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Singh, Manmohan

Singh, Manmohan mänmō´hän sĭng [key], 1932–, Indian economist and government official, prime minister of India (2004–14), b. Gah, West Punjab. Educated at the universities of Punjab, Cambridge, and Oxford, Singh taught at a number of institutions, including the Delhi School of Economics, and worked for the United Nations (1966–69). During the 1970s and 80s he held a number of government financial and economic posts, including economic adviser to the ministries of foreign trade (1971–72) and finance (1972–76) and governor of the Reserve Bank of India (1982–85), before becoming economic affairs adviser (1990–91) to Prime Minister Rao . Appointed finance minister in 1991, Singh introduced reforms that were credited with reviving the economy and initiating a decade of growth. A technocrat rather than a politician, Singh first served in the Indian parliament's upper house in 1991 as a member of the Congress party. He became prime minister when party leader Sonia Gandhi declined the office after the 2004 elections, and was the first Sikh to hold the post. His influence over his government was less than most prime ministers because of his lack of an electoral base. In the 2009 elections, Congress was returned to power with a larger plurality, and Singh remained prime minister. His government was subsequently tarnished by a series of corruption scandals, although he personally was not implicated in any of them, and Congress suffered large losses in the 2014 elections.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.