The Official Top 10

first_imgFrom the man who heads India’s premier investigative agency in a regime when it can call on the biggest names in the corporate world for questioning, to the prime minister’s trusted economic planner. Meet the front-runners in India Today’s power list. Behind the triad of the judiciary, political elite and,From the man who heads India’s premier investigative agency in a regime when it can call on the biggest names in the corporate world for questioning, to the prime minister’s trusted economic planner. Meet the front-runners in India Today’s power list. Behind the triad of the judiciary, political elite and business class, lies the real face of change, embodied by these men of ideas. At a time when public trust is at its lowest, people may well find heart in the acts of these men who are changing the country’s social and economic landscape little by little. They deliver not just economic advice, but also the common man from ignorance about how his democratically elected government is run. Call them the steel spine or the lightning rod. Meet the men and women who run India. And the lives of its people.Chief Justice of India Sarosh Homi KapadiaJUSTICE SAROSH HOMI KAPADIA63, Chief Justice of India (New)Law and BeholdBecause by putting all corruption-related cases on the fast track, issuing a circular to courts across the country, he has ensured the executive does its job.Because he is keeping his promise of restoring integrity of the judiciary and has reshuffled High Court judges.Because he leads by example and has taken up reforms like not entertaining special mentions, and disposing of matters quickly to clear the huge backlog.Because the no-nonsense chief justice is the first to dispose of miscellaneous matters on Mondays and Fridays, and has been urging his brother judges to do the same.advertisementBecause under him, the Supreme Court is by far the most pro-active it has been.Because he is careful not to take up PILs which need the court to perform the functions of the executive.Taxing matters The CJI prefers to take up tax and corporate matters since he is an expert but does not shy from hearing crucial issues such as the Right to Education.On the dot Finicky about punctuality, he ticks off lawyers who do not appear on time. Always on the ball, Kapadia often turns away poorly-prepared advocates, ordering them to come back with proper briefs.Did you know That a Parsi himself, he has a keen interest in Hindu and Buddhist ideologies?Incredible journey He began his career as a clerk in a law firm in Mumbai in the early 1970s AMAR PRATAP SINGH58, CBI Director (New)The Hawk EyeBecause he heads the country’s premier investigation agency in a regime where it can call on the biggest names in corporate India for questioning.Because within three months of him being in charge, the CBI has metamorphosed from a slow-moving leviathan to an agile agency which means business.Because CBI investigation has led to a former Union minister landing in jail after two years of inaction in the 2G spectrum scam case, a top-notch telecom industrialist being summoned for interrogation and top aides of the former chairman of the CWG organising committee being arrested.Because his instruction to officers is simple: investigation should be carried out professionally without fear and favour so that no one questions the CBI’s integrity.Because he is known to be an upright officer who maintains a low profile despite his organisation being in the eye of a public storm.Did you know That the 1975-batch IPS officer’s request to join the CBI was turned down in 1996 by its then chief Joginder Singh who wanted some “fresh blood” in his team?Sporting spirit He was manager of the Indian hockey team in 2001Power passion An avid golfer, he is known for his good grip CBI Director Amar Pratap SinghVINOD RAI62, Comptroller and Auditor General of India (New)Mover and ShakerBecause he refused to give in to pressure to dilute his unforgiving audit report on the 2G spectrum allocation that put the Government on the mat.Because he has singlehandedly made everyone sit up and take notice of a somnolent CAG-the organisation was not taken seriously earlier and its reports seldom acted upon.Because after the 2G and scathing Commonwealth Games preparation report, the jittery Government is waiting for Rai’s next salvos on CWG corruption, defence land and Air India mismanagement.Because he is striving to bring accountability to the Government’s spending on social schemes such as MNREGS, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and mid-day meal by performance audits, offering concrete suggestions for improvement.Power past He has been a director on several boards, including the SBI, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank and LIC of India.Class apart The 1972 batch, to which Rai belongs, is termed as the “blessed batch” in bureaucratic circles. His batchmates include National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon and Home Secretary G.K. Pillai.advertisementNumber cruncher Alumnus of the Delhi School of Economics, he has a fine head for figuresFighting fit Never misses his daily game of tennis, weekend cricket and regular mountaineering trips TKA NAIR70, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister (New)The Trusted OneBecause the 1963-batch Punjab cadre IAS officer is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s most trusted bureaucrat and decides