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Former Prime Minister P V Narsimha Rao News: Today our readers will know detailed coverage about our former prime minister P V Narsimha Rao. He had in his credit several reforms as prime minister and at other responsible positions. A low-profile leader full of courageous decision-making abilities will always be remembered by the citizens of this great nation.

Highlights

  • A master of practical politics, a great intellectual, a scholar, thinker
  • An author, extraordinary scholar and linguist whose authority was over 16 languages
  • Would be remembered for his historical contribution to the country
  • Born in a remote village in Andhra Pradesh, worked hard for the nation and became PM
  • PM Modi said in his tribute, former PM led the country at a very crucial time in our history
  • A low-profile leader Rao came into limelight after the assassination of then PM Rajiv Gandhi in 1991
  • Became PM when India’s foreign exchange reserves were hardly enough for two weeks of imports
  • In the financial crisis, he took a courageous step of appointing an economist Manmohan Singh as FM
  • As PM faced political turbulence – Babri demolition; Bombay blasts; Separatism in J&K
  • Rao made changes in several rules in an initial 100 days to improve the economic situation
  • Rupee depreciated, new trade policy, many laws changed – FERA
  • Fiscal stabilization program, public sector share dis-investment drive launched
  • Militant activities were concluded in Punjab

A person born in a remote village became Prime Minister

Today, the entire nation is celebrating the 100th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Narasimha Rao. He was the ninth Prime Minister of the country. The great son of India, late P.V. Narasimha Rao was a master of practical politics, a great intellectual, a scholar, thinker, writer and linguist, and a person who would be remembered for his historical contribution to the country. His political foresight, his ability to understand complex issues, and his determination to find solutions to the most complex problems were all due to his wisdom.

Narasimha Rao was born in a remote village in the Warangal district of Telangana (then Andhra Pradesh) state on June 28, 1921. He worked hard for the progressive development of the country and became prime minister. Narasimha Rao passed away on December 23, 2004, in Delhi. Many people affectionately called him PV.

PM Paid Tribute to Predecessor Narasimha Rao in Man Ki Bat program

Prime Minister Narendra Modi while paying tribute to the former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao said, his initiatives revived the economy from red path to the path of recovery. On Sunday, speaking in the ‘Man Ki Bat’ program PM Modi said:

“Today on 28 June, India is paying tribute to its former Prime Minister, who led the country at a very crucial time in our history. Today is the beginning of the birth centenary year of Shri PV Narasimha Rao, a great political leader and a scholar who had joined the freedom movement in his teens and was at the forefront in raising his voice against injustice”.

Came into limelight after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991

Rao, a low-profile leader had come into political limelight after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. Under his prime Minister-ship, the country went through much political turbulence – including the Babri Masjid demolition, the Bombay bomb blasts, and the rising separatism in Jammu-Kashmir.

Became PM when Foreign Exchange Reserve was for two weeks imports

He had a glorious success when he took the next phase of the country’s reforms in 1991. These economic reforms paved the way for the country to move towards the use of its economic potential. He took over the reins of the country’s prime minister at the time when the country was reeling under severe economic problems. This was the time when India’s foreign exchange reserves had fallen to US$ 1 billion, which was hardly enough for two weeks of imports.

As PM bypassed convention, appointed an economist as FM

In the face of this financial crisis, he took a courageous step and abandoned the general policy of appointing a senior political person as a finance minister. Instead, he appointed the former Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, as his government’s Finance Minister. Dr. Singh, a well-known economist, as Secretary, Economic Affairs, and Governor of the Reserve Bank of India had a good experience of policy formulation.

P V Narsimha Rao gave Dr. Manmohan Singh full freedom to get out of the crisis and initiate far-reaching economic reforms. Thus, this pair of pragmatic politicians and economists, the finance minister, launched a fundamental policy of economic liberalization. Rao himself led the effort to abolish the licensing system by taking over the additional charge of the Industry Minister as Prime Minister.

All major decisions in the first 100 days as PM

Rao made changes in several rules within the initial 100 days to improve the economic situation. The rupee depreciated, the new trade policy was introduced, a better environment for business, so many laws were changed. The Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) was changed. A fiscal stabilization program was launched to attract foreign companies. Also, the public sector share dis-investment drive was launched. It is said that the work done in those 100 days was the base for the rest of the period.

Outlined economic reforms that gave a new dimension to India’s economy

Globalization had come all over the world, but India was insulated from it. India then decided to open its doors to it through economic liberalization. The economic revolution and globalization in the country were initiated by Manmohan Singh. In the five years between 1991 and 1996, Manmohan Singh outlined economic reforms that gave a new dimension to India’s economy.

Opportunity to show the entrepreneurial prowess of the Indian brain

P V Narsimha Rao: Today, if many big Indian corporate houses are registering their presence all over the world by becoming the energy of development, it has been partly due to the vision of Rao. These economic reforms allowed showing the entrepreneurial prowess of the Indian brain in various sectors of the economy. Measures such as setting prudential norms in capital adequacy and classification of assets in our banks in the financial sector, licensing of new private banks and gradual deregulation of foreign regulation, and convertibility of the issue were implemented.

Privatization and disinvestment and FDI to make competitive

Private sector participation was encouraged by privatization and disinvestment to facilitate market orientation and to make our PSUs competitive. Sector-based reforms such as liberalization of foreign investment, foreign trade, and tax reforms have seeded much-needed changes in the stimulus structure of the economy. These changes have boosted the dormant fertilizer and competitive spirit in our businesses. These reforms ushered in transforming the role of ‘State’ into a facilitator rather than a provider of goods and services.

Emphasized importance of state intervention in the Eighth Five Year Plan

But adopting a policy of liberalization is not indicative of the end of the role of the State in fulfilling the important task of social development. This is an area in which Rao’s pragmatism is evident. While he acknowledged the need for a greater role in the development of the country’s economy, he also emphasized the importance of state intervention in the development of human capital and was given primacy in the Eighth Five Year Plan.

Higher employment opportunities

To achieve this goal, the emphasis was given on employment generation, literacy, education, health, drinking water, and proper food and basic infrastructure. The Government was willing to take responsibility for providing basic elements that would help in the development of human resources. These policies helped in achieving higher employment opportunities, poverty reduction, and self-reliance in agriculture and economic growth of 6.5 percent, the highest for any five-year plan period till then.

The country got three auto hubs as a result of Narasimha Rao’s policy

P V Narsimha Rao: The foundation of the country’s three auto hubs is the result of Narasimha Rao’s policy. Delhi NCR has a production treaties center of automobile companies like Honda, Maruti, and Yamaha. There are huge plants of Hyundai and Ford in Chennai. Pune has a plant of Bajaj, Mahindra, and Mercedes. Thousands of people of this country work in these manufacturing hubs. Indirectly, lakhs of people are employed, and they have a great contribution to the economy of the country. At a point in 1977, George Fernandes refused to plant Coca-Cola in India. Later, because of the steps taken by Narasimha Rao, the company came back.

Rao instrumental in India’s involvement in the WTO in 1995

Another important decision was India’s involvement in the WTO in 1995 and the role of Rao was prominent. Various agreements, including the formation of the World Trade Organization, were stalled by the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations and the inclusion of GATT, and in implementing India’s position under the V.P.

Video Credit: BBC HIndi

P V Narsimha Rao: Singh’s government was hesitant and in dilemma. There was strong opposition in the country on the implications of India’s decision to join the all-inclusive multilateral trade treaty. Dr. Pranav Mukherji signed the multilateral WTO trade agreement with other countries in Marrakesh in April 1994 as Commerce Minister at that time.

Concluded Punjab Khalistan and J&K Hazratbal terrorist Problems

His achievements were not confined to the economic sector only. He succeeded in finding a solution to many problems by demonstrating great political skills. During his prime minister-ship, militant activities were concluded in Punjab. After the election, a popular government under Beant Singh succeeded in working. In Jammu and Kashmir, the terrorists who captured Hazratbal were also evacuated without damaging the holy shrine.

I decide not to make a decision

Late Narasimha Rao had a different style of work. He understood the characteristic of patience and waited until the consensus was reached as per the need of the situation. When he decided not to take any action, he used to do it for a particular purpose. According to him,

“when I don’t make a decision, it’s not because I don’t think about it.”

I think about it and then decide not to make a decision. But when it was a matter of administration and governance, his decision-making ability was reflected in his speed and in his decisive manner in implementing them.

A successful model in leading the Minority Congress Government

Because of his special style and political prowess, he succeeded in leading the Minority Congress government after the general elections of 1991, with 232 Members of Parliament in the 10th Lok Sabha. Nevertheless, his government lasted for the entire five years and he showed the charisma of laying the foundation stone of consensus-based politics.

Extraordinary achievement in foreign policy

Rao is also credited with the extraordinary achievement in foreign policy. He was the Foreign Minister for nearly seven years during which he gave some new foreign policy dimensions to the nation. He pursued the nation and further accelerated the nation’s nuclear and ballistic missile program, establishing close ties with the world after the Cold War.

P V Narasimha Rao introduced the ‘ Look East ‘ policy

Being a visionary, late Narasimha Rao introduced the ‘ Look East ‘ policy and gave a different meaning to India’s relationship with ASEAN. India became Asean’s sectoral dialogue partner in 1992 and became a full-fledged dialogue partner in 1996. The various dimensions of the relationship culminated in the summit level partnership with ASEAN in trade, economics, culture, and politics, and thereafter it has strengthened, which has benefited our country immensely and the direct credit goes to the concept of Rao.

Setting up Navodaya Vidyalayas for underprivileged

As Minister of Human Resource Development, he realized imparting good education to the poor and underprivileged by setting up Navodaya Vidyalayas. They have now evolved into a range of schools and are imparting education to about 1.60 lakh students from disadvantaged sections of the society.

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It is heartening to know that about 77 percent of the students in these schools are from rural areas and most importantly, the percentage of classes 10 and 12 of these schools is the highest in all categories of schools.

As Andhra CM initiated Educational Reforms

Rao’s contribution also benefited his home state, Andhra Pradesh. First as a Minister and then as Chief Minister, he is credited with many far-reaching reforms. As the Education Minister of Andhra Pradesh, he took several initiatives to make educational institutions more aware of the needs of the students. He stressed on the up-gradation of education in the field of science and technology.

Implemented Land Blockade Act in Andhra Pradesh

As Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh from 1971 to 1973, he was firm in his commitment to implement the Land Blockade Act in the State. The Act became one of the most effective land blockades acts in the country. He had initiated these reforms with the sole goal of creating parity by providing benefits to the poor and landless people, amidst strong opposition. He became the most progressive Chief Minister of the state.

Author, extraordinary scholar, and linguist authority over 16 languages

Behind the well-known political personality of late Narasimha Rao, was an author, extraordinary scholar, and linguist whose authority was over 16 languages both Indian and foreign. He wrote narrative literature in Hindi, Marathi, and Telugu and translated literary works. He earned appreciation from the portrayal of India’s contemporary politics in his novel ‘ The Insider ‘, depicting a person who rose from the grassroots level in Indian politics.

Nation will remember a courageous leader with gratitude

Narasimha Rao will be remembered as a great leader of our country and as a man who has shown the courage to take the nation to the right path of reforms in the face of the worst difficulties. Narasimha Rao was among the few leaders who received praise from people of different political ideologies. The nation will remember him with gratitude.