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Profile: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

By Xinhua

Beijing : Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will start an official visit to China Sunday, his first since he took office three years ago.

Born in Gah, west Punjab (now in Pakistan), on Sept. 26, 1932, Singh was educated at Punjab University in India and at Oxford and Cambridge universities in the United Kingdom and won Cambridge University’s prestigious Adam Smith prize in 1956.

Singh had served in several Indian universities including Punjab University and the Delhi School of Economics as a lecturer in the 1960s and 1970s.

From 1966 to 1969 he served abroad with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

He later joined the government to serve in various capacities.

Singh held several important governmental positions, including chief economic advisor and finance secretary, before becoming governor of the Reserve Bank of India and then deputy chairman of the Planning Commission and chairman of the University Grants Commission in the 1980s and early 1990s.

He served as finance minister in P.V. Narasimha Rao’s government from 1991 to 1996. During his ministerial tenure, he not only put India on the map of the world’s attractive investment destinations but also brought about a fundamental change in the way India conducted its business, gaining the nickname of “architect of India’s economic reform.”

Singh is known for his tough and bold economic decisions. In addition, there are as many critics as admirers for Singh’s work as finance minister. During his five-year tenure he submitted his resignation three times, which was rejected by then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao.

Singh was sworn in as India’s 13th prime minister on May 22, 2004.

Singh is married to Gursharan Kaur and has three daughters.