Prime Minister of a country plays an important role towards the blooming and growth of the country. So, it’s important for an aspirant to know each and everything about the PM of the country as it has been seen that many times questions related to PM were asked in different exams like UPSC, SSC, Banking and Insurance. Keeping this prospect in mind we here with some of the important facts and figures about all the Prime Ministers of India.
01. Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru
(Two times, August 15, 1947 – May 27, 1964)
On August 15, 1947, a free India was born. Nehru was elected as the first Prime Minister of independent India. He was the first PM to hoist the national flag and make his iconic speech “Tryst with Destiny” from the ramparts of the Lal Quila (Red Fort).
Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru was born in Allahabad on November 14, 1889.
He received his early education at home under private tutors. At the age of fifteen, he went to England and after two years at Harrow joined Cambridge University where he took his tripos in Natural Sciences. He was later called to the Bar from Inner Temple. He returned to India in 1912 and plunged straight into politics. Even as a student, he had been interested in the struggle of all nations who suffered under foreign domination. He took a keen interest in the Sinn Fein Movement in Ireland. In India, he was inevitably drawn into the struggle for independence.
Death: In 1964, Jawaharlal Nehru has suffered a stroke and a heart attack. On 27 May 1964, Nehru passed away. Nehru was cremated at the Shantivana on the banks of the Yamuna River, Delhi. Memorial: Shantivan, New Delhi.
02. Gulzari Lal Nanda
(Two times, May 27, 1964 – June 9, 1964
January 11, 1966 – January 24, 1966)
was an eminent Indian politician who is widely known for his stint as interim Prime Minister of India twice. Though both his terms were uneventful, the timing was crucial. When Jawaharlal Nehru passed away in 1962,
India was trying to overcome from the war with China. At the crucial point, Nanda stepped up to lead the nation which was leaderless. Following the appointment of Lal Bahadur Shastri,
Nanda stepped down from his position as interim Prime Minister only to take it up yet again in 1966 when Lal Bahadur Shastri passed away. Once again, the time when Nanda stepped up was crucial as India was reeling from a war with Pakistan in 1965. Nanda served both the terms for merely thirteen days each.
Born on July 4, 1898, in Sialkot (Punjab), Shri Gulzarilal Nanda was educated at Lahore, Agra, and Allahabad. He worked as a research scholar on labour problems at the University of Allahabad (1920-1921) and became Professor of Economics at the National College (Bombay) in 1921. He joined the Non-Cooperation Movement the same year. In 1922, he becomes Secretary of the Ahmedabad Textile Labour Association in which he worked until 1946. He was imprisoned for Satyagraha in 1932, and again from 1942 to 1944.
Death: 15th January 1998 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
03. Lal Bahadur Shastri
(One time June 9, 1964 – January 11, 1966)
Lal Bahadur Shastri
was an Indian political leader who served as the Prime Minister of the Republic of India. Influenced by prominent Indian national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, he plunged into the Indian independence movement in the early 1920s. Before becoming the Prime Minister of India, he served in a number of other departments like the railway ministry and the home ministry. With his policies of non-alignment and socialism and influences of Nehruvian socialism in his political thinking, Shastri became one of the most loved political leaders of all times. He coined the famous slogan “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan” during the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965.
Lal Bahadur Shastri was born on October 2, 1901, at Mughalsarai, a small railway town seven miles from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. His father was a school teacher who died when Lal Bahadur Shastri was only a year and half old. His mother, still in her twenties, took her three children to her father’s house and settled down there.
Death: Lal Bahadur Shastri, who had earlier suffered two heart attacks, died of a third cardiac arrest on 11 January 1966 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He is the only incumbent Indian Prime Minister to have died overseas. Lal Bahadur Shastri was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award posthumously in 1966.
04. Indira Gandhi
(Three Times, January 14, 1980 – October 31, 1984
January 24, 1966 – March 24, 1977)
Indira Gandhi was an Indian politician and the only female Prime Minister of India. Following the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri on 11 January 1966, in Tashkent, the race to the coveted throne of the Prime Minister began. After much deliberation, Indira was chosen as the Prime Ministerial candidate by the Congress high command solely because they presumed that she could be easily manipulated. She contested and emerged victorious during the interim elections of 1966. In the 1980 elections, Congress returned to power with a landslide majority and Indira Gandhi returned as Prime Minister of India once again.
