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Ratan Tata, Sonia Gandhi in Forbes' powerful list

Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani, Steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal and Tata Sons Chairman make it to the coveted list.

     Last Updated: November 4, 2010  | 15:06 IST

Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Tata Sons Chairman Ratan Tata are among five Indians named in Forbes' most powerful list this year.

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani and steel giant ArcelorMittal Chairman Lakshmi Mittal also make it to this year's list.

China's President Hu Jintao has topped the 2010 Forbes list of the 'World's Most Powerful People'.

For the top spot, Jintao pipped US President Barack Obama, who comes in at second place. Of the 6.8 billion people on the planet, Forbes' list comprises "the 68 who matter".

Heads of state, major religious figures, entrepreneurs and outlaws on the second annual list were chosen "because, in various ways, they bend the world to their will. Sonia Gandhi debuts on the 9th spot in this year's list of the world's most powerful people.

Incidentally, she was not featured in Forbes' recent list of the world's most powerful women.

Recently elected to record fourth term as head of India's ruling Congress Party, 63-year old Gandhi has cemented her "status as true heiress to the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty."

Forbes said despite her Italian birth, foreign religion (Roman Catholic) and political reluctance, "Gandhi wields unequaled influence over 1.2 billion Indians."

Having "handpicked brainy Sikh economist Manmohan Singh" as Prime Minister, Forbes said Gandhi remains the real power behind the nuclear-tipped throne.

She is now grooming her 40-year-old son Rahul for prime minister's role.

Singh, "universally praised as India's best prime minister since Nehru," is ranked 18th on the list. He has moved up in the list from last year's 36th position.

Forbes said the soft-spoken Oxford-trained economist is "ideally trained to lead the world's fourth-largest economy in terms of purchasing power into the next decade."

Credited with transforming India's quasi-socialist economy into world's second-fastest growing, 78-year old Singh is now enjoying the fruits of free-market policies he implemented as India's finance minister in early 1990s.

With the World Bank forecasting India's gross domestic product (GDP) to surge 7.6 per cent in 2010 and another eight per cent in 2011 - not far behind its 9 per cent forecast for China - Forbes said this is clearly the case of "slow and steady will win the race."

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