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Friday, 19 December 2014

Modi pips Obama in Harvard study

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emerged on the top of the list on for his development strategy in a Harvard study which measured the global perception of world leaders such as US President Barack Obama, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and British PM David Cameron. 

Modi topped the chart with a 87.8% approval for his policies, piping Obama (who was ranked 20th with 44.8%), Cameron (ranked 15th with 51.5%) and Abe (ranked 26th with 30.4%). 

The report titled "Reflections on a Survey of Global Perceptions of International Leaders and World Powers" by Harvard's Kennedy School of Government has illustrated the popularity of PM Modi domestically and globally. It cites the thumping mandate in the 2014 general elections and the fact that he had expanded his fan base across the globe. 

The report, sought views of citizens across 30 nations of the world on 10 influential leaders having a global impact. 

When it comes to domestic confidence on the leaders on handling domestic and international affairs (in the 10 key countries, such as Russia, UK, China, France, USA, Germany, Japan Brazil, India and South Africa), Modi emerged second, with a confidence rating of 93.2%. 

Widen the list to thirty countries and the PM was in the third, only behind German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping. 

The study describes Narendra Modi as one of the four leaders who enjoy high levels of confidence in handling both domestic and international affairs. The other three on this 'elite' list are Merkel, Putin and Xi Jinping. 

The popularity of Modi is greater than that of President Xi Jinping in 18 of the 30 nations where the survey took place. The general trend of this report was that leaders in full-fledged democracies received far lesser numbers as compared to other nations. 

Bucking this trend is Modi, who not only leads the world's largest democracy but also emerges as a highly popular figure who has expanded the imprint of India at the global stage, the finding of the report showed. 

Since assuming office in May, Modi has had a string of international visits. He began his stint by inviting all SAARC leaders to his oath taking ceremony. He embarked on a bilateral visit to Nepal in 17 years, Australia in 28 years and Fiji in 31 years. His visit to Japan saw gave a strong impetus to India- Japan ties and his visit to the US attracted global attention. 

Modi also played host to Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Putin and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott among others.