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Shri. Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Former Prime Minister of India
Personal Profile
Shri Atal Bihari Vajpyee - Former Prime Minister

A man of the masses, firm in his political convictions. India has an inspiring leader in Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

On October 13, 1999, he took charge as Prime Minister of India for the second consecutive term at the head of a new coalition government, the National Democratic Alliance. He was Prime Minister for a short period in 1996. He is the only Prime Minister since Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to have become Prime Minister of India through three successive mandates.

A veteran Parliamentarian whose career stretches over four decades, Shri Vajpayee has been elected to the Lok Sabha (House of the People) nine times and to the Rajya Sabha (House of the States) twice, a record by itself. As India's Foreign Minister, Chairperson of various important Standing Committees of Parliament and Leader of Opposition, he has been an active participant in the shaping of India's post-Independence domestic and foreign policy.

Shri Vajpayee's first brush with nationalist politics was in his student days when he joined the Quit India Movement of 1942 which hastened the end of British colonial rule. A student of political science and law, it was in college that he developed a keen interest in foreign affairs - an interest he has nourished over the years and put to skilful use while representing India at various multilateral and bilateral fora.

Shri Vajpayee had embarked upon a journalist's career, which was cut short in 1951 when he joined the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the fore-runner of today's Bharatiya Janata Party, the leading component of the National Democratic Alliance. A critically acclaimed poet, he still takes time off from affairs of state to indulge in music and in a bit of gourmet cooking.

Born in the family of a humble school teacher on December 25 1924, in the erstwhile princely State of Gwalior (now a part of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh), Shri Vajpayee's rise in public life is a tribute to both his political acumen and Indian democracy. Over the decades, he has emerged as a leader who commands respect for his liberal worldview and commitment to democratic ideals.

An ardent champion of women's empowerment and social equality, Vajpayee believes in a forward-looking, forward moving India, a strong and prosperous nation confident of its rightful place in the comity of nations. He stands for an India anchored in 5000 years of civilisational history, ever modernising, ever renewing, ever re-energising itself to meet the challenges of the next 1000 years.

India's second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan, was conferred upon him in recognition of his selfless dedication to his first and only love, India, and his more than half-a-century of service to society and the nation. In 1994, he was named India's 'Best Parliamentarian'. The citation read: "True to his name, Atalji is an eminent national leader, an erudite politician, a selfless social worker, forceful orator, poet and litterateur, journalist and indeed a multi-faceted personality…Atalji articulates the aspirations of the masses… his works ever echo total commitment to nationalism.

