Biography of Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao – Father of the Indian Economic Reforms

P.V. Narasimha Rao, who served as the Nineth Prime Minister of the Republic of India, is an accomplished Politician and a Lawyer. Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao took various steps to establish a third world country like India on the pinnacle of progress. He was popularly known as P.V. Narasimha Rao instead of Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao. P.V. Narasimha Rao took the path breaking step to usher in a major economic transformation in India.

Biography of P.V. Narasimha Rao

Biography of P.V. Narasimha Rao

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Table of Contents

NameP.V. Narasimha Rao[1]
Real NamePamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao
Date of Birth28 June, 1921
Place of BirthLaknepalli, Hyderabad, India
Father’s NameSitarama Rao
Mother’s NameRukma Bai
Education1/ Osmania University,
2/ University of Bombay
3/ Nagpur University
DeathDecember 23, 2004

Early Life and Education of Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao

Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao, who played a key role in opening new horizons in a developing country like India, was born on June 28, 1921, in Laknepalli village in Telangana. Born into a Telugu Brahmin family, P.V. Narasimha Rao’s father’s name is Sitarama Rao and mother’s name is Rukma Bai. Later he was adopted by Pamulaparthi Ranga Rao and Rukminiamma and brought to Vangara, a village in Bheemadevarpalle mandal of present day Hanamkonda district in Telangana when he was only three years old.

Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao received his formal education under the supervision of his relative Gabbeta Radhakishan Rao in Katkuru village of Bheemadeverpalle subdivision under Karimnagar district. Subsequently, he graduated from Osmania University, Hyderabad. After graduating, he completed his master’s degree in law from The University of Bombay and Nagpur University.

P.V. Narasimha Rao, a student of sharp talent from a very young age, had an extraordinary linguistic skill. Although his mother tongue was Telugu, he mastered six foreign languages in parallel with ten Indian languages. It is to be noted that he had great command over Urdu, Marathi, Kannada, Hindi, Tamil, Sanskrit, Oriya etc. Apart from this, he also had possession over foreign languages like Persian, Spanish, German, French, English and Arabic. P.V. Narasimha Rao was able to connect easily with the people of different languages of different regions due to his greater authority over different languages. Because of this, he became more popular among the peoples. It may be recalled that P.V. Narasimha Rao edited a Telugu weekly magazine called Kakatiya Patrika from 1948 to 1955 with his distant cousin Pamulaparthi Sadasiva Rao. Both P.V. and Sadasiva Rao contributed articles under the pen-name Jaya-Vijaya.

Also Read: Biography of Dr Manmohan Singh

Political Career of Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao

P.V. Narasimha Rao, who is responsible for the society, participated in India’s freedom movement that started against the British in the early 1930s. He actively participated in the Vande Mataram movement which started in Hyderabad in the 1930s. It is to be noted that Narasimha Rao was arrested several times by the British government for his strong voice against British colonialism. It is to be noted that P.V. Narasimha Rao was particularly successful in making people aware against colonialism due to his possession over various languages.

P.V. Narasimha Rao was an active freedom fighter during the Indian Independence movement. After India gained independence, P.V. Narasimha Rao took over as a member of the Indian National Congress and became directly involved in the political arena. From 1957 to 1977, he served as an elected representative in the State Legislative Assembly of Andhra Pradesh. Importantly, in 1971, he took over as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and served as chief minister till 1973. Significantly, P.V. Rao had also served as minister for various portfolios in the state before taking over as the chief minister.  P.V. Narasimha Rao served as the Law and Information Minister of the Government of Andhra Pradesh from 1962 to 1964, Minister of Law, Minister of Health, and Medicine from 1964 to 1967 and education minister from 1968 to 1971.

In addition, P.V. Narasimha Rao served as general secretary of the All-India Congress Committee from 1975 to 1976, as chairman of the Telugu Academy of Andhra Pradesh from 1968 to 1974, as well as vice-president of the South India Hindi Prachar Sabha in Madras from 1972 onwards.

As chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, he was instrumental in implementing the Land Reforms and Land Ceiling Act. During his tenure, Narasimha Rao also took steps to ensure that the lower castes could also participate in politics. Importantly, president’s rule had to be imposed to counter the “Jai Andhra Movement” during Narasimha Rao’s tenure as a chief minister.

