15 Indian Prime Ministers and Their Historic Decisions That We Can’t Forget

This 26th January, the world’s largest democracy walks into its 72nd Republic Day. On this day in 1950, India’s constitution came into force, giving its independence formal recognition. At that point in time, we had Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as the nation’s Prime Minister. Since then, we had around 15 Indian Prime Ministers leading the country as the de facto head. It took us nearly 70 years to get back our former glory, and every Prime Minister had something to offer in this journey.

Indian Prime Ministers Tenure

We, at GrabOn, decided to list out the leaders of our great nation and their achievements during their tenure in office. This Republic Day, don’t just know the leaders of the nation. Also, know what they did for the nation.

List of 15 Indian Prime Ministers and Their Historic Decisions

15. Narendra Modi

Tenure: 26th May 2014- Present

Indian PM Narendra Modi

About Narendra Modi

After coming to power after riding the ‘Modi Wave’, Mr Modi went on to create history by becoming India’s most popular Prime Minister. Currently the 14th Prime Minister of the Country (Gulzarilal Nanda’s tenure was considered to be acting PM), Modi went on to bring massive economic reforms. Before becoming the PM, he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014. In 2019, a UK magazine poll voted Modi as the world’s most powerful leader. We have compiled all the major decisions taken by him till date.

Place of birth: Vadnagar
Qualification: Bachelor of Arts in political science, School of Open learning at University of Delhi
Caste: Ghanchi-Teli

Indian PM Narendra Modi

He sits on a list of achievements, including:

  • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao movement to promote girls’ education
  • Make in India and Digital India campaign to improve online infrastructure of the country and make India a global manufacturing leader
  • Witnessed a Growth in GDP from 5% to 7.4% in 2018
  • Lowered the corporate tax rate from 30% to 22% on September 20, 2019
  • Started Ayushman Bharat to provide free medical treatment to the targeted sections
  • Introduced Rs. 25000 crore worth special fund to complete housing projects for the middle class
  • Provided 10% reservation to economically weaker sections
  • PM Kisan scheme to benefit over 14.5 crore farmers
  • Inducted Rafale jets in the Indian Army to boost India’s air power capability
  • Announced Rs. 20 lakh crore relief package to make the self-reliant during COVID-19 pandemic

14. Dr Manmohan Singh

Tenure: 22nd May 2004- 26th May 2014

Indian PM Manmohan Singh Achievements

About Manmohan Singh

Considered to be India’s best Finance Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh is considered to be one of the best economists in the country. He joined the Indian government as Economic Advisor in the Ministry of Commerce. He also held various portfolios such as Advisor to the Prime Minister, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission and Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. As the Prime Minister of the country, he was in charge of some of the biggest changes in the country.

Place of birth: Gah, Pakistan
Qualification: Bachelor’s and Master’s in Economics
Caste: Sikh

Indian PM Manmohan Singh Achievements 2

His wonderful achievements include:

  • Highest GDP growth since Independence
  • Became the world’s 2nd fastest growing economy
  • Launched National Rural Healthcare
  • Passed the RTI Act
  • Improved diplomatic relations

13. Inder Kumar Gujral

Tenure: 21st April 1997- 19th March 1998

Indian PM Inder Kumar Gujral Achievements

About Inder Kumar Gujral

Famous for implementing the Gujral Doctrine, Mr. I.K Gujral was also in office for 10 months. Mr. I.K Gujral held important positions including Minister of External Affairs, Water Resources Minister and Minister of Information and Broadcasting before handling the PM office. Gujral was also a part of India’s freedom struggle and was jailed for taking part in the Quit India Movement.

Place of Birth: Jhelum, Pakistan
Qualification: Bachelor of Commerce, Punjab University
Caste: Punjabi

12. Haradanahalli Doddegowda Deve Gowda

Tenure: 1st June 1996- 21st April 1997

Indian PM H D Deve Gowda Achievements

About Haradanahalli Doddegowda

Holding the post for 10 months, Mr. Gowda was also the head of the United Front Government. In these 10 months of tenure, he was also the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the United Front. This was the highest body which was in charge of all the constituents of the ruling front. During his tenure as the Chief Minister of Karnataka, he successfully led the government by tackling many issues.

Place of Birth: Haradanahalli, Karnataka
Qualification: Diploma in civil engineering from L. V. Polytechnic
Caste: Lingayath

11. Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Tenure: 16th May 1996- 1st June 1996; 19th March 1998- 10th October 1999; 10th October 1999- 22nd May 2004

Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee Achievements

About Atal Bihari Vajpayee

One of the most recognised politicians of India, Mr Vajpayee was the first non-Congress Prime Minister to hold office for a full term. He was one of the co-founder and the first President of the currently ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Under his tenure as the PM, India transitioned into a new era and saw a lot of changes. His government made efforts to enhance the digital connectivity in the country and made India a ‘software super power’.

