He belongs to the Sikkim Democratic front, a party he formed in 1993.
He has conceived of the popular State Institute of Capacity Building (SICB) and youth empowerment scheme to tackle poverty, illiteracy and unemployment among the youth.
Born on September 22, 1950 at Yangyang, South Sikkim to Shri Aash Bahadur and Smt Asha Rani Chamling, Pawan Kumar, a matriculate is largely self-educated. He now has an Honorary Doctorate from University of Manipal. He is a published poet and has received a number of awards for his works and for his leadership of the state. Apart from the Bharat Shiromani for national integration, Bhanu Puruskar for poetry and Manav Seva Puruskar for social work, he was also awarded by the Centre for Science and Environment for his endeavor to make Sikkim the greenest state in India. Sikkim has banned all chemicals and fertilizers in farms.
He edits and publishes Nirman a literary magazine he founded in 1977. He is also the President of Sikkim Handicapped Persons Welfare Mission.
He is married to Maya Chamling.
He began his career as a farmer, and then moved on to become a contractor. He joined politics in 1973 and was elected uncontested the President of Yangyang Gram Panchayat. He was subsequently elected to the Sikkim Legislative Assembly in 1985. He was then a part of Sikkim Prajatantra Congress. In 1989, he was reelected from Damthang to the fourth legislative Assembly and inducted to the state government cabinet of Chief Minister Nar Bahadur Bhandari of the Sikkim Sangram Parishad. From 1989 to 1992 he was the Minister for Industries, Information and Public relations.
Dr Chamling formed the Sikkim Democratic Party on March 4, 1993 and was unanimously elected its President. In the State Assembly elections in 1994, his party was victorious and Dr Pawan Kumar was made the Chief Minister.
He won the State Assembly elections again in 1999 and 2004 and served as Chief Minister for both the terms.
In 2009, following his victory in the State Assembly elections, he assumed the office of the Chief Minister for the fourth consecutive time.