15 Indian Prime Ministers and Their Historic Decisions [2024 Updated]

Lok Sabha Election Result 2024

In 2024, India, the biggest democracy, held the world’s largest election. The 18th general election of India was held in 7 phases from 19th April to 1st June. This is the second longest-running Lok Sabha election after the country’s first-ever election in 1951–52, between October 1951 and February 1952. India set a world record with 64.2 crore voters which includes 31.2 crore women and 33 crore male voters in the Lok Sabha election 2024. 

The main highlight of the 2024 Lok Sabha election is the fight between BJP-led NDA and I.N.D.I Alliance. In NDA, you can find parties, like BJP, National People’s Party, Janata Dal (Secular), etc., and in I.N.D.I Alliance, you can find parties, like Congress, TMC, DMK, AAP, etc. Before 4th June, the counting day, ministers of I.N.D.I Alliance were confident that they would cross the 290 mark and form government in the center. Whereas, BJP ministers were confident that NDA would cross the 400 mark and become the second party after Congress to cross the milestone. However, according to the exit polls and early vote counts, the NDA was ahead compared to the I.N.D.I Alliance.

The Lok Sabha election 2024 result was as expected, Shri Narendra Modi became the prime minister of India for the 3rd time consecutively and is 2nd to Jawaharlal Nehru to achieve this milestone. BJP-led NDA won 294 seats which is 63 seats more than I.N.D.I Alliance’s 231 seats. Congress emerged as the largest opposition party in the election with 90 seats in the Lok Sabha. However, this is the first time since 2014 that where BJP got such strong competition from the opposition parties. 

Let’s check the seat distribution between parties from the 2014 to 2024 general elections:

Election YearBJP+ (NDA)UPA (2014 & 2019), INDIA (2024)OTHERS
2014336 seats59 seats148 seats
2019353 seats93 seats97 seats
2024294 seats231 seats18 seats

Since 1947, India has seen 17 prime ministers, and Narendra Modi and Jawaharlal Nehru combinedly hold the record of winning Lok Sabha Elections for 3 consecutive years. Let’s discuss all the Prime Ministers of India since independence and what were their historic decisions during their tenures.

PM-Infographics

All these achievements would not be possible without the steps and decisions taken by our past and current leaders. So, 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. Their achievements, welfare schemes, their bold moves, etc are something you shouldn’t miss! Read further…

Narendra Modi

Tenure: 26th May 2014- Present

NarendraModi

About Narendra Modi

Narendra Damodardas Modi has become the most popular Prime Minister of India since he was elected as the 14th Prime Minister. This popularity is attributed to his personality, schemes, and economic reforms, which have contributed to our country becoming one of the most influential nations globally. After he was elected as the prime minister for the second time, he took various bold decisions, like the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu & Kashmir. This helped India to fully integrate Jammu & Kashmir with the rest of the country.

And, if we look at India’s foreign policies during Narendra Modi’s current tenure, it is straightforward and firm. The best thing about foreign affairs is that he chose some of the best minds, like our Foreign Minister, S. Jaishankar. His presence of mind and deep knowledge about foreign relations helped India maintain a neutral stand during various world conflicts, like the Russia-Ukrain war, the Israel-Hamas conflict, etc.

Apart from the foreign policy, during the tenure of Narendra Modi, we have seen tremendous growth in our exports. The government has taken some interesting decisions that have attracted numerous global companies to shift their manufacturing plants from China to India which increased exports. This played an important role in the growth of India’s GDP and today we stand as the fifth-largest economy in the world. And, our country did this by surpassing the UK, who once ruled over us for 200 years.

When we look at the developments made in the Railway Sector, it is humongous. In the past 10 years, Indian Railways has made huge growth in electrifying the railway tracks and till November 2023, it has electrified up to 90% of the tracks. Narendra Modi’s government has put infrastructure growth on its top priorities, due to this numerous railway stations across the country have undergone drastic renovation to give them a new face. Along with all these, Narendra Modi and his BJP government have done numerous works towards the growth of our country and he aims to continue this in the coming years as well.

The Game-Changing General Elections

After winning the 2014 and 2019 general elections, Narendra Modi looked highly enthusiastic for the 18th Lok Sabha Election of India. BJP came up with a unique slogan “Ab Ki Baar 400 Par” which perfectly rhymes with their previous slogans “Ab Ki Baar Modi Sarkar” and “Phir Ek Baar Modi Sarkar”. In 82 days, Narendra Modi addressed around 206 public events, including road shows, rallies, and others. He also gave more than 80 interviews to different media organizations across the country. All these efforts helped BJP and Narendra Modi to win the General Election 2024 for the 3rd time.

Place of Birth: Vadnagar, Gujarat

Qualification: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, School of Open Learning at the University of Delhi

Narendra-modi-1

He sits on a list of achievements, including:

  • Inaugurated India’s longest sea bridge, Atal Setu, which has a length of 21.8 km out of which 16.5 km is a sea link.
  • The 5G network in India was launched on October 1, 2022, and within 15 months, its implementation has crossed 4,00,000 sites across the country.
  • Introduced 3 new bills to replace the Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, and Indian Evidence Act, with the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill, Bhartiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita Bill, and Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, respectively.
  • With the success of Chandrayaan-3, India became the first country in the world to successfully make a soft landing on the South Pole of the Moon.
  • India became the President of G20 in 2023 and the 18th G20 Summit was held at Bharat Mandapam on the 9th and 10th September 2023.
  • Increment in the Global Innovation Index of India from 81st rank in 2014 to 40th in 2023.
  • Introduced UPI in various foreign countries, like Bhutan, Nepal, Oman, UAE, Southeast Asian countries, UK, France, etc.
  • Inauguration of the new Parliament Building of India, which is laced with some advanced technologies and is earthquake-proof. This building is a part of the Central Vista Redevelopment Project.
  • India became the fifth-largest economy in the world surpassing the UK. The current GDP of India is over $3.7 trillion.
  • PM Kisan scheme to benefit over 14.5 crore farmers.
  • Announced Rs. 20 lakh crore relief package to make the self-reliant during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Introduced the new National Education Policy (NEP) of India in 2020. This policy comes with the 5+3+3+4 education system.
  • Electrified 18,000 plus villages across the country in 988 days of the total 1000 days promised during the I-Day speech in 2015. All these villages were dark even after 70-plus long years of India receiving its Independence.
  • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao movement to promote girls’ education.
  • Launched the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana to offer cooking gas connections for free to all the pro-poor in the society.
  • Modi introduced some path-breaking initiatives of which E-Nam and Soil Health Cards were a hit.
  • He also fulfilled one of his biggest poll promises of launching a new Jal Shakti Ministry that addresses all aspects in regard to water resources.
  • The mass moment, the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ witnessed massive participation with several UTs, and States becoming Open Defecation Free (ODF). The extent of sanitation touched 99% from 38%.
  • Make in India and Digital India campaign to improve the country’s online infrastructure and make India a global manufacturing leader.
  • Started Ayushman Bharat to provide free medical treatment to the targeted sections.
  • Introduced Rs. 25,000 crore worth of special funds to complete housing projects for the middle class.
  • Provided 10% reservation to economically weaker sections.
  • Inducted Rafale jets in the Indian Army to boost India’s air power capability.

 

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 an 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

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

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

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

Atal Bihari Vajpayee

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

Atal-Bihari-Vajpayee

About Atal Bihari Vajpayee

One of the most recognised politicians in India, Mr Vajpayee was the first non-Congress Prime Minister to hold office for a full term. He was one of the co-founders 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 superpower’.

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

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

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

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

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 the 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

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 at 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

  • 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

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)

Below are some of his key achievements.

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

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

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

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

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

In his two years in 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

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 is 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)

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

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

His achievements include:

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

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

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

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 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 an honours degree in natural science, from Trinity College

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, working towards women’s 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 leaders who shaped our country?

Praneeth Simon

S. Praneeth Simon is a content marketer, former journalist, and enthusiastic blogger who writes articles on marketing, sports, technology, business, travel, and more. He completed his Master's in Mass Communication and Journalism from St. Joseph's College and spends much of his time exploring places and meeting new people.

5 Comments
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  1. Very informative and appears unbiased! Good work

  2. excellent work very helpful

  3. Please explain more information..

  4. Very well written and is straight at point. Thankyou for this. It is very informative.

  5. 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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