To be honest, after 42 years, I don’t remember much about former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s teaching style. In 1972, I was an M.A. (final) Economics student at the Delhi School of Economics. Manmohan Singh used to teach International Economics, and I was one of the many students in his class.
One day, in early 1972, we learnt that he had taken a job as an economist in the Government of India. Such a development was not a surprise to the students of Delhi School of Economics at that time. In particular, Professor Sukhamoy Chakravarty had recently become a Member of the Planning Commission.
For the students, the key question was: Who would teach his class after Manmohan Singh left? If a replacement was not found quickly, then it would be difficult to cover the full syllabus. And, that would mean that the students would be in trouble in the examination, which was scheduled for April 1972.
Prof. Manmohan Singh told us that he would come to Delhi School earlier in the morning, and teach his class, before going to his office.
This did come as a surprise, at least to me. There were other professors at Delhi School whose priorities did not seem to include students. Yet, he was willing to make time for his students.
Again, I don't quite remember what exactly Manmohan Singh taught us early in the morning class. As I remember it, I was not one of the students who made a serious effort to get up early in the morning to get to any professor's class. So, perhaps, I missed some, or many, of his classes.
I have forgotten many things about my time at the Delhi School. But, this gesture has remained in my mind. Manmohan Singh was a teacher who cared about his students.
© Subodh Mathur 2014
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