New York, Dec 6: IT stalwart Roshni Nadar Malhotra, biotechnology pioneer Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, media mogul Shobhana Bhartia and actor Priyanka Chopra have been named among the world's 100 most powerful women by Forbes in a list topped by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Merkel, 64, a four-time Chancellor, retained the top spot in The World's 100 Most Powerful Women 2018. It is the eighth consecutive year and 13 times in total in the 15 years of the annual list she has topped.

She is followed by UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who for the second year in a row has retained the No 2 spot on the list. May, 62, is followed by International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde (No 3), General Motors CEO Mary Barra (No 4), and Fidelity Investments CEO Abigail Johnson (No 5).

Nadar Malhotra, CEO, HCL Technologies is ranked 51st on the list. The 37-year old is responsible for all strategic decisions for the USD 8.1 billion enterprise, which operates in technology, healthcare and infosystems.

Nadar Malhotra is also the Vice Chairperson of the board of HCL Technologies and the Chairperson of its CSR Committee. She is a trustee of the Shiv Nadar Foundation, which is focused on education and has established some of India's top colleges and schools.

Mazumdar-Shaw, Founder and Chair, Biocon, is ranked 60. India's richest self-made woman had founded the country's largest bio pharmaceutical firm in 1978.

The firm has successfully forayed into the lucrative US biosimilars market, catching the attention of investors and creating a surge in market cap, Forbes said.

Biocon became the first company to gain approval from the USFDA for two different biosimilars of drugs used in certain cancer treatments.

The 65-year old business woman has invested in research infrastructure and scientific talent with the aim of building a deep R&D-based biotech firm, not a copycat generics maker.

Bhartia, 61, Chairperson and Managing Director, HT Media, is ranked 88th. In 2013, Bhartia launched the business weekly MintAsia in Singapore and then bought Webitude, a social and digital media outfit. HT Media's tutoring arm, Studymate, has expanded into coaching students for the admissions exam required by India's elite engineering schools.

Chopra, who married American singer and actor Nick Jonas this week, comes in at the 94th spot.

Forbes said Chopra, 36, is "arguably the most successful Bollywood actor to cross over to Hollywood".

Chopra made her US big-screen debut in 2017's "Baywatch" and became the first Indian actor to lead a drama series on American television as the former star of ABC's "Quantico."

She launched her own production company, Mumbai-based Purple Pebble Pictures, to promote regional filmmakers and emerging Indian talent.

In 2018, she became a tech investor, putting money into dating app Bumble's investment fund and Holberton School for software engineering.

The UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and UN Foundation Girl Up Champion also launched the Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education.

"Forbes' Most Powerful Women 2018 list reflects what is always known about power, how ephemeral it is and how volatile it can be," says Moira Forbes, Executive Vice President, Forbes Media.

"The world's most powerful women are leading amidst a tumultuous time where geopolitical tensions are on the rise, key economies are facing instability, and where trust in institutions is at an all-time low."

The 100 women on the list are women who are building billion-dollar brands, calling the shots in the financial markets, crisscrossing the globe to broker international agreements, and provide aid to those in need.

Their accomplishments are formidable on their own, and even more so given how difficult it can be to establish inroads into industries and job titles traditionally dominated by men