NEW YORK: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been ranked among the top 10 most powerful people in the world by Forbes in a list that has been topped by Russian President Vladimir Putin for a fourth straight year and had US President-elect Donald Trump in the second place.
Modi ranks 9th on the Forbes list of 74 of the World’s Most Powerful People.
Forbes said India’s populist Prime Minister remains hugely popular in his country of 1.3 billion people.
“Modi has raised his profile as a global leader in recent years during official visits with Barack Obama and Xi Jinping. He has also emerged as a key figure in the international effort to tackle climate change, as planetary warming will deeply affect millions of his country’s rural and most vulnerable citizens,” Forbes said.
It also took note of the unexpected decision made by Modi last month to demonetize India’s two high value currency notes in a bid to reduce money laundering and corruption, creating a nationwide frenzy to quickly swap out the bills.
The list has been topped by Putin, who retains the title of the world’s most powerful person for four years running. US President Obama comes in on the 48th spot.
“There are nearly 7.4 billion humans on planet Earth, but these 74 men and women make the world turn. Forbes’ annual ranking of the World’s Most Powerful People identifies one person out of every 100 million whose actions mean the most,” it said.
Forbes said Russia’s 64-year-old president has exerted his country’s influence in nearly every corner of the globe; from the motherland to Syria to the US presidential elections, continuing to “get what he wants”.
On the second spot is 70-year-old Trump who will become the first billionaire president of the United States, after upsetting Hillary Clinton in a surprising election victory.
The list includes Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani on the 38th spot. Forbes said the 59-year-old oil and gas tycoon sparked a price war in India’s hyper competitive telecom market with the launch of 4G phone service Jio at the annual shareholder meeting of his Reliance Industries in September.
“The USD 44.7 billion (revenue) Reliance Industries is locked in a legal battle with the government related to the recovery of costs associated with developing a gas field,” it said, adding that his wife Nita, who sits on Reliance’s board, is a member of the International Olympic Committee.
The list also includes Microsoft’s India-born CEO Satya Nadella on the 51st spot, with Forbes saying the 49-year-old has steered the company away from a failing mobile strategy and focused on other lines of business, including cloud computing and augmented reality.
The third most powerful person in the world also happens to be the most powerful woman: Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany and the backbone of the European Union.
The list includes Xi on the 4th spot, Pope Francis(5), Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates (7), Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (10), French President Francois Hollande (23), Apple CEO Tim Cook (32), North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (43) and ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (57).