This year's power list has US President Barack Obama taking a backseat and his Russian counterpart Vladmir Putin being crowned as world's most powerful man.

The annual Forbes list of 'Most Powerful People in the World' features heads of state, philanthropists and NGO chiefs, CEOs and some billionaires.

To prepare the list, Forbes' editors assess the number of people a candidate influences. Financial resources of the candidates are then assessed, and for heads of state Forbes uses GDP. The magazine then determines whether a specified candidate is powerful in other multiple spheres

Here are the top 10 powerful men and women in the world:

Vladmir Putin

The former KGB strongman and Russian President tops the list to become the world's most powerful man this year.

"Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin scores the highest points in 2013 because he so frequently shows his strength at home and on the global stage - consider NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and the recent chess match over Syria," Forbes said.

Barack Obama

barack obama
Barack ObamaSpencer Platt/Getty Images

Even though Barack Obama heads the world's most dominant country - United States of America - he fell down to the second spot.

With Obama's pet legislation, Obamacare, under fire and his NSA surveillance being criticised overseas, he has lost points. Also the 16-day government shutdown did not turn in his favour.

 3: Xi Jingping

The 60-year-old Chinese president is the paramount political and military leader, ruling over 1.3 billion people (nearly 20 percent of the world's population).

Moreover, his country is the largest shareholder of US debt with some $1.3 trillion in US securities.

4: Pope Francis

Pope Francis became the fourth most powerful man on earth. As a spiritual leader of 1.2 billion Catholics, he influences about 1/6th of the world's population. He regularly uses social media like Twitter, to dispense his religious advice to more than three million followers.

5: Angela Merkel

German Chancellor retained the spot of being the most powerful woman in the world, but has dropped to the fifth position in the list, down from no. 2 last year.

Angela Merkel is the backbone of the 27-member European Union and carries the heavyweight of the euro on her shoulders.

6: Bill Gates

Bill Gates is currently the wealthiest man on Earth with a net worth of $72 billion. The Microsoft founder is not just the richest man on the planet but also the most generous. He has donated more than $28 billion for the eradication of diseases like polio and malaria through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is co-chaired by his wife Melinda.

7: Ben Bernanke

This American economist will step down as the chairman of the Federal Reserve in January 2014. The former Princeton professor Bernanke has served as chairman during some of the biggest financial challenges since the Depression.

8: Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud

The King of Saudi Arabia features in the world's most powerful people list, with his country having a net worth of $727 billion GDP. The 89-year-old monarch also holds the keys to Islam's two holiest sites and the world's second largest crude oil deposit of some 265 billion barrels that amounts to about 18 percent of global reserves.

9: Mario Draghi

He is the chief banker at the European Central Bank. The eurozone's collective GDP is now nearly $17 trillion and Draghi has been assigned the task to maintain financial unity across 17 countries. He goes by the nick name 'Super Mario'.

10: Michael Duke

Michael Duke, CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, employs 2.1 million people and is the top private employer on Earth. Duke is the chief of the world's no. 1 retailer