Honorary professor Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 1976 and Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi 1996) and civil servant positions – 1971-72 Economic advisor ministry of foreign trade. 1972-76 chief economic advisors to ministry of finance 1976-80 Director, Reserve Bank of India, Director Industrial Development Bank of India, Alternate governor for India Board of governors, Asian Development Bank. Alternate Governor for India Board of governments IBRD.
November 1976 to April 1980 secretary ministry of finance (department of economic affairs) Member, finance Atomic Energy Commission. Member finance space commission. April 1980 to September 15, 1982 member secretary planning commission.1980-83 chairman India Committee of the India-Japan joint study committee: September 16, 1982 to January 14, 1985: Governor Reserve Bank of India. 1982-85 Alternate Governors for India Board of Governors International Monetary Fund 1983-84 Member of economic advisory council to the prime minister 1985 President Indian Economic Association.
January 15 1985 to July 31, 1987 Deputy Chairman planning commission August 1, 1987 to November 10, 1990 secretary general and commissioner Geneva commission,December 10, 1990 to March 14, 1991 Advisor to the prime minister on economic affairs. March 15, 1991 to June 20, 1991 chairman UGC June 21, 1991 to May 15, 1996 Union Finance Minister. October 1991 elected to Rajya Sabha from Assam on Congress ticket.
June 1995 Re-elected to Rajya Sabha.1996 onwards member consultative committee for the ministry of finance. August 1, 1996 to December 4, 1997 chairman parliamentary standing committee on commerce, March 21, 1998 onwards leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha, June 5, 1998 onwards Member committee on finance, August 13, 1998 onwards member committee on rules, August 1998-2001 Member committee of privileges, 2000 onward Member, executive committee Indian Parliamentary group. June 2001 re-elected to Rajya Sabha, Aug 2001 onwards member general purposes committee. India’s Export Trends and Prospects for Self-sustained, Growth—Clarendon press Oxford University 1964 also published a large number of articles in various economic journals. Other Accomplishments: Awards and prizes begged by him.
Adam Smith prize University of Cambridge 1956 Padma Vibhushan 1987. Euromoney Award—finance minister of the year 1993. Asiamoney Award—finance minister of the year for Asia 1993 and 1994. International assignments: 1996: Economic Affairs Officer, 1966 1969: Chief financing for trade section UNCTAD 1972-74 Deputy for India in IMF committee of Twenty on International Monetary Reforms.1977-79 Indian delegation to Aid India consortium meetings 1980-82 Indo-soviet Joint planning group meeting. 1982: Indo Soviet monitoring group meeting.
1993: Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting Cyprus. 1993: Human Rights world conference Vienna. Recreation: Gymkhana Club New Delhi, Life Member India International Centre, New Delhi “No power on earth can stop an idea whose time has come”, Dr. Manmohan Singh quoted Victor Hugo in Parliament just a month after taking over as finance minister in 1991 when the country was on the verge of bankruptcy, to articulate his conviction that India would emerge as an economic power. The time has come for Manmohan Singh to play a role larger than any he could have imagined for himself following the congress parliamentary party’s failure to stop Mrs. Sonia Gandhi conviction that she should not be PM. Dr.
Singh is the person Mrs. Gandhi trusts the most to stand in for her as Prime Minister. Dr. Singh is well placed to discharge this difficult role. There are no doubts about his credentials as far as clarity on the need for desirable direction of economic reform is concerned. He launched, of course with the backing of the then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, the entire reform process.
Under his stewardship India transformed from an aid dependent inefficient state controlled autarky into a fast growing part of the global economy drawing energy from the forces of the market instead of running scared from them. Those who came after him have built on the foundations he laid but there can be no doubt about his familiarity with the architecture and structural engineering of the edifice he has now been called on to expand. There are reasons to believe that this Punjabi who claims residence in Assam will be different. People respect him for his integrity and intellect; he enjoys the complete trust and backing from the actual political leadership that has won the people’s mandate to lead a new government. This acceptability not only extends to all the congress’s allies but also cuts across party lines.
