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PM Modi, Mamata Banerjee, Adar Poonawalla On Time’s 100 Most Influential People List

Apart from Indian personalities, United States (US) President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, former US President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Israel’s Naftali Bennett, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi were also listed among the 100 most influential people this year.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, and Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Serum Institute of India (SII) made it into the prestigious list of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people 2021. 

Apart from Indian personalities, United States (US) President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, former US President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Israel’s Naftali Bennett, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi were also listed among the 100 most influential people this year. 

PM Modi, who was made into the list many times in the past, was called one of the pivotal leaders of the country by the Times magazine.

Fareed Zakaria, of US news channel CNN, wrote in the Time Magazine, "Despite mishandling COVID-19—the death toll has been estimated to be much higher than the official count—his approval rating has slipped to a still sky-high 71 per cent. When he was elected, many believed that Modi would finally move India off its socialist past and into a capitalist future. He’s done some of that but more determinedly, he has pushed the country away from secularism and toward Hindu nationalism." 

"In addition to eroding the rights of India’s Muslim minority, Modi’s government has imprisoned and intimidated journalists who shine a light on its abuses and has passed laws crippling India’s thousands of NGOs and advocacy groups. It was responsible for 70 per cent of Internet shutdowns on the planet in 2020. Two international think tanks concluded this year that under his watch, India has veered away from democracy, toward what V-Dem Institute calls “electoral autocracy.” Modi must decide if that is what he wants as his legacy," Zakaria added. 

SII CEO Poonawalla also known as 'Vaccine Prince' has been listed in the section named “Pioneers”  

"From the beginning of the pandemic, Adar Poonawalla sought to meet the moment. His company, the Serum Institute of India, was already the world’s largest vaccine maker when he promised 1.1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the developing world by the end of 2021. That assurance was the backbone of the plan for global vaccine access mounted by a coalition of institutions, including the World Health Organization. Poonawalla told me in March he didn’t want to “have regrets when history judges my actions," wrote Abhishyant Kidangoor, a TIME producer.

After her landslide victory in the West Bengal Assembly Election, CM Mamata Banerjee became stronger and more popular. 

Unlike many other women in Indian politics, Mamata has never been framed as someone’s wife, mother, daughter, or partner. She rose from abject poverty—working once as a stenographer and a milk-booth vendor to support her family. Of Banerjee, it is said, she doesn’t lead her party, the Trinamool Congress—she is the party," wrote Barkha Dutt about her in Time magazine 

Interestingly, Abdul Ghani Baradar, Taliban leader and the current deputy PM of Afghanistan, was called “a charismatic military leader and a deeply pious figure. Now he stands as the fulcrum for the future of Afghanistan” and “represents a more moderate current within the Taliban," wrote the Time magazine.