In a first, Chinese President Xi Jinping dethroned Russian President Vladimir Putin to become the most influential person on the planet. Jinping was ranked number one in the list of top 10 most powerful people in the world by Forbes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also found place in the top 10 most powerful people's list. Modi was ranked 9th in the the Forbes 2018 list of 75 of the World’s Most Powerful People who make the world turn.
“There are nearly 7.5 billion humans on planet Earth, but these 75 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,” Forbes said.
Modi, 67, is ahead of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (ranked 13), United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May (14), Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (15) and Apple CEO Tim Cook (24).
Forbes said that Modi remained "hugely popular” in the second most populous country on earth. It cited Modi government’s November 2016 decision to eliminate India’s two largest banknotes in a bid to reduce money laundering and corruption.
“Modi has raised his profile as a global leader in recent years during official visits with US President Donald Trump and Xi Jinping. He has also emerged as a key figure in the international effort to tackle climate change, as warming affects millions of his country’s rural citizens,” Forbes said.
Apart from Modi, India's richest man and Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani was the other Indian on the power list. Amani, with a net worth of 41.2 billion dollars, was ranked 32nd in the list.
On Ambani, Forbes said the billionaire industrialist’s Reliance sparked a price war in India’s hyper-competitive telecom market with the launch of 4G phone service Jio in 2016.
“Jio has signed on 160 million customers by offering free domestic voice calls, dirt-cheap data services and virtually free smartphones,” Forbes said.
After being named the most powerful person in the world for four consecutive years, Putin drops to the second spot, dethroned by Xi, who seizes the top spot for the first time ever after China’s congress amended its constitution in March, broadening his influence and eliminating term limits.
Forbes said the Chinese leader “enjoys a cult of personality” not seen since Chairman Mao Zedong, China’s founding father.
Rounding up the top five on the list are Trump on the third spot, followed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel (4) and Amazon chief Jeff Bezos (5).
(With inputs from agencies)