Yashwant Sinha Biography
Yashwant Sinha began his career as a professor teaching Political Science at the Patna University (1958-60), moving on to join the Indian Administrative Service in 1960. During his bureaucratic tenure as an I.A.S officer, which spanned over 24 years, Yashwant Sinha acquired immense experience on matters relating to foreign industrial collaborations, intellectual property rights, foreign trade, technology imports, and India’s external relations with the European Economic Community. He also won Officier de la Légion d’Honneur which is the highest civilian distinction of France.
Some of the important positions held by him during this period were those of:
- Sub-Divisional Magistrate
- District Magistrate (4 years)
- Under Secretary and Deputy Secretary in the Finance Department of the Bihar Government (2 years)
- Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India.
- First Secretary (Commercial) in the Indian Embassy, Bonn, Germany (1971-73)
- Consulate General of India in Frankfurt (1973-74)
- Department of Industrial Infrastructure, Government of Bihar
- Ministry of Industry, Government of India
- Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Surface Transport, Government of India (1980-84). After resigning from the Indian Administrative Service in 1984, Yashwant Sinha took up active politics, joining as a member of the Janata Party, where soon afterwards, he was appointed as the party’s All-India General Secretary in 1986. He was then elected as Member of the Rajya Sabha (1988), and with the formation of the Janata Dal Party in 1989, it saw him being appointed as the General Secretary of the party. Sinha later served as Minister of Finance under Mr. Chandra Shekhar’s Ministry (Nov 1990-Jun 1991), and after a quiet spell, rose again to become the National Spokesperson of the BJP (June 1996).
Under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet, Yashwant Sinha was appointed as Finance Minister in March 1998, and then as the Foreign minister in July 2002. His tenure came to an end on 22nd May 2004, after the Parliamentary elections that saw the arrival of Dr. Manmohan Singh’s government. Yashwant Sinha represents the Hazaribagh Constituency in Bihar, in the Lok Sabha.
During his tenure, he faced criticisms that even questioned his competence, owing to his prompt rolling back of his own propositions, thus earning him nicknames such as ‘Rollback Sinha, Pushback Sinha’ etc. However, he would always be remembered in Indian politics for his significant role in many international negotiations on behalf of the country, as well as the numerous political and social delegations led by him resulting from his past travels.