Washington, DC: India figures way down at a lowly 78th place in the Newsweek magazine’s list of best countries in the world, but Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gets the pride of place.
Hailing him among “The Leaders Other Leaders Love,” the US magazine in its latest cover story notes how “Manmohan Singh, a sophisticated former economist, has played a key role in the country’s emergence as one of the rising powers of the 21st century”.
While crediting him with “engineering the transition from stagnant socialism to a spectacular takeoff in the global economy,” Newsweek says: “It’s Singh’s unassuming personal style that really inspires awe among his fellow global luminaries, who praise him for being modest, humble, and incorruptible.”
The magazine cites former International Atomic Energy Agency director-general and Egyptian presidential challenger Mohamed ElBaradei as saying that the soft-spoken Manmohan Singh is “the model of what a political leader should be.”
Next among leaders, who “have managed to win serious respect” is the British Prime Minister, “The Ambitious Newcomer: David Cameron.”
He is followed by Maldives President “The Green Guru: Mohamed Nasheed” and “The Loved-Abroad-Hated-At-Home” French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Chinese premier Wen Jiabao takes the fifth place as “The Man of the People”.
But based on five categories of national well-being, education, health, quality of life, economic competitiveness, and political environment, Newsweek’s first-ever Best Countries special issue lists India at the 78th place with a score of 55.70 out of 100.
Finland tops the list with 89.31, the US is ranked 11th with 85.51. In South Asia, Sri Lanka is ranked at 66 with 58.80, higher than India. Neighbors Bangladesh and Pakistan get the 88th and 89th place with scores of 47.40 and 47.70 respectively.
Burkina Faso at 100th place brings up the rear with a score of 33.59.