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 Panjab 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
and his wife Mrs. Gursharan Kaur have three daughters.