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Manmohan Singh turns 90 today, PM Modi sends wishes

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New Delhi, Sep 26: Veteran Congress leader and former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh, who ran a coalition government between 2004-2014, turned 90 today.

Before he became the prime minister, he served as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from 1982-1985 and was the Minister of Finance in PV Narasimha Rao's government.

Manmohan Singh turns 90 today, PM Modi sends wishes

His brightest moment was ushering in the 1991 economic reforms under the Narasimha Rao government. Singh was Rao's finance minister.

The 1991 Budget is feted by many as one that laid the foundations of a modern India and the roadmap for pushing economic reforms in the country. However, the veteran Congress leader never stopped to share the credit with his boss PV Narasimha Rao.

"It was a hard choice and a bold decision and it was possible because Prime Minister Narasimha Rao gave me the freedom to roll out things, after he fully understood what was ailing India's economy at that time," Singh, who has also been held the post of the RBI Governor during his celebrated career, was quoted as saying at Rao' centenary celebrations.

Manmohan Singh was extraordinary, but India stalled: Narayana MurthyManmohan Singh was extraordinary, but India stalled: Narayana Murthy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted predecessor Manmohan Singh on his 89th birthday on Sunday sending wishes for a healthy and long life.

''Birthday greetings to former PM Dr. Manmohan Singh Ji. Praying for his long and healthy life,'' the PM tweeted.

Here's some of the lesser-known facts about about one of Congress' greatest stalwarts

Manmohan Singh
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Manmohan Singh
  • Singh was born on September 26, 1932 in the Punjab province of Pakistan before the partition of India. He studied at the Panjab University, University of Cambridge and obtained his doctorate in economics from the University of Oxford. He later taught at the Panjab University as well as Delhi School of Economics, and the University of Delhi.
  • He served as the 13th Prime Minister of India between 2004 and 2014 after the UPA defeated the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government. The economist served as the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha from 1998 to 2004.
  • Although he can speak Hindi, he cannot read the script of the language. Even when he was leading the country, his speeches were written in Urdu because he is proficient in it.
  • When Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru offered Manmohan Singh to join the government in 1962, he declined as he did not want to dishonour his commitment to teaching at his college in Amritsar.
  • Dr. Singh also worked with the United Nations twice, once from 1966 - 1969, as economic affairs officer for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). His second stint in the UN from 1987 to 1990 was as the secretary general of the South Commission, which is an intergovernmental organisation of developing economies.

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