Former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao will be posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India‘s highest civilian award, as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PV Narasimha Rao, also known as Rao Garu, is remembered for his significant contributions and leadership during his tenure as India’s prime minister from 1991 to 1996.
Rao, a lawyer and prominent Congress leader from undivided Andhra Pradesh, played a pivotal role in bringing economic reforms to India during a time when the country was facing a foreign reserves crisis. His government introduced three major economic reforms: globalization, liberalization, and privatization, which paved the way for India’s economic advancement and the end of the infamous license raj.
Born in the Laknepalli village of Narsampet mandal, Warangal, PV Narasimha Rao was the first prime minister of India from south India. He began his political career as a freedom fighter and actively participated in Hyderabad’s Vande Mataram movement in the late 1930s.
After India’s independence, Narasimha Rao dedicated himself to politics full-time. He served as a Member of Legislative Assembly and assumed several ministerial positions in the state government of Andhra Pradesh. In 1971, he became the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and was known for his loyalty to Indira Gandhi, supporting her during the Congress split in 1969.
In 1991, PV Narasimha Rao, who had nearly retired from politics, returned to active governance after the assassination of Congress President Rajiv Gandhi. Breaking conventions, he appointed economist Manmohan Singh as his finance minister, and together they implemented crucial economic reforms.
Prime Minister Modi commended PV Narasimha Rao’s visionary leadership, highlighting his role in opening India to global markets and fostering economic development. PM Modi also acknowledged the former prime minister’s contributions to India’s foreign policy, language, and education sectors, emphasizing his multifaceted legacy as a leader who steered India through critical transformations and enriched its cultural and intellectual heritage.
In addition to PV Narasimha Rao, Dr. MS Swaminathan, a renowned agricultural scientist, will also be honored with the Bharat Ratna. Both individuals have made significant contributions to their respective fields and to the nation as a whole. The Bharat Ratna recognizes their outstanding achievements and service to India.
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