Arjun Singh Biography
Arjun Singh is a seasoned Indian politician from Congress (I). He is presently the Human Resources and Development (HRD) Minister in the current Indian government headed by Dr. Manmohan Singh. Arjun was born on 5th November, 1930 in Madhya Pradesh, India.
Marshal Arjun Singh began his career in Indian politics as a member of the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly from 1957-85. Again in 1988-91 he was elected from the same seat. He has served as a minister in the Rajiv Gandhi government twice, been Chief Minister of the state of Madhya Pradesh twice (from 1980-85 and 1988-89), as well as had a brief stint as Governor of Punjab in 1985.
In 1996, he formed the All India Indira Congress, presided over by Narayan Dutt Tiwari, however his party lost from Satna in the Eleventh Lok Sabha elections. His return to Congress the following year saw him lose out from Hoshangabad at the Twelfth Lok Sabha elections in April 1998. Arjun Singh was then elected to the Rajya Sabha in April 2000, which he is still continuing. Besides politics, he is also involved in social work, being associated with various social and cultural organizations supporting the cause.
Although Arjun Singh’s illustrious career ensured some effective political strategies, there were also several controversies that reared up, the most significant being his alleged role in the Churhat Lottery scandal of the 1980’s during his tenure as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister; and the recent Reservation Controversy regarding increase caste-based reservation quotas for the OBC’s (other backward castes) in reputed IIT’s, IIM’s and other Central Government run institutes of higher studies, that faced severe criticism and opposition throughout the country, including from the National Knowledge Commission.
Some of the other noteworthy positions held by Arjun Singh in his political career include those of:
- Minister of State for Agriculture, General Administration Department (GAD) and Information & Public Relations, Government of Madhya Pradesh (Sept 1963- Dec 1967)
- Minister of Planning and Development, Government of Madhya Pradesh (1967)
- Minister of Education, Government of Madhya Pradesh (1972-77)
- Leader of Opposition, Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly (1977-80)
- Minister of Commerce, Government of India, (Nov1985 – Jan 1986)
- Member of the Eighth Lok Sabha (Dec 1985 – Jun 1988)
- Minister of Communications, Government of India, (Oct 1986 – Feb 1988)
- Minister of Human Resource Development, Government of India, (Jun 1991 – Dec 1994), under the Narasimha Rao headed government.
- Member of the Tenth Lok Sabha, (Jun 1991 – Dec 1994)
- Member of the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Home Affairs, (May 2000- Feb 2004)
- Member of the Committee on Rules, (Aug 2001- Jul 2004)
- Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Purposes Committee, (Apr 2002- Feb 2004).
- Human Resources and Development Minister, Government of India, (May 2004 onwards)
- For his immense contribution to Indian Politics, Arjun Singh was awarded the ‘Outstanding Parliamentarian Award’ for the year 2000.