If Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi is the Indian government's firm but kind matriarch and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh its chief executive, then Montek Singh Ahluwalia is its brain. Ahluwalia's official title only hints at his influence: as the government's chief policy adviser, Ahluwalia is instrumental in charting India's way ahead. The Oxford-educated economist spent 11 years with the World Bank in Washington before returning to Indian in 1979 to work as an economic adviser to the government, a task he continues today. Ahluwalia's fingerprints can be found in policies from economics to education reform, and he has been a driving force in the liberalization program of the past 16 years. You may not have heard of him but today's India owes a lot to his thinking.
By Simon Robinson
Next Salman Rushdie