He supported Indira Gandhi in formation of New Congress Party in 1969. P.V. Narasimha Rao remained loyal to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi during the Emergency period from 1975 to 1977. It may be recalled that Narasimha Rao held several important portfolios in the cabinet during the prime ministership of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. He served as Foreign minister from 1980 to 1984 and then from 1988 to 1989. It is speculated that he was in the running for the post of India’s President along with Zail Singh in 1982.

Narasimha Rao as a Prime Minister (1991 -1996)

Significantly, P.V. Narasimha Rao took over as the Prime Minister in 1991 after the Janata Congress won the maximum number of seats in the Lok Sabha elections following the assassination of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Narasimha Rao was the first Congressman outside the Nehru – Gandhi family to serve as the Prime Minister for five continuous years, the first to hail from the State of Andhra Pradesh, and also the first from Southern India. He served as prime minister from 1991 to 1996.

An important decision of P.V. Narasimha Rao as Prime Minister was to appoint an apolitical candidate as finance minister. For which Narasimha Rao appointed renowned economist Dr Manmohan Singh as the finance minister.

Importantly, Manmohan Singh, in collaboration with Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, gave a new dimension to India’s new economic policy, through which India got rid of the circular crisis to a great extent. It is to be noted that P.V. Narasimha Rao presided over the session of the Indian National Congress held in Tirupati in 1992.

As Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao had taken several steps for India’s development. Especially during Rao’s prime ministership, he took many steps for India’s economic reforms. He played a special role in economic liberalization. Narasimha Rao along with Finance Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh formulated the new Economic Policy of 1991 which also took initiatives to encourage foreign direct investment, deregulate local businesses, reform the capital market as well as reduce the country’s fiscal deficit. This economic policy played an important role in taking the broken economy on the path of progress in the country. In the context of liberalization, privatization and globalization (globalization) i.e. LPG policies adopted by them, India established itself as one of the developing economies in the world. It is because of these things that P.V. Narasimha Rao is described as the “Father of the Economic Reforms in India.”

Apart from economic reforms, P V Narasimha Rao also strengthened the National Nuclear Security and Ballistic Missile Programme, as a result, the Pokhran-2′ nuclear test was successfully completed in 1998. Apart from this, he was instrumental in increasing India’s military strength and played an important role in preparing the Indian Army to fight terrorism. It may be recalled that P.V. Narasimha Rao had made diplomatic proposals to Western Europe, the US and China.

Significantly, P.V. Narasimha Rao resigned as prime minister after the Congress party lost the 1996 general elections. He was replaced by Sitaram Kesri. According to some people, Rao maintained an autocratic stance in both the party and his government, which led to the defection of many Congress leaders during the leadership period. ‌ 


P.V. Narasimha Rao, who played a key role in Indian politics for decades, published a novel called “The Insider (ISBN 0-670-87850-2)” after retiring from politics. Rao, however, said he had nothing to do with the content of the novel that narrates many things about Indian politics.

P.V. Narasimha Rao, one of the pioneers of modern India, died of a heart attack on December 23, 2004, at the age of 83. P.V. Narasimha Rao, a notable politician of Indian politics, will always be stirred up among the new generation due to his skills, talented qualities, elegance, strong personality, even though if he has been in various controversies in his political life.


1. Who is termed as the Father of Economic Reforms in India?

Ans: Narasimha Rao is regarded as the Father of Economic Reforms in India.

2. What is the full name of P.V. Narasimha Rao?

Ans: P.V. Narasimha Rao’s full name is Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao.

3. When and where was P V Narasimha Rao born?

Ans: Rao was born on June 28, 1921 in Telangana.

4. When did P.V. Narasimha Rao sworn in as a Prime Minister of India?

Ans: P.V. Narasimha Rao took over as the Prime Minister in 1991 after the Janata Congress won the maximum number of seats in the Lok Sabha elections following the assassination of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

5. When did Narasimha Rao resigned from the post of Prime Minister?

Ans: Rao resigned as Prime Minister after the Congress party lost the 1996 general elections.

6. When did Narasimha Rao breathed his last?

Ans: P.V. Narasimha Rao died of a heart attack on December 23, 2004, at the age of 83.

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