Place of Birth: Gwalior
Qualification: BA in Hindi, English and Sanskrit and MA in political science
Caste: Hindu Brahmin

His other key achievements include:

Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee Achievements

  • India carried out the Pokhran II nuclear tests
  • Encouraged private sector and foreign investments
  • Implemented National Highway Development Project
  • Implemented Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan

10. P.V Narasimha Rao

Tenure: 21st June 1991-16th May 1996

Indian PM Narasimha Rao Achievements

About P.V Narasimha Rao

Referred to as the Father of Indian Economic Reforms, Narasimha Rao was instrumental to India’s growth and globalisation. Before becoming the PM of India, he was the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. He also held various portfolios in Andhra Pradesh’s cabinet and was responsible for major reforms in the state. Under his Prime Ministership, India experienced a shift in its economic model; going from a mixed economy to a market economy.

Place of Birth: Laknepally, Telangana
Qualification: Master’s degree in law, Hislop College
Caste: Telugu Niyogi Brahmin

Some of his key achievements were:

  • Managed India’s economic crisis of 1991
  • Abolished License Raj
  • Opened Equity Market for foreign investments
  • Boosted India’s Nuclear Program

9. Chandra Shekhar Singh

Tenure: 10th November 1990- 21st June 1991

Indian PM Chandra Shekhar Achievements

About Chandra Shekhar Singh

The second shortest tenure after Mr. Charan Singh, Chandra Shekhar’s tenure lasted a little over 7 months. He was attracted to politics from a young age and was known for his revolutionary ideas revolving around politics of social change. He also held the post of Minister of Home Affairs during his period in the office of Prime Minister. Due to the political instability at that point, he couldn’t contribute much.

Place of Birth: Ibrahimpatti
Qualification: Bachelor of Arts, Satish Chandra PG College and Master’s in political science, Allahabad University
Caste: Rajput

8. Vishwanath Pratap Singh

Tenure: 2nd December 1989- 10th November 1990

Indian PM V P Singh Achievements

About Vishwanath Pratap Singh

The 7th Prime Minister of India, Vishwanath Pratap Singh started his political journey from the age of 10. Before becoming the PM, he was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. He also held various portfolios in the union cabinet such as Minister of Commerce and Minister of Finance and Defence. Known for the implementation of the Mandal Commission, during his Prime Ministership, Mr V.P Singh’s short tenure of 11 months was full of interesting developments.

Place of Birth: Prayagraj
Qualification: B.Sc from University of Pune and B.A., L.L.B from Allahabad University
Caste: Rajput

  • Handled domestic controversies, including the kidnapping of his Home Minister’s daughter
  • Stopped Pakistan’s attempt to start a border war with India.
  • Apologised for Operation Blue Star and curbed the insurgency in Punjab

7. Rajiv Gandhi

Tenure: 31st October 1984- 2nd December 1989

Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi Achievements

About Rajiv Gandhi

Part of the Gandhi-Nehru family, Rajiv Gandhi was the son of Indira Gandhi. After his brother, Mr Sanjay Gandhi, died in an aeroplane crash, Rajiv Gandhi decided to enter politics. He was (and still is) the youngest person to hold the post of Prime Minister in India. Having acquired a commercial pilot’s license, Rajiv also worked for Indian Airlines. As a PM, he is often credited with contributing the most towards India’s IT revolution.

Place of Birth: Mumbai, Maharashtra
Qualification: B.Tech, Trinity College (dropped out)
Caste: Kashmiri Pandit

Below are some of his key achievements.

  • Reduced License Raj
  • Reforms in Economic Policies
  • Improved relations with both USA and USSR
  • Helped contribute massively to the IT Revolution

6. Charan Singh

Tenure: 28th July 1979- 14th January 1980

Indian PM Charan Singh Achievements

About Charan Singh

Considered to be the champion of peasants, Chaudhary Charan Singh enjoyed a brief time in the office. A lawyer by profession, Singh served Uttar Pradesh in various capacities and was known for raising his voice against corruption, nepotism and inefficiency in the administrator. He is also the man behind major land reforms in UP. He was an avid reader and author of several books including ‘Abolition of Zamindari’.

Place of Birth: Hapur
Qualification: L.L.B and Master’s in Arts from Agra University
Caste: Jat

During his short tenure, he took the following key decisions.

  • Presented novel strategies to deal with India’s development
  • Vocal about the upliftment of the backward classes

5. Morarji Desai

Tenure: 24th March 1977- 28th July 1979

Indian PM Morarji Desai Achievements

About Morarji Desai

The first Indian PM who was not from the Congress party, Morarji Desai was (and still is) the oldest person to hold the Prime Minister’s office. A renowned independence activist, Desai led the government formed by the Janata Party. Before serving as the PM, he was the 2nd Chief Minister of Bombay state from 1952 to 1956.