everything from the appointment of officials to Padma awards, to even influencing the recent Cabinet reshuffle, releasing the civil aviation ministry from Praful Patel’s firm grip.Because despite not being as visible as his powerful predecessors P.N. Haksar and Brajesh Mishra, he is indispensable to the prime minister.Because he is believed to be the man at the top of the powerful coterie of Kerala bureaucrats who operate the levers of power in the Capital.Did you know That he is a regular at the Ayyappa temple in Delhi’s R.K. Puram Sector 2 and the Guruvayoor temple in Mayur Vihar?Lingua Power Speaks fluent Punjabi and can read and write in GurumukhiPrinciple man Was also principal secretary to I.K. Gujral Comptroller and Auditor General of India Vinod RaiSHIV SHANKAR MENON61, National Security Adviser (7)Neighbourhood WatchBecause the 1972-batch IFS officer is in charge of the toughest diplomatic assignments: ties with China and Pakistan.Because his deft diplomacy and balanced temperament have stood India in good stead in responding to crises in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf.Because his helmsmanship through the political minefield during the Indo-US nuclear deal ensured Sharm el-Sheikh did not dent his reputation.Did you know A Malayali, Menon is married to a Maharashtrian, sings Hindustani classical and knows Mandarin and German?Family affairs His grandfather was India’s first foreign secretaryPast forward He believes history determines the future MONTEK SINGH AHLUWALIA67, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission (1)Master PlannerBecause he is being touted as a possible successor to Dominique Strauss Kahn as the head of the International Monetary Fund, which has never been led by a non-European.Because under him, the Planning Commission set an ambitious target of spending $1 trillion in public-private partnerships on India’s inadequate infrastructure between 2012 and 2017.Sartorial sense Like his boss, he always wears a blue turban. While the prime minister sports Cambridge University’s light blue, Ahluwalia sports the dark blue of Oxford.Did you know He corrects people who prefix his name with Dr, because he doesn’t have a PhD?Power past Headed the Oxford Union in the 1960s Principal Secretary to Prime Minister TKA NairNIRUPAMA RAO60, Foreign Secretary (New)The Velvet GloveBecause the second woman to hold this position now effectively runs the ministry with Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna in a supervisory role.Because she has steered the evolution of the ministry from one that merely formulates policy to one that looks after the interests of growing numbers of overseas Indians in distress from Kyrgyzstan to Egypt and Libya.advertisementNavy connection Her sister and brother-in-law are Navy admirals.Did you know She is a Western classical singer and a published poetPower connect Tweets under the handle ForeignSecNRao. Has 9,660 followers SAM PITRODA68, Adviser to the Prime Minister (3)Mind Over MatterBecause he found a mention in the 2011 Budget speech, with Pranab Mukherjee announcing the setting up of a National Innovation Council under him to prepare a roadmap for a Decade of Innovations with a special focus on micro, small and medium enterprises.Because Rahul Gandhi, like his father, seeks his advice on using telecom for e-governance.Because he is still pushing the government to implement the recommendations he made as head of the National Knowledge Commission, BSNL restructuring and Information and Communication Technology in Railways.Did you know He sketches in his notebook during meetings which he later puts on canvas, and holds regular exhibitions?Real name He was born as Satyanarayan Gangaram PitrodaCall of honour He is the man behind the yellow phone booths all over the country National Security adviser Shiv Shankar MenonG K PILLAI62, Home Secretary (9)Civil SoldierBecause the 1972-batch IAS officer makes a formidable team with Home Minister P. Chidambaram, and refuses to be hemmed in by diplomatic compulsions, repeatedly questioning Pakistan’s sincerity in bringing the 26/11 accused to book.Because despite no support from affected states in his fight against Maoists, he soldiers on.Because as a North-east expert, he is the one the Government relies on to end the long drawn-out insurgency and bring peace in the marginalised region.Sound bytes Generally knows what to leak but sometimes says more than what is diplomatically acceptable.Did you know That he makes it a point to catch up on the latest film releases with his bureaucrat wife Sudha?Work first He once came to work with a broken legPower dresser Wears his suits with well-coordinated ties K M CHANDRASEKHAR63, Cabinet Secretary (New)Tough TaskmasterBecause of his non-interventionist approach, he is an asset for the prime minister in an era of coalition politics.Because he is a no-nonsense man and asked all ministries last year to dispose of requests for prosecution sanction in all corruption cases by November 30, 2010.Because it’s not just administrative reforms, he also excels in economic reforms and was in charge of supervising the stimulus package in 2008-09.For the record The only serving IAS officer of the 1970 batch, he will be the third longest-serving cabinet secretary when he retires on June 30.Work first Hates watching TV except cricket matchesPower tool Does most of his work onlinelast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *