PV Narasimha Rao 

#GS4 #ImportantPersonalites #GS3 #Economy #LPGrefoorms 

The Vice President of India paid tributes to former Prime Minister, Shri P V Narasimha Rao on his birth anniversary and recalled the pioneering role played by him in initiating economic reforms at a critical juncture when the Indian economy was on the brink of a collapse. 

About PV Narasimha Rao 

  • Narasimha Rao was born on 28th June 1921 in Laknepalli, Warangal District in present-day Telangana. 
  • He took part in the freedom struggle and was part of the Vande Mataram movement in Hyderabad State. 
  • In the 1940s, he co-edited and contributed articles to a Telugu weekly journal called Kakatiya Patrika. 
  • He joined the Indian National Congress and entered politics full-time after independence. 
  • He became the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh in 1971 and remained in office till 1973. His CM tenure was marked by a stringent implementation of the land ceilings act in the Telangana region. 
  • He became the External Affairs Minister in 1980 under the Prime Ministership of Indira Gandhi. He was the External Affairs Minister for four years and then again from 1988 to 1989 under Rajiv Gandhi. He was also the Defence Minister under Rajiv Gandhi. 
  • After a near-retirement from politics in 1991, Rao made a comeback after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991. In the elections that followed, the Congress Party could lead a minority government and Rao was selected as the PM. He got elected in a by-election from Nandyal in Andhra Pradesh. This win entered the Guinness Book for the victory margin (of 5 lakh votes). 
  • He was the first person from the non-Hindi belt to become India’s PM. When he completed his five-year term, he became the first person outside of the Nehru-Gandhi family to do so as the PM. 

Contributions  

  • His tenure as PM is most remembered for the major economic reforms under which the government decided to open up the economy and move towards a market economy. 
  • The dreaded License Raj was dismantled by Rao and his team. The finance minister was Manmohan Singh, whose non-political lineage caused a flutter when he was appointed by Rao. He opened up to foreign investment, deregulated domestic business, and reformed the capital markets and the trade regime. 
  • From $132 million in 1991-92, the total foreign investment in the country rose to $5.3 billion in 1995-96. 
  • Industrial licensing was drastically reduced and rationalised. 
  • He supported and nurtured the nuclear security and missiles program of the country. The 1998 Pokhran tests of 1998 (carried out by the Vajpayee government) were actually planned under Rao’s term itself, it is speculated. 
  • He started India’s Look East Policy as part of foreign relations with South East Asia. 
  • India’s first anti-terrorism legislation, the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) was passed by his government. 
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