Manmohan Singh Biography

Manmohan Singh is an Indian economist and politician who served as the Prime Minister of India for two consecutive terms. This biography provides detailed information about his childhood, life, academic & political career, achievements & timeline.

Quick Facts

Birthday: September 26, 1932

Nationality: Indian

Famous: Economists Prime Ministers

Age: 87 Years, 87 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Libra

Born in: Gah

Famous as: Former Prime Minister of India

Height: 5'9" (175 cm), 5'9" Males

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Spouse/Ex-: Gursharan Kaur (1958–present)

father: Gurmukh Singh

mother: Amrit Kaur

children: Amrit, Daman, Upinder

More Facts

education: St John's College, Cambridge (1956–1957), Panjab University, Chandigarh (1954), Panjab University, Chandigarh (1952), Nuffield College, Oxford, Hindu College, University of Delhi

awards: 2010 - World Statesman Award
2005 - Top 100 Influential People in the World
2002 - Outstanding Parliamentarian Award

2000 - Annasaheb Chirmule Award
1999 - H.H. Kanchi Sri Paramacharya Award for Excellence
1999 - Fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences
New Delhi
1997 - Lokmanya Tilak Award
1997 - Justice K.S. Hegde Foundation Award
1997 - Nikkei Asia prize for Regional Growth
1995 - Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary Award (1994–95)
1994 - Finance Minister of the Year
1994 - Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary Award (1994–95)
1994 - Elected Distinguished Fellow of the London School of Economics
1994 - Elected Honorary Fellow of the All India Management Association
1993 - Finance Minister of the Year
1987 - Padma Vibhushan
1986 - Elected National Fellow
National Institute of Education
1985 - Elected President of the Indian Economic Association
1956 - Adam Smith Prize
1955 - Wright Prize for Distinguished Performance

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Manmohan Singh is an eminent Indian economist and politician who served as the Prime Minister of India for two consecutive terms. He held prominent posts in different organizations and received several honors for his brilliant work even before beginning his political career. He held various posts such as advisor to the Foreign Trade Ministry, Chief Economic Advisor in the Ministry of Finance, Governor of Reserve Bank of India, and Head of the Planning Commission. As the Finance Minister in the P. V. Narasimha Rao government in the 1990s, he carried out several structural reforms that liberalised India's economy, which enhanced Singh's reputation as a leading reform-minded economist. In 2004, he was elected to be the Prime Minister of India which came as a surprise as everybody was expecting Sonia Gandhi, being the head of the UPA, to take up the post. His no-nonsense image and a brilliant bureaucratic experience were once again acknowledged by the people and he was re-elected as the Prime Minister in 2009. However, in his second term, he was criticized for fostering too close a relationship with the United States and his party faced further allegations of corruption which eventually led to the deterioration of the party’s popularity with the public. Despite the criticism, he is still regarded as the key architect to usher India into a new economic mould. A great thinker, scholar and a talented economist, he is the only prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru, to be re-elected after completing a full five-year term.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • He was born on September 26, 1932 in Gah, Punjab, British India, to Gurmukh Singh and his wife, Amrit Kaur. He lost his mother at a young age and was brought up by his grandmother.
  • He received his early education from the Hindu College, Amritsar, where his family migrated after the Partition of India.
  • Then, he was enrolled at the Panjab University, first in Chandigarh and then in Hoshiarpur. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics in 1952 and master’s degree in the same subject in 1954.
  • Then, as a student of St. John’s College, he attended the University of Cambridge and completed his honors degree in 1957.
  • In 1962, he earned his D.Phil. in Economics from Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
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  • From 1966 to 1969, he worked for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
  • From 1969 to 1971, he worked as a Professor of International Trade at the Delhi School of Economics.
  • In 1972, he was appointed as the Chief Economic Advisor to the Ministry of Finance. In 1976, he became a Secretary in the Ministry of Finance.
  • He served as the Director of Reserve Bank of India from 1976 to 1980.
  • From 1980 to 1982, he worked for the Planning Commission of India. He served as the Governor of Reserve bank of India from 1982 to 1985.
  • In 1985, he was appointed as the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India, a post he held till 1987.
  • From 1987 to 1990, he worked as the Secretary General of the South Commission, an independent economic think-tank based in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • In 1990, he became the Advisor on Economic Affairs to the Prime Minister, following his return to India.
  • In 1991, he became the Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC).
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  • In 1991, Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao appointed him as the Finance Minister of India in his government - a post Singh held until 1996.
  • From 1998 to 2004, he served as the Leader of Opposition in the Upper House, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was in power.
  • In 2004 General Elections, Indian National Congress party joined hands with the allies, formed the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and defeated BJP. Congress leader, Sonia Gandhi recommended Singh’s name for the post of Prime Minister and on May 22, 2004, he became the 14th Prime Minister of India.
  • In 2009, UPA was again successful in forming the government in the 15th Lok Sabha elections and he was re-elected as the Prime Minister of India on 22nd May 2009.
  • In 2014 General Elections, Bhartiya Janta Party defeated the UPA with a huge margin. As a result, he resigned from his post on May 17, 2014.
Major Works
  • As the Finance Minister of India, he was successful in implementing economic reforms that aimed at enhancing the productivity and liberalization of the economy. One of the most important measures he took was to free India from the ‘Licence Raj’—the root cause of slow economic growth and corruption in the Indian economy for decades.
  • As the Prime Minister, he invested his time in various national and global issues such as economy, health and education, terrorism and foreign affairs. He worked to improve the conditions of India’s poor, resolving conflicts with Pakistan and also towards improving relations among various religious groups of India.
  • During his tenure as the Prime Minister, National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) and the Right to Information Act were passed by the Parliament in 2005. He also contributed in strengthening anti-terror laws with amendments to UAPA and in improving relations with the USA, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.
Awards & Achievements
  • In 1987, he received the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award in the Republic of India.
  • In 1993, he was named the Finance Minister of the Year by Euromoney and Asiamoney.
  • He was awarded honorary professorship by Jawaharlal Nehru University in 1976 and then, in 1996 by Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi.
  • He was the recipient of honorary doctorate degree from several prestigious institutions such as University of Alberta (1997), University of Oxford (2005), University of Cambridge (2006) and King Saud University (2010).
  • In 2005, he was listed among the ‘Top 100 Influential People in the World’ in Time magazine.
  • In 2014, he received the honor of ‘Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers’ from the Government of Japan.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • In 1958, he married Gursharan Kaur and they were blessed with three daughters; Upinder, Daman and Amrit.

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Article Title
- Manmohan Singh Biography
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Last Updated
- October 10, 2017
Manmohan Singh

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