ruling Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh are ranked 12th and 19th respectively on the Forbes list of
'The World's Most Powerful People'. President Barack Obama retains
his top position.
As leader of India's ruling party, Sonia Gandhi, 65, who was
ranked sixth on Forbes list of Power Women, "has the reins of the
world's second-most-populous country and tenth-largest economy",
the US business magazine said.
"Son Rahul is next in line to take over India's most famous
political dynasty," it suggested.
Listing Manmohan Singh, 80, 19th on the power list, Forbes says:
"The Oxford- and Cambridge-educated economist is the architect of
India's economic reforms, but Singh's quiet intellectualism is
increasingly seen as timid and soft."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel moves up to number two from fourth
place last year, followed by Russian President Vladimir Putin
(No.3), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-chair Bill Gates (No.4)
and Pope Benedict XVI (No.5).
Rounding out the Top 10 are US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S.
Bernanke (No.6), Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud
(No.7), European Central Bank President Mario Draghi (No.8),
General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Xi Jinping
(No.9) and British Prime Minister David Cameron (No.10).
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (No.25) dropped out of the Top 10 to
25, from No.9 in 2011.
Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani is listed 28th on
the list, while Zaheer ul-Islam the "new head of Pakistan's
notorious intelligence service" Inter-Services Intelligence is
Among the 14 newcomers to the list are LinkedIn co-founder Reid
Hoffman (No.71), the world's most powerful venture capitalist and
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk (No.66), the entrepreneur behind Paypal,
Tesla Motors and the private space industry.
They are joined by President Francois Hollande (No.14) of France,
North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un (No.44) and Microsoft CEO
Steve Ballmer (No.46).
Among the drop-offs are Chinese President Hu Jintao, who is on his
way out of office and US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - both of whom have announced
they won't return to their powerful posts for Obama's second term.
Forbes said it assembled the list using four criteria: power over
lots of people, financial resources controlled, whether the person
has power in various spheres of life, and whether that person
actively uses the power.
(Arun Kumar can
be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)