"Capitalism historically has been a very
dynamic force, and behind that force is technical progress, innovation,
new ideas, new products, new technologies, and new methods of
managing teams." (Manmohan Singh)
Manmohan Singh, best known as ' father of Indian
Reforms', has emerged as the Congress party's frontrunner, the
14th Prime Minister of India and also the first Sikh to have reached
the country's top legislative position. Hailed to be the cleanest
man in Indian politics, he was Former Finance Minister and author
of the post-1991 economic reforms.
He was Born to Mr Gurmukh Singh and Mrs Amrit
Kaur on September 26, 1932 in a small village Gah (West Punjab),
now in Pakistan. A brilliant student, Manmohan Singh secured top
marks in almost all the major examinations he wrote. After his
Masters in Economics from Amritsar's Hindu College under Punjab
University he won scholarships to Cambridge and Oxford, earning
a doctorate with a thesis on the critical role of exports and
free trade in India's economy. Manmohan Singh won the prestigious
Adam Smith prize in 1956 from Cambridge University.
The following year, he returned to India as a university
lecturer and for the next nine years remained at Punjab University
before being posted for international duty with UNCTAD (United Nations
Conference on Trade and Development). He then joined the Delhi School
of Economics as a professor. Two years later, his academic career
was cut short and he joined the government to serve in various capacities.
He is married to Gursharan Kaur, they have three
Singh held several positions throughout the 1980s
and early 1990s. He served as Economic advisor to the finance ministry
in the late 70s, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission and Chairman
of University Grants Commission in 1980s and early 1990's and as
the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 1982 to 1985 etc.
An apolitical academician, he was discovered by
former prime minister Shri. P.V Narasimha Rao. Rao offered him the
finance ministry in 1991 under the Congress Government, and the
chance to rescue a sickly economy threatened by an acute balance
of payments crisis. During his stint as the finance minister (1991-1996),
the suave, soft-spoken Sikh guided India out of financial trouble
and put the country on course to becoming an economic power by opening
up the economy to foreign investment and slashing trade barriers.
Singh was always an unlikely politician, who was
routed in a parliamentary election in 1999. In fact, he has never
won an election and sits in the upper house. Politically, Manmohan
Singh is the classic example of the stateless politician.
After the Indian National Congress won the 2009
general elections, Singh was reappointed as the Prime Minister of
India on May 22, 2009, making him the first Indian Prime Minister
since Jawaharlal Nehru to return to power after completing a full
five-year term before this over 40 years ago.
(Updated on 30/5/2014)