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Economist Raghuram Rajan and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar have featured in America’s Foreign Policy Magazine’s Top 100 Global Thinkers list.
Rajan, currently the chief economic advisor to the Government of India, has been ranked 80 on the list while Kumar is three notches higher at 77.
According to the magazine, Kumar has been featured on the list ‘for turning around India’s poorest state’. In its note on the Bihar chief minister, the magazine said much of the image of Bihar, which is often referred to as the country's ‘bleakest state’ for its colonial levels of poverty and corruption, started changing when Kumar won the 2005 election.
“In his two terms in office, he has done just that, relying on an array of innovative programmes to crack down on crime, shame corrupt public officials and boost economic development,” it said.
Rajan was taken in the list ‘for saving India from its politicians’, according to the magazine.
“In the US, where Raghuram Rajan lived and worked for years as a professor at the University of Chicago and chief economist at International Monetary Fund (IMF), he is known primarily as one of the guys who saw it coming. In a 2005 paper — widely derided by his colleagues at the time — Rajan warned that financial markets were encouraging irresponsible speculation that could lead to a major crash,” it said.
“Now, Rajan is bringing his know-how to his most challenging assignment yet — saving the world’s largest democracy from economic ruin,” it added.
The list has also featured a few other Indians and people of Indian origin, such as author Pankaj Mishra, Morgan Stanley’s Managing Director and head of Emerging Markets Equity team Ruchir Sharma, and entrepreneur-turned-researcher Vivek Wadhawa. Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, and Thein Sein, President of Myanmar, jointly tops the list which also include Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton among others.