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"Modi has raised his profile as a global leader in recent years during official visits with Barack Obama and Xi Jinping," Forbes said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been ranked the ninth most powerful person in the world by the Forbes magazine while Russian President Vladimir Putin has topped the list of 74 of the World's Most Powerful People for the fourth consecutive year. US President-Elect Donald Trump occupies the second position while outgoing US President Barack Obama is ranked 48th.

"Modi has raised his profile as a global leader in recent years during official visits with Barack Obama and Xi Jinping. He has also emerged as a key figure in the international effort to tackle climate change, as planetary warming will deeply affect millions of his country's rural and most vulnerable citizens," Forbes said.

The magazine also highlighted PM Modi's demonetisation move against black money and corruption and said: "There are nearly 7.4 billion humans on planet Earth, but these 74 men and women make the world turn. Forbes' annual ranking of the World's Most Powerful People identifies one person out of every 100 million whose actions mean the most."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is third on the list while the fourth spot belongs to Chinese President Xi Jinping. Others in the top 10 of the Forbes list are: Pope Francis (5th), American economist Janet Yellen (6th), Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates (7th), Google Inc. co-founder Larry Page (8th) and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (10th).

"The world's most powerful person for four years running, Russia's president has exerted his country's influence in nearly every corner of the globe; from the motherland to Syria to the U.S. presidential elections, Putin continues to get what he wants. Unconstrained by conventional global norms, his reach has magnified in recent years," the magazine wrote about Russian President Putin, who has earned the first position.

The list features Apple CEO Tim Cook on the 32nd position while Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani is on the 38the spot.

India-born CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella occupies the 51st position. 

"He has steered the company away from a failing mobile strategy and focused on other lines of business, including cloud computing and augmented reality, and in 2016 he oversaw the purchase of the professional network LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. The result? Microsoft's stock is at an all-time high," Forbes said about Nadella.