Born on November 19, 1917,
in an illustrious family, Smt. Indira Gandhi was the daughter of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. Being academically inclined, she studied at Ecole Nouvelle, Bex (Switzerland), Ecole Internationale, Geneva, Pupils’ Own School, Poona and Bombay, Badminton School, Bristol, Vishwa Bharati, Shantiniketan and Somerville College, Oxford. She was imprisoned in September 1942 and worked in riot-affected areas of Delhi in 1947 under Gandhiji’s guidance. She got married to Feroze Gandhi on March 26, 1942, and had two sons Rajiv Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi.
Assassination: On 31 October 1984, Indira Gandhi’s bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh fired a total of 31 bullets on Indira Gandhi from their service weapons as a revenge of the Golden Temple assault at her residence – 1, Safdarjung Road in New Delhi and she succumbed to her injuries. Memorial: Shakti Sthal, New Delhi
05. Morarji Ranchhodji Desai
(One time, March 24, 1977 – July 28, 1979)
Morarji Ranchhodji Desai was an Indian independence activist and the Prime Minister of India from 1977-79. He was the first Indian Prime Minister who did not belong to the Indian National Congress. He is the only Indian to receive the highest civilian awards from both India and Pakistan, the Bharat Ratna and Nishan-e-Pakistan.
Morarji Desai was born on February 29, 1896, in Bhadeli village, now in the Bulsar district of Gujarat. His father was a school teacher and a strict disciplinarian. From his childhood, young Morarji learned from his father the value of hard work and truthfulness under all circumstances. He was educated St. Busar High School and passed his matriculation examination. After graduating from the Wilson Civil Service of the then Bombay Province in 1918, he served as a Deputy Collector for twelve years.
Death: Morarji Ranchhodji Desai has died on 10 April 1995 in Mumbai.
06. Chaudhary Charan Singh
(One time, July 28, 1979 – January 14, 1980)
Chaudhary Charan Singh was the sixth Prime Minister of the Republic of India, serving from 28 July 1979 until 14 January 1980. The leader of the Bharatiya Lok Dal, a major constituent of the Janata coalition, he was disappointed in his ambition to become Prime Minister in 1977 by Jayaprakash Narayan’s choice of Morarji Desai. He settled at the time for the largely honorary post of Deputy Prime Minister of India.
Charan Singh was born in 1902 at Noorpur in Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh, in a middle-class peasant family. He graduated in science in 1923 and did his post-graduation from Agra University in 1925. Also trained in law, he set up practice at Ghaziabad. He shifted to Meerut in 1929 and later joined the Congress.
Death: at the age of 84 he died on May 29, 1987, in New Delhi. Memorial: Kisan Ghat.
07. Rajiv Gandhi
(One time, October 31, 1984 – December 2, 1989)
At 40, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi was the youngest Prime Minister of India, perhaps even one of the youngest elected heads of Government in the world. His mother, Smt. Indira Gandhi, was eight years older when she first became Prime Minister in 1966. His illustrious grandfather, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, was 58 when he started the long innings of 17 years as free India’s first Prime Minister.
Rajiv Gandhi was born on August 20, 1944, in Bombay. He was just three when India became independent and his grandfather became Prime Minister. His parents moved to New Delhi from Lucknow. His father, Feroze Gandhi, became an M.P. and earned a reputation as a fearless and hard-working Parliamentarian.
Assassination: On 21 May 1991, on his way towards the dais, Rajiv Gandhi was garlanded by many Congress supporters and well-wishers. At around 10 pm, the assassin greeted him and bent down to touch his feet. She then exploded an RDX explosive-laden belt attached to her waist-belt. The act of violence was reportedly carried out by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), in retaliation to the involvement of Indian Peace-keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka. Memorial: Rajiv Gandhi Memorial, Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu.
08. Vishwanath Pratap Singh
(One time, December 2, 1989 – November 10, 1990)
Vishwanath Pratap Singh was eighth Prime Minister of India in 1989–90. He was sworn in as India’s prime minister on December 2, 1989. After state legislative elections in March 1990, Singh’s governing coalition achieved control of both houses of India’s parliament. The coalition was soon riven by disputes having to do with religious and caste issues, however, and Singh resigned on November 7, 1990, after receiving a vote of no confidence in the Lok Sabha.
Born on June 25, 1931, at Allahabad, Shri V.P. Singh is the son of Raja Bahadur Ram Gopal Singh. He was educated at Allahabad and Poona Universities. He was married to Smt. Sita Kumari on June 25, 1955, and has two sons. A scholarly man, he was the proud founder of Gopal Vidyalaya, Intermediate College, Koraon, Allahabad. He was the President of the Students Union at Udai Pratap College, Varanasi in 1947-48 and was the Vice-President, Allahabad University Students Union. He actively participated in Bhoodan movement in 1957 and donated a well-established farm in village Pasna, District Allahabad.
Death: Vishwanath Pratap Singh has died on November 27, 2008 in New Delhi.
09. Chandra Shekhar
(One time, November 10, 1990 – June 21, 1991)
Chandra Shekhar was sworn in as Prime Minister of India from November 1990 to June 1991. Shekhar was a leading member of the Socialist Party before he joined the ruling Congress Party in 1964. He was a member of India’s upper legislative chamber, the Rajya Sabha, from 1962 to 1967, and he held a seat in the lower chamber, the Lok Sabha, in 1977–79, 1980–84, and from 1989 until he became prime minister. Shekhar split with the leader of the Congress Party, Indira Gandhi, in 1975 and spent time in prison during the national emergency she subsequently declared.
Chandra Shekhar was born on July 1, 1927, in a farmer’s family in village Ibrahimpatti in District Ballia, Uttar Pradesh. He was President of the Janata Party from 1977 to 1988. Chandra Shekhar was attracted to politics from his student days and was known as a fire-brand idealist with revolutionary fervour. After his Master’s Degree in Political Science from Allahabad University (1950-51), he joined the Socialist Movement.
Death: Chandra Shekhar has died on 8 July 2007 in New Delhi.
10. Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao
(One time, June 21, 1991- May 16, 1996)
P.V. Narasimha Rao was the first Prime Minister outside the Nehru-Gandhi family to serve office for five years. He is credited with resurrecting India’s economy. PV Narasimha Rao remained in office as the Prime Minister from June 21, 1991, to May 16, 1996.
Son of Shri P. Ranga Rao, Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao was born on June 28, 1921 at Karimnagar, Andhra Pradesh (Now in Telangana). He studied at Osmania University, Hyderabad, Bombay University and the Nagpur University. A widower, Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao is the father of three sons and five daughters. Narasimha Rao took over as Home Minister on July 19, 1984. He was re-appointed to this post, with the additional charge of the Ministry of Planning, on November 5, 1984. Appointed Minister of Defence from December 31, 1984, to September 25, 1985. On September 25, 1985, he took over as Minister of Human Resource Development.
Death: P.V. Narasimha Rao has died on 23 December 2004 in New Delhi.
11. H. D. Deve Gowda
(One time, June 1, 1996 – April 21, 1997)
Haradanahalli Dodde Gowda Deve Gowda was the Prime Minister of India and was also the fourteenth Chief Minister of Karnataka. He is the leader of the Janata Dal (Secular) political party and is also a member of the Parliament representing the Hassan district of Karnataka. H.D. Deve Gowda is well known for listening patiently to every class of society and was thus called the ‘Son of the Soil’. During his working days, he was also engaged in reading books in the library of the Legislative Assembly. Apart from this, he is popular for performing and maintaining the reputation and dignity of the Parliament.
H. D. Deve Gowda, a staunch crusader of socio-economic development and an ardent admirer of the rich cultural heritage of India, was born on May 18, 1933 in Haradanahalli village of Holenarasipura taluk, Hassan District in Karnataka. A Civil Engineering Diploma holder, Deve Gowda plunged into active politics at the early age of 20 when, after completing his education, he joined the Congress Party in 1953 and remained a member till 1962. Coming from a middle-class agrarian background and exposed to the hardships of farmer’s life, young Gowda vowed to become a fighter who would take up the cause of poor farmers, underprivileged and oppressed sections of society.
12. Inder Kumar Gujral
(One time, April 21, 1997 – March 19, 1998)
Inder Kumar Gujral was sworn in as the 12th Prime Minister of India the 21st of April, 1997. Son of Late Shri Avtar Narain Gujral and Late Smt. Pushpa Gujral, Shri Gujral is M.A., B.Com. Ph.D. & D.Litt. (Hons. Causa). He was born at Jhelum (in undivided Punjab) on 4th December 1919. He and Smt. Shiela Gujral was married on May 26, 1945. Gujral belongs to a family of freedom fighters: both his parents participated in the freedom struggle in Punjab. At the young age of eleven, he himself actively participated in the freedom struggle in 1931 and was arrested and severely beaten by the police for organizing movement of young children in the Jhelum town. In 1942, he was jailed during the Quit India Movement.
Before assuming the office of the Prime Minister of India, Gujral was the Minister of External Affairs from June 1, 1996, and held additional charge of the Ministry of Water Resources from June 28, 1996. He was the Minister of External Affairs earlier during 1989-1990. He was Ambassador of India to U.S.S.R. (Cabinet Rank) from 1976-1980 and held the Ministerial positions from 1967-1976.
13. Atal Bihari Vajpayee
(Three times, March 19, 1998 – May 22, 2004
May 16, 1996 – June 1, 1996)
A man of the masses, firm in his political convictions. 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 first Prime Minister since Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to have become Prime Minister of India with two 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 Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Chairperson of various important Standing Committees of Parliament and Leader of the Opposition, he has been an active participant in shaping India’s post-Independence domestic and foreign policy.
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.
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, the forceful orator, poet and litterateur, journalist and indeed a multi-faceted personality…Atalji articulates the aspirations of the masses… his works ever echo the total commitment to nationalism. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has been conferred with India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna by the President of India Pranab Mukherjee on 27th March 2015.
14. Dr. Manmohan Singh
(Two times, May 22, 2004 – 26th May 2014)
India’s fourteenth Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh is rightly acclaimed as a thinker and a scholar. He is well regarded for his diligence and his academic approach to work, as well as his accessibility and his unassuming demeanour.
In 1971, Dr. Singh joined the Government of India as Economic Advisor in the Commerce Ministry. In his political career, Dr. Singh has been a Member of India’s Upper House of Parliament (the Rajya Sabha) since 1991, where he was Leader of the Opposition between 1998 and 2004. Dr. Manmohan Singh was sworn in as Prime Minister on 22nd May after the 2004 general elections and took the oath of office for a second term on 22nd May 2009.
This was soon followed by his appointment as Chief Economic Advisor in the Ministry of Finance in 1972. Among the many Governmental positions that Dr. Singh has occupied are Secretary in the Ministry of Finance; Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission; Governor of the Reserve Bank of India; Advisor of the Prime Minister; and Chairman of the University Grants Commission. In what was to become the turning point in the economic history of independent India, Dr. Singh spent five years between 1991 and 1996 as India’s Finance Minister. His role in ushering in a comprehensive policy of economic reforms is now recognized worldwide. In the popular view of those years in India, that period is inextricably associated with the persona of Dr. Singh.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was born on September 26, 1932, in a village in the Punjab province of undivided India. Dr. Singh completed his Matriculation examinations from the Punjab University in 1948. His academic career took him from Punjab to the University of Cambridge, UK, where he earned a First Class Honours degree in Economics in 1957. Dr. Singh followed this with a D. Phil in Economics from Nuffield College at Oxford University in 1962. His book, “India’s Export Trends and Prospects for Self-Sustained Growth” [Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1964] was an early critique of India’s inward-oriented trade policy.
15. Narendra Modi
(26th May 2014 to present)
On 26th May 2014 Narendra Modi took oath as the Prime Minister of India, becoming the first ever PM to be born after India attained Independence. Dynamic, dedicated and determined, Narendra Modi reflects the aspiration and hope of over a billion Indians. Ever since he assumed office in May 2014, PM Modi has embarked on a journey of all-around and inclusive development where every Indian can realize their hopes and aspirations. He remains deeply inspired by the principle of ‘Antyodaya’, of serving the last person in the queue. In the year 2001, he became the Chief Minister of his home State Gujarat and went on to serve a record four terms as Chief Minister. He transformed Gujarat, which was reeling from the after-effects of a devastating earthquake, into a growth engine that makes a strong contribution to India’s development.
Born on 17 September 1950 in a small town in Gujarat, he grew up in a poor but loving family ‘without a spare rupee’. The initial hardships of life not only taught the value of hard work but also exposed him to the avoidable sufferings of the common people. This inspired him from a very young age to immerse himself in service of people and the nation. In initial years, he worked with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) a Nationalist organization devoted to nation building and later devoted himself to politics working with the Bharatiya Janta Party organization at National and State level. Shri Modi completed his MA in political science from Gujarat University.
Source- Prime Minister Office (PMO India)