Place of Birth: Valsad
Qualification: Graduated from Wilson College, Mumbai
Caste: Brahmin

In his two years in the office as India’s Prime Minister, he brought about some major reforms.

  • Banned currency notes worth Rs 1000, Rs 5000 and Rs 10000
  • Formally ended the state of emergency called by Indira Gandhi and removed media censorship
  • Supported peace activism and initiated peace talks with Pakistan

4. Indira Gandhi

Tenure: 24th January 1966 to 24 March 1977; 14th January 1980 to 31st October 1984

Indira Gandhi Achievements

About Indira Gandhi

Known as the Iron Lady of India, Indira Gandhi was and till date the only female Prime Minister of India. Before becoming the Prime Minister, she served as the Minister of Information and Broadcasting from 1964 to 1966. Besides serving as the PM of India, she concurrently held various portfolios including Minister of Atomic Energy, Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of External Affairs. A central figure in Indian politics, Indira Gandhi brought in a lot of changes.

Place of Birth: Prayagraj
Qualification: Visva-Bharati University (dropped-out) and Somerville College, Oxford (dropped-out)
Caste: Kashmiri Pandit

PM Indira Gandhi Achievements 2

Her key achievements are:

  • Nationalized banks
  • Reduced unemployment
  • Introduced equal pay for genders
  • Strengthened international and domestic policies
  • Increased national security
  • Integrated Sikkim as an Indian State in 1975

3. Lal Bahadur Shastri

Tenure: 9th June 1964 to 11th Jan 1966

Lal Bahadur Shastri Achievements

About Lal Bahadur Shastri

Considered to be a leader of the masses, Lal Bahadur Shastri also served as the Railway Minister and Home Minister. In his two-year tenure, before his tragic death, he brought in some key achievements. His famous slogan ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ during the 1965 Indo-Pakistan to cheer the soldiers and farmers was extremely popular.

Place of Birth: Mughalsarai
Qualification: Bachelor’s in philosophy and ethics, Vidyapith
Caste: Kayasth

His achievements include:

  • Brought about the Green Revolution
  • Helped the dairy industry produce more, which lead to the 1970 Operation Flood.
  • Helped India harness nuclear power
  • Maintained International Relations, including the signing of the Tashkent Agreement

2. Gulzarilal Nanda

Tenure: 27th May 1964 to 9th June 1964; 11th January to 24th January 1966

Indian PM Gulzarilal Nanda Achievements

About Gulzarilal Nanda

Serving as the acting Prime Minister after the death of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, Mr. Nanda served the office for two months. Apart from being a politician, he was an economist who worked as a research scholar on labour issues. He also held the post of Union Minister for Labour and Employment. In his brief tenure, he did not sit quietly. Instead, he brought about numerous changes. Later, he was again appointed as the acting Prime Minister after the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri for 13 days.

Place of Birth: Sialkot, Pakistan
Qualification: Studies in Lahore, Agra and Allahabad. Research scholar on labour problems, University of Allahabad
Caste: Punjabi

His achievements include:

  • He served as the PM during a very critical time, considering the political instability just after the major 1962 Indo-China War and the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War
  • Brought Labour Reforms

1. Jawaharlal Nehru

Tenure: 15th August 1947 to 27th May 1964

PM Nehru Achievements

About Jawaharlal Nehru:

The longest-serving Prime Minister, Chacha Nehru (as he is fondly remembered) was a central figure in the Indian politics, both before and after independence. Born on 14 November 1889, his significant focus was to enhance the country’s industrial sector for which he started the ‘five-year plan in 1951′.

Place of Birth: Prayagraj
Qualification: Graduated with honours degree in natural science, Trinity College
Caste: Kashmiri Pandit

Besides his famous non-aligned policies in foreign affairs, his other key achievements are:

  • Set up premier institutions like IITs, IIMs, AIMMS etc.
  • Agricultural Growth – Abolished Giant Landholdings, Undertook irrigation projects
  • Helped recover the economy by increasing the GDP & GNP by 4%. World Trade Share decreased by 0.5%
  • Helped in social changes by decriminalizing caste-based discrimination, worked towards women rights etc.
  • Made primary education available for every child
  • Helped India build a good rapport in international politics and pacified domestic struggle

Nehru Prime Minister Achievements

The list can go on. Considering he was India’s first Prime Minister and served for 17 years, it is hardly a surprise.

So, that’s the country’s history. How well do you know the men who shaped our country?

We wish you a Happy Independence Day this 2020 and hope you actively show interest in the country’s policies. How will this country prosper if the citizens are not active and show an educated opinion when it comes to the country’s welfare!

5 COMMENTS

  1. Hi , pls update the information- Dr. Manmohan Singh did not loose election on 2014 and neither he was a prime minister candidate For 2014.

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