In an era where politicians propose shrillness in strategy and mistake testosterone for tactics, Manmohan Singh is almost an image from the past. Self-effacing and polite to a fault he is more the fatherly professor one would go to with doubts. Some would say that in his ascent is the solution for a party dogged by doubts. His father who used to call him Mohan apparently believed his son, one of 10 siblings, would one day be the Prime Minister of India.
The prescience is almost prophetic even when he was chosen by PV. Narasimha Rao to manage India’s economy in 1991, it seemed like a pleasant accident. Within weeks he was the icon of freedom, trust and credibility for simply doing the right thing. Born in Gah (West Punjab now in Pakistan) in 1932, the 71 year old Manmohan is an Adam Smith Prize winner from Cambridge University. He has worked at every level of economic matters and has perhaps been India’s most appointed economist. He has been chief economic adviser finance, secretary, governor of Reserve Bank of India and Deputy Chairman of the planning commission. Seemingly out of place in the hurly-burly of Indian politics the man who introduced choice for the Indian consumers by dismantling the license raj and opening up the economy watched the news on a black and white television set and took just Re.
1 as salary through the five years as finance minister. As he took India away from a payment’s crisis to a bold new world Manmohan was haunted by his share of controversies ranging from protests over fertiliser price rise to the infamous Harshad Mehta Share Scam. He survived three attempts to quit over crises and finished as the longest serving finance minister.
Eight years later his ascent to the most coveted job can be described as another accident a destiny bequeathed. In his post ointment acceptance speech he thanked Sonia Gandhi and then quoted Jawaharlal Nehru on serving the teeming millions of the country. It seems the language is in place but in comparison with his peers and those around him in khaddar he still looks out of place in the rough and tumble of politics. But politician he is and will have to be. When he stopped down as finance minister in 1996 he bemoaned that so much more could have been done.
Opportunity beckons as destiny delivers. The man who has read biographies all his life with a passion even when he was the finance minister could well be the subject of one soon if he delivers. Manmohan speak on Sonia Gandhi’s Role: “She will remain a guiding force for us”. There won’t be two power centers. On Pakistan, “Friction between India and Pakistan should be a thing of the past”. On Gujrat, “We are very concerned about the functioning of the judicial system in Gujrat”. On Ayodhya, “If there are negotiations among the contesting parties and if it has the sanction of the courts, it should be pursued”. On the Public Section, “If PSUS cannot compete on equal footing with the private sector or become a drag on the exchequer, privatisation may be an answer”.
On Free Power, ‘This cannot become a norm for all public services”. We must have the listed user charger. On Infrastructure Schemes, “We won’t dismantle schemes of the previous government, but will assess them”.
On the Left Parties Role, “Life is never free from contradictions. Left parties are also great patriots”. On Communalism, “We are the most tolerant civilisation and we cannot divide people on the basis of religion”. Manmohan Singh was the man the obvious one. By choosing Manmohan and not a stereotypical Congress Neta from the Gandni Durbar party president Sonia Gandhi was sending out a message. It is national acceptability that matters at this moment and seniority. Ideologically or by training Manmohan was never a congressman.
A technocrat and academician he was the great discovery of P. V. Narasimha Rao. In 1991 Rao made him the finance minister and Manmohan surprised the master as well as the country. A left of centrist he pushed for economic reforms at a pace that was never expected from him. He was his master’s voice.
Though the Rao government was rocked by many financial scandals, its finance minister came out unscathed. However Manmohan was not a mass leader and he lost to BJP’s V.K. Malhotra in the 1999 Lok Sabha elections.
What was unquestionable was his loyalty to the Gandhi Parivar. He never aspired to be the leader and was not a threat to Sonia. According to sources close to 10 Janpath he is perhaps the only Congress leader who has never felt insecure. While others were busy indulging in machinations, toppling games and lobbying for plum posts, all familiar Congress activities, he remained a man of no demands.