Software czar Azim Premji and anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare are among five Indians who figure in the Foreign Policy magazine's list of Top 100 Global Thinkers, that is dominated by revolutionaries who have been the driving force behind the Arab Spring.
The list features US President Barack Obama, who is ranked 11th among the top 100 global thinkers, and also includes writer-activist Arundhati Roy, poverty researcher Deepa Narayan and economist Arvind Subramanian.
With the Arab Spring being the single most important influential development of the year, the top nine positions in the list are occupied by leading revolutionaries from the region, bracketed together as the 'The Arab revolutionaries'.
It includes the likes of Egyptian dentist-turned-author Alaa Al Aswany, former IAEA chief and activist Mohamed Elbaradei, and Google marketing guru Wael Ghonim.
Identified as India's Bill Gates, Azim Premji is ranked 14th, just below Bill and Melinda Gates.
"It's not just because of Azim Premji's enormous wealth that he is compared to the American technologist turned philanthropist," the Foreign Policy magazine says.
It is Premji's unprecedented philanthropy, that recently has borne out the Gates comparison, it adds.
"Through his contributions, Premji is at the forefront of a rising tide of Indian philanthropy, with billionaire executives such as Shiv Nadar, founder of the technology company HCL, and Sunil Bharti Mittal, of the business conglomerate Bharti Enterprises, often listed in the same cohort," it writes.
However, making a surprise entry into this list of top 100 global thinkers is Anna Hazare who has been placed at the 37th position for his anti-corruption crusade in the country.
The government today said it has granted Maharatna status to Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd and Gas Authority of India Ltd.