The 13th Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, is a world renowned economist. He is attributed to liberalizing Indian Economy. A reform minded economist and a man of few words, there is more to Manmohan Singh then just a Prime Minister or a politician. OhuvvgFacts
1. Declined offer to join government made by Jawaharlal Nehru:
When he was teaching at his college in Amritsar, he had the opportunity to join politics when his neighbor, well-known writer Mulk Raj Anand, took him to meet Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. But he declined. He had let go of the opportunity to honor his commitment of teaching at his college in Amritsar.
2. Left his UN job to work in Delhi School of Economics:
After completing his DPhil, he worked for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development from 1966 to 1969. He was working there under the famous economist Raul Prebisch when he got the offer to work as a lecturer in Delhi School of Economics. When every brilliant economist in the world dreamed to work for the UN, Singh decided to accept DSE’s invitation and return to India.
3. Cambridge facts:
Manmohan Singh was a very shy boy while he was in Cambridge. Infact, he had said in an interview to Mark Tully, a famous BBC correspondent in India, that throughout his stay in Cambridge he had only bathed in cold water. The reason was that he was shy of his long hair, being the only Sikh student in the hostel. To avoid the other boys, who would all bath when hot water was available, he chose to bath when none of the other boys were around. And that happened only when hot water was unavailable.
4. Stint with the Reserve Bank of India:
It is really not surprising to see that Manmohan Singh’s life took him through spheres related to economics. Since the Reserve Bank of India controls the monetary policy of the Indian rupee, it is not surprising that Manmohan Singh was a part of it. He served as a director from 1976 to 1980 and was later made the Governor, apposition he held from 1982 to 1985.
Considering that fact that the Prime Minister is an exceptional Economist, it is natural for him to have written extensively on the subject. And rightly so he has a large number of articles on economics published in various books and journals. India’s Export Trends and Prospects for Self-Sustained Growth is the book written by Manmohan Singh which was based on his doctoral thesis. So he is a writer too!
6. PhD from Oxford University:
In Manmohan Singh we have the most qualified head of the state. So again another important aspect about his life that you would perhaps be unaware of is that he completed his PhD from Oxford University. It was through scholarships that he finally completed his DPhil as a member of Nuffield College. His doctoral thesis was titled “India’s export performance, 1951–1960, export prospects and policy implications” which was also the basis of his later book.
7. Honours degree in Economics:
Manmohan Singh went on scholarship to Cambridge University to do his masters in Economics. He performed extremely well there and very soon became a favorite among the teachers. Having stood first throughout in his life, his performance in Cambridge was excellent too. There he won the Wright’s Prize for distinguished performance in 1955 and 1957 and also received the Wrenbury scholarship.
8. Studied in Dim Light of a Kerosene Lamp:
Manmohan Singh has often attributed his success to education. Having been born into a family of humble means in a village where there was no electricity, it wasn’t easy reaching where he is today. It is said that he studies in the dim light of a kerosene lamp. Inspiring for it surely mustn’t have been easy and he could well have given up! It is amusing today when he attributes his bad eye sight to the same but it surely would have been a herculean task then.
9. Walked Miles to School:
Some of the greatest men in this world have braved hardships to reach where they are today. Perhaps, success favors those that persevere irrespective of obstacles. Manmohan Singh too is no different. He was born to a modest family and for about 12 years of his life he lived in a village which had no school. But that didn’t deter him. Education was important and so he walked every day for miles to school! Who knew then that he would grow up to be India’s Prime Minister and could have cars lined up for him in seconds!
10. Professor of International Trade at the Delhi School of Economics:
Did you know that the silent and often reticent Manmohan Singh was a professor too? It was ofcourse early days in his career but nevertheless it was integral to his growth. When he returned to India in 1969 after working for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, he joined the Delhi School of Economics as the Professor of International Trade. He worked there from 1969 to 1971.