D Subbarao, 61
Governor,Reserve Bank of India
Rank ’12: 38
As the RBI Governor,he took crucial decisions on interest rate movement,announced measures to bring down inflation and regulated the banking sector. With his tough monetary stance,he was able to arrest the rise in prices,though it also impacted growth.
He faced considerable pressure from many quartersthe government,industry and publicto bring down interest rates in 2012,but refused to give in as he felt high inflation was a tax on poor people.
Inflation is finally on the decline but growth is also struggling. There can be further reduction in interest rates to kickstart the economy. New banking licences are also on the anvil. His concerns are high fiscal deficit and the widening current account deficit.
BY THE WAY
An MSc Physics from IIT Kanpur,Subbarao topped the Civil Services entrance examination in 1972.
Aamir Khan, 47
Rank ’12: 59
His TV debut,Satyamev Jayate,which presented controversial issues in a novel way,was a major success. The show was telecast across the Star platform in several languages and on Doordarshan at the same time.
He nixed endorsements before Satyamev Jayate. He famously refused a deal worth Rs 150 crore because he only wanted to focus on social causes.
Yash Raj Films Dhoom 3 and Rajkumar Hiranis P.K.
By The Way
In Dhoom 3,Aamir is playing the role of a circus acrobat on the lines of Cirque du Soleil.
Fali S Nariman, 84
Jurist and constitutional expert
Rank ’12: 43
Ageing but still going strong,he has a redoubtable presence in the courtroom. Judges seek his opinion in important cases. The government often cites his criticism of the collegium system of appointments.
He led Indias legal team in the International Court of Arbitration last year. He persuaded the court to rule in favour of Indias position on the diversion of Kishanganga waters,and set aside objections by Pakistan,which had halted work on the 330 MW Kishanganga hydel project in Jammu & Kashmir. It is seen as a prominent diplomatic victory for India.
He has been spearheading a legal battle against continuance of MPs and MLAs as legislators even after their conviction in criminal cases. The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce its verdict soon.
By the way
He has not missed a single James Bond movie.
Anand Sharma, 60
Commerce and Industry minister
Rank ’12: 81
In his reformist avatar,he managed to implement the FDI policy in multi-brand retail despite stiff objection from then coalition partner TMC and the opposition.
He is the face of the India-EU free-trade talks,which are expected to lead to the biggest foreign trade treaty India will sign.
He is spearheading the setting up of National Investment and Manufacturing Zones. His ministry is working on concluding India-EU bilateral trade pact. He is also planning to revamp policy to revive SEZs.
BY THE WAY
He chaired the meeting on foreign policy at the Congress Chintan Shivir in Jaipur.
Ranjit Sinha, 60
Director,Central Bureau of Investigation
New on the list
He inherits controversial cases like the VVIP chopper deal,the Tatra-BEML deal,
the Rs 14-crore bribe allegation by the former Army chief and 2G spectrum allocation. He gets a fixed term of two years which means he will demit office in December 2014,when there will be a new government at the Centre.
The opposition BJP asked for revoking of Sinhas appointment,criticising the governments method of choosing the CBI director. But he quietly survived the controversy.
If a new alliance comes to power at the Centre after the Lok Sabha polls,he will have to take tough decisions in politically sensitive cases.
By the Way
He is fond of Mukesh and Manna De songs and is a good swimmer.
Aruna Roy, 66
Social and political activist
Rank ’12: 49
The IAS officer-turned-activist is not part of the system and yet works to bring change through it. She commands tremendous respect among most social movements for rights,access and struggle for dignity. Her involvement in Sonia Gandhis NAC,along with her ability to remain non-partisan,has kept her relevant.
She has moved beyond RTI and the MNREGA to making a case for protecting minimum wages and winning small but consistent battles in other arenas,like providing pension to the countrys growing elderly.
In the last year of the UPA government,she will ensure that more rights get promised and pushed on manifestos and get acceptability across political parties.
By The Way
Arunas cotton-sari wardrobe has as many colours as an artists palette. She loves Indian and western classical music.
Pawan Munjal, 58
MD & CEO,Hero MotoCorp Ltd
Rank ’12: 51
For a smooth ride after Hondas exit from the joint venture Hero Honda,Pawan Munjal quickly steered Hero MotoCorp into several tie-ups with global design and technology companies,including Engines Engineering of Italy,to develop in-house technology. Munjal is also one of the highest-paid MDs and CEOs in the country. He took home Rs 34.47 crore as total remuneration in 2011-12.
Hondas exit was expected to hit his company,but he has established a strong brand identity in a short span of time and maintained its leadership position.
All eyes are on what comes out of Heros stable after Honda pulls out its technology in 2014.
BY THE WAY
Munjal loves cars and has an Alfa Romeo in his collection.
K V Kamath, 65
Rank ’12: 56
As the non-executive chairman of Infosys and ICICI Bank,he heads two of the largest private sector companies in the country. He is an independent director of US-based oil services company Schlumberger Limited.
After a few quarters of disappointing results,Infosys seems to be on the mend with better-than-expected third-quarter results and FY13 guidance. Under Kamath,it also made two high-profile acquisitions last year.
His banking experience in the last 40 years is expected to come in handy for ICICI Bank as banks face the prospect of low credit offtake by Indian firms and the continuing economic slowdown.
BY THE WAY
His love for Formula One stretches back to before the sport was even talked about in India.
Rahul Bhatia, 51
Rank ’12: 57
At a time when airlines have stopped adding capacity,IndiGo continues to buy aircraft. It recently got permission to import 12 aircraft.
In July 2012,IndiGo became the largest airline in the country in terms of passenger carriage,surpassing Jet Airways,and has maintained the position since then.
IndiGo has to work overtime to maintain its lead in market share without compromising on profitability at a time when competitors like SpiceJet are offering discounted fares to gain market share.
BY THE WAY
An avid golfer,he has been the chairman of the Delhi Golf Club.
Ghulam Nabi Azad, 64
Rank 12: 60
He remains a key figure in the AICC. He is an important minister who also manages a variety of sensitive political issues such as Telangana.
The Rs 22,000 crore National Urban Health Mission can become Congresss ticket to success in urban areas. He has ensured social-sector spending remains in focus.
Telangana will test Azads political acumen. As general secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh,it is his task to improve the party fortunes in the state Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.
Had he waited for a couple of years patiently,he would have become the chief minister by now, he said about Jagan Mohan Reddy. YSR Congress asked if Jagan was being targeted only for leaving the Congress.
By the Way
He commissioned a tulip garden when he was J&K CM.