Manmohan Singh (born 26 September 1932) is the 17th and current Prime Minister of India. An economist by profession, Dr. Singh worked at organizations like the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations. From 1982 to 1985, he was the governor of the Reserve Bank of India. Singh is a member of the Indian National Congress party, and became the first Sikh Prime Minister of India on 22 May 2004. He is considered one of the most influential figures in India's recent history, mainly because of the Economic Reforms he had initiated in 1991 when he was Finance Minister under Prime Minister Narasimha Rao.
Singh was born on 26 September 1932, in Gah, Punjab (now in Chakwal District, Pakistan). He has an Undergraduate (1952) and a Master's degree (1954) from Panjab University, Chandigarh; an Undergraduate degree (1957) from Cambridge University (St. John's College) and a Ph.D (1962) from Oxford University (Nuffield College).
In 1997, the University of Alberta presented him with an Honorary Doctor of Laws. The University of Oxford awarded him an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree in June 2005, and in October 2006, the University of Cambridge followed with the same honour. St John's College and the University of Cambridge further honoured him by naming a PhD Scholarship after him, the Dr Manmohan Singh Scholarship.
After completing his Ph.D, Dr. Singh, worked for institutions like the International Monetary Fund, South Centre and the United Nations. During the 1970s, he worked for the Ministry of Foreign Trade, and the Finance Ministry of India. He also taught at the University of Delhi, and Jawaharlal Nehru University. He was Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 1982 to 1985. He was deputy chairman of the Planning Commission of India from 1985 to 1987.
Career in the Rajya Sabha
Singh was first elected to the upper house of the Indian Parliament, the Rajya Sabha, in 1995, and was re-elected in 2001 and 2007. From 1998 to 2004, while the conservative Bharatiya Janata Party was in power, Singh was the Leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha. In 1999, he ran for the Lok Sabha from South Delhi, but was unable to win in that seat, thus making himself the only Indian Prime Minster never to have been elected from the Lok Sabha.
Singh married Gursharan Kaur in 1958, and they have three daughters. His eldest daughter, Upinder Singh, is a professor of history at St. Stephen's College. His youngest daughter, Amrit Singh, is a staff attorney at American Civil Liberties Union and is married to Barton Beebe, an Associate Professor of Law of Jewish faith.