                                                  ACADEMIC RECORD 
D. Phil., Nuffield College, University of Oxford.  Topic: India’s Export Trends and Prospects for Self-Sustained Growth.  [Published by Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1964]  
1957 Economic Tripos [First Class honours], University of Cambridge  
1954 M.A. Economics, Panjab University – First Class with first position in the University
1952 B.A. Economics(Hons.), Panjab University – Second Class with first  position in the University  
1950 Intermediate Panjab University – First Class with first position in the University  
1948 Matriculation, Panjab University – First class  
                                                  PRIZES AND AWARDS 
2000 Conferred  Annasaheb Chirmule Award by  the W.LG.  alias  Annasaheb Chirmule Trust setup by United Western Bank Limited, Satara, Maharashtra  
1999   Received H.H. Kanchi Sri Paramacharya Award for Excellence from  Shri R. Venkataraman, former President of India and Patron,  The Centenarian Trust  
1999 Fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi.  
1997 Conferred Lokmanya Tilak Award by the Tilak Smarak Trust, Pune
1997 Received Justice K.S. Hegde Foundation Award for the year 1996  
1997 Awarded Nikkei Asia prize for Regional Growth by the Nihon 
Keizai Shimbun Inc. (NIKKEI), publisher of Japan’s leading business daily  
1996   Honorary Professor, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, Delhi  
1995 Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary Award of the Indian Science 
Congress Association for 1994-95  
1994 Asiamoney Award, Finance Minister of the Year  
1994 Elected Distinguished Fellow, London School of Economics, Centre  for Asia Economy, Politics and Society  
1994 Elected Honorary Fellow, Nuffield College, University of Oxford, 
Oxford, U.K.  
1994 Honorary Fellow, All India Management Association  
1993   Euromoney Award, Finance Minister of the year
1993   Asiamoney Award, Finance Minister of the Year  
1987 Padma Vibhushan Award by the President of India
1986 National Fellow, national Institute of Education, N.C.E.R.T.  
1985 Elected President, Indian economic Association
1982   Elected Honorary Fellow, st. John’s College, Cambridge,
1982 Elected Honorary Fellow, Indian Institute of bankers
1976 Honorary Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
1957 Elected Wrenbury Scholar, University of Cambridge, U.K.
1955 Awarded Wright’s Prize for distinguished performance, &
St. John’s college, Cambridge, U.K.
1956 Awarded Adam Smith Prize, University of Cambridge, U.K.  
1954 Uttar Chand Kapur Medal, Panjab university, for standing first in
M.A.(Economics), panjab University, Chandigarh
1952 University Medal for standing First in B.A. Hon.(Economics),
panjab University, Chandigarh  
Recipient of Honorary Degrees of D.Litt. from :  
- Panjab University, Chandigarh  
- Guru Nanak University, Amritsar  
- Delhi University, Delhi  
- Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupathi  
- University of Bologna, Italy  
- University of Mysore, Mysore  
- Chaudhary charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar (D.Sc) 
- Kurukshetra University  
- Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology, patiala (D.Sc)  
- Nagarjuna University, Nagarjunanagar  
- Osmania University, Hyderabad  
- University of Roorkee, Roorkee (Doctor of Social Sciences)  
-   Doctor of Laws by the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada  
- Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar University (formerly Agra University) - Doctor Letters degree  
- Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad (Deemed University)  D.Sc. (Honoris Causa)
- Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur  
                                  WORK EXPERIENCE AND POSITIONS HELD
May 22, 2004 – till date:   Prime Minister of India
March 21, 1998 – May 22,2004: Leader of Opposition, Rajya Sabha (Council of States) Parliament of  India
June, 2001: Re-elected as member of Rajya  
Sabha for a Term of six years  
August 1, 1996 - Dec 4, 1997: Chairman, Parliamentary Standing
Committee on Commerce, Rajya Sabha 
June 21, 1991- May 15, 1996: Finance Minister of India  
June, 1995: Re-elected Member of Rajya
Sabha for a term of six years  
September, 1991:     Elected Member of Rajya Sabha    
March 1991-June 1991:     Chairman, University Grants Commission  
Dec 1990 – March 1991:   Advisor to Prime Minister of India on
Economic Affairs
August 1987 – Nov 1990:       Secretary General and Commissioner,
South Commission  
Jan 1985- July 1987:     Dy. Chairman, Planning Commission
of India  
Sept 1982 – Jan 1985:       Governor, Reserve Bank of India
April 1980 – Sept 1982:       Member-Secretary, Planning
Commission, India  
Nov.1976 – April 1980:           Secretary, Ministry of Finance  
Dept. of Economic Affairs,  
Government of India  
Member [Finance], Atomic Energy  
Commission, Govt. of  India
Member [Finance], Space 
Commission, Govt. of India  
1972 – 1976:         Chief Economic Adviser, Ministry of
Finance, India    
1971 – 1972:       Economic Adviser, Ministry of
Foreign Trade, India  
1969 – 1971:       Professor of International Trade, 
Delhi School of Economics,
Delhi University, India    
1966 – 1969:       UNCTAD, United Nations Secretariat,
New York  
Chief, Financing for Trade  Section
1966 : Economic Affairs Officer    
1957 – 1965         : Panjab University, Chandigarh 
 1963-65 : Professor of Economics
 1959-63 : Reader in Economics 
 1957-59 : Senior Lecturer in economics
                                                  OTHER ASSIGNMENTS
Leader of the Indian delegation to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Cyprus (1993)  
Leader of the Indian delegation to the Human Rights World Conference, Vienna (1993) 
Governor of India on the Board of Governors of the IMF and the International Bank of Reconstruction & Development (1991-95)  
Appointed by Prime Minister of India as Member, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (1983-84)  
Chairman, India Committee of the Indo-japan ;Joint Study Committee (1980-83)
- Leader, Indian Delegation to :  
Indo-Soviet Monitoring Group Meeting (1982)  
Indo-Soviet Joint Planning Group Meeting (1980-82)  
Aid India Consortium Meetings (1977-79)  
- Member Indian Delegation to :  
South-South Consultation, New Delhi (1982)  
Cancun Summit on North-South Issues (1981)  
Aid-India Consortium Meetings, Paris (1973-79)  
Annual Meetings of IMF, IBRD & Commonwealth 
Finance Ministers (1972-79) 
Third Session of UNCTAD, Santiago (April-May 1972)
Meetings of UNCTAD Trade & Development Board, 
Geneva (May 1971 – July 1972)
Ministerial Meeting of Group of 77, Lima (Oct.1971)
- Deputy for India on IMF Committee of Twenty on  
  International Monetary Reform (1972 – 74)  
- Associate, Meetings of IMF Interim Committee and Joint  
  Fund-Bank Development Committee (1976-80, 1982-85)
- Alternate Governor for India, Board of Governors of   
  IBRD (1976-80)  
- Alternate Governor  for India, Board of Governors of the
  IMF (1982-85)  
- Alternate Governor for India, Board of Governors, Asian
  Development Bank, Manila (1976-80)  
- Director, Reserve Bank of India (1976-80)  
- Director, Industrial Development Bank of India (1976-80)
- Participated in Commonwealth Prime Ministers Meeting,   
  Kingston (1975)  
- Represented Secretary;-General UNCTAD at several  
  inter-governmental meetings including :  
       Second Session of UNCTAD, 1968  
       Committee on Invisibles & Financing Related to Trade, 
       Consultant to UNCTAD, ESCAP and Commonwealth 
- Member, International Organizations :  
Appointed as Member by the Secretary-General, United Nations of a Group of Eminent Persons to advise him on Financing for Development (December, 2000)  
(i)         Author of book “India’s Export Trends and Prospects
            for Self-Sustained Growth” 
            [Clarendon Press, Oxford University, 1964]  
(ii)        Have published a large number of articles in 
            economic journals  
            S/o. Shri Gurmukh Singh  
            Born on 26th September, 1932  
            Married in 1958 to Smt. Gursharan Kaur  
            Have three daughters