Telecom minister A. Raja climbed up the rankings of India’s top newsmakers in April as he defended himself against opposition allegations of wrongdoing in the allocation of 2G spectrum. Opposition parties have sought the removal of Raja, who claims the spectrum had been allocated fairly and transparently. His critics charge that 2G spectrum was given away for a pittance in comparison with the nearly Rs70,000 crore the government raised in the just-concluded auction of 3G radio waves. Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee remained at the top of Mint’s 20-member group of influencers last month both in the global and Indian media, but the number of press citations of the finance minister in the local media dipped 13% compared with the previous month. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor D. Subbarao was number two amid continuing market anxiety about possible interest-rate hikes.
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The Mint Influencers Index is a monthly objective measure based on media analysis by Dow Jones Insight, which tracks these leaders, looking at the volume of media citings for each of them as a proxy for their rising or waning influence. The assumption is that visibility and share of voice is good for them and their companies. In the case of global media, the index is collectively a surrogate for the growing or waning interest in India.
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Graphic by Ahmed Raza Khan/Mint