesis under the supervision of I.M.D. Little was titled “India’s export performance, 1951–1960, export prospects and policy implications”, and was on the basis for his book “India’s Export Trends and Prospects for Self-Sustained Growth. Manmohan Singh married Gursharan Kaur in 1958. The couple is blessed with three daughters, Upinder Singh, Amrit Singh, and Daman Singh.
After receiving his degree in Economics from the University of Cambridge, Manmohan Singh returned to India and served as a teacher in the Punjab University. He was a Senior Lecturer in Economics and gone on to become Professor in 1963. In 1966, he was an Honorary Professor at Delhi School of Economics under the Delhi University.
Manmohan Singh joined with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development from 1966 to 1969. He worked in the International Trade as a Professor from 1969 to 1971. He was selected by Shri Lalit Narayan Mishra as advisor of Ministry of Foreign Trade.
He was a Professor of International Trade in 1969 at the Delhi School of Economics. In 1972, he became the Chief Economic Advisor to the Ministry of Finance. He was the Secretary in the Ministry of Finance in 1976.
In 1991, he became the Finance Minister of India in P.V. Narasimha Rao’s government. Manmohan remained in the post from 21 June 1991 to 15 May 1996. Manmohan Singh was the Leader of Opposition in the Upper House of the Parliament, the Rajya Sabha, from 1998 to 2004. From 22 May 2004 to 26 May 2014, he was the Prime Minister of India and Leader of the Rajya Sabha. He was elected as Rajya Sabha member again in June 2007 and June 2013. He did not contest the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Positions held by Manmohan Singh
1976: Honorary Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University
1976-1980: Director of Reserve Bank of India
1976-1980: Director of Industrial Development Bank of India
1980-1982: Member of the Planning Commission
1982-1985: Governor of Reserve Bank of India
1985-1987: Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India
1987-1990: Secretary General of the South Commission, an independent economic think-tank based in Geneva, Switzerland
1990: Advisor on Economic Affairs to the Prime Minister
1991: Chairman of the University Grants Commission