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'Pachauri, Amartya among top thinkers'

world Updated: Dec 01, 2009 13:48 IST
Noble laureates Rajendra Kumar Pachauri

Nobel laureates Rajendra Kumar Pachauri and Amartya Sen, noted columnist C Raja Mohan and environmentalist Sunita Narain are four Indians to figure in the list of top 100 global thinkers for the year 2009, the prestigious US Foreign Policy magazine said on Monday.

Topping the list released by the influential international affairs journal is US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke for staving off a 'new Great Depression', followed by US President Barack Obama for reimagining America’s role in the world.

Pachauri, who chairs the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is ranked fifth for ending the debate whether climate change matters. He was co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize with former US vice president Al Gore in 2007.

"As the link between human activity and climate change becomes conventional wisdom and governments work urgently to
establish a global climate treaty, Pachauri deserves no small amount of credit for creating such an extraordinary shift in
public opinion," the Foreign Policy said.

Sen, the Noble Prize winner in economics in 1998, is ranked 58 for showing how democracy prevents famine. "Central to his thinking is the concept of "capabilities" -- the idea that it is not just the distribution of resources in a society that matters, but the ability of its members to make informed choices about the use of those resources and to punish leaders who fail them," it said.

India’s respected columnist Raja Mohan has been ranked 67 for his forceful advocacy of India’s rise to great-power status.
"With India on the verge of achieving its potential as a regional power, Raja Mohan is one of the leading theorists
pushing the world's largest democracy to abandon its traditional aloofness and seek full integration with the West," the Foreign Policy journal.

"A strong US-India partnership, Mohan argues in his influential columns for The Indian Express and The Hindu, will
assist India in its continued economic rise -- and give the United States an ally in Asia that could provide vital
assistance in halting the rise of radical Islam and checking China's rising power," the top international magazine said.

Narain, Director of non-governmental Center for Science and Environment, is ranked 88 for giving voice to India’s environmental conscience.

"Narain has a long-standing penchant for picking -- and usually winning -- David-and-Goliath fights," it said,
adding that she is the aggressive public face of India's environmental movement, waging war on both big-business polluters and the government interests that shelter them.

Among others who have figured in this list are former US president Bill Clinton (six) for redefining philanthropy in
the modern era, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (seven) for giving "smart power" a star turn at the State Department,
Microsoft founder Bill Gates (12) for or taking the efficiency of Microsoft to the poorest of the poor, Pope Benedict XVI
(17) for showing that even the supposedly infallible can change and Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (26) for
being a living symbol of hope in a dark place.