Born On: November 6, 1937
Born In: Patna, Bihar
Yashwant Sinha, bureaucrat turned politician, is considered by many as the one who transformed the Indian economy. Throughout his political career, he was always a man of character and class, who never really wanted to play petty politics. After leading an impressive bureaucratic life, Yashwant Sinha entered into Indian politics with a ticket from Janatha Dal. He also served as the spokes person of the Bharathiya Janatha Party and as the Foreign Minister and Finance Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. However, Yashwant Sinha will be best remembered as an administrative officer who held important posts for twenty-four years. He has also been the buoyant voice of India in many international conferences and social and political delegations. He has an expertise of almost seven years in matters relating to foreign policy and India's relationship with the European Economic Community. He was also influenced by the socialist movement of Jai Prakash Narayan. This moment was launched in mid seventies.
Yashwant Sinha held many important posts in the Indian Administrative Service. In a career that extended to around twenty-four years he gained quite a lot of experience. Sinha served as a Sub-Divisional Magistrate and Magistrate for four years. He worked as Under Secretary and Deputy Secretary in the Finance Department of Bihar Government for two years after which he held the post of Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India. From 1971 to 1973, he served as The First Secretary at the Indian Embassy in Bonn in Germany. He also worked as the Consul General of India from 1973 - 1974 in Frankfurt. Having worked in this field for seven years, he gained expertise in matters related to foreign trade and India's relationship with the European Economic Community. Subsequently, he worked in the Department of Industrial Infrastructure, Government of Bihar and in the Ministry of Industry, Government of India. Here, he dealt with foreign industrial collaborations, technology imports and industrial approvals. He also served as the Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Surface Transport, Government of India from 1980 to 1984, where he dealt with ports and shipping and road transport.
Jay Prakash Narayan's socialist movement of the mid seventies had a great influence on Yashwant Sinha. Though he toyed with the idea of joining active politics, financial instability and bureaucratic prudence made him continue in the service for another ten years.
In 1984, Yashwant Sinha resigned from the Indian Administrative Service and joined active politics as a member of the Janatha party. In 1986, he became the All-India General Secretary of the party and was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1988. In 1989, after the formation of the Janatha Dal, he became the General Secretary of the party. He served as the Finance Minister from 1990 to 1991 in Chandrasekhar's cabinet. In 1996, he became the national spokesperson of the Bharathiya Janatha Party. He served as the Finance Minister from March 1998 to May 2002 and as Foreign Minister till 2004 in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee ministry. While serving as the Finance Minister, he was criticized for rolling back some of the major initiatives and policies of the government. This lead a decline in his ascent, in the Lok Sabha elections which were held in 2004, Yashwant Sinha was defeated from Hazaribagh (now in Jharkhand) constituency in Bihar. Even though he entered the parliament in 2005, he resigned from the post of BJP Vice-President in 2009.
Though criticized for the rolling back of some of the major initiatives of the government, Yashwant Sinha is credited for the reforms and measures which put the Indian economy on the right trajectory. Some of them are lowering of interest rates, introducing tax deduction for mortgage interests, freeing the telecommunications sector, deregulating the petroleum industry and funding the National Highways Authority. He is also credited for breaking the fifty-three year tradition of presenting the Indian budget at five in the evening. It was the tradition started by the British which was convenient to the British parliament (11:30 GMT). Yashwant Sinha will be remembered for his active role in international negotiations and social and political delegations. Yashwant Sinha has written a book about his experiences as a Finance Minister. The book is titled, "Confessions of a Swadeshi".
1937: Born in Patna, Bihar.
1958: Completed his Masters Degree in Political Science from the Patna University
1960: Selected for the coveted Indian Administrative Service
1971-1973: Served as First Secretary at the Indian Embassy in Bonn in Germany
1973-1974: Worked as the Consul General of India from Frankfurt
1980-1984: Served as the Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Surface Transport
1984: Resigned from the Indian Administrative Service and joined active politics
1986: Became the All-India General Secretary of the Janatha party
1988: Was elected to the Rajya Sabha
1989: Became the General Secretary of Janatha Dal after the party was formed.
1990-1991: Served as the Finance Minister in Chandrasekhar's cabinet
1996: Became the national spokesperson of the Bharathiya Janatha party.
1998-2002: Served as the finance minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee ministry.
2002-2004: Served as the foreign minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee ministry.
2004: Was defeated in the Lok Sabha elections from the Hazaribagh constituency in Bihar.
2009: Resigned from the post of Vice-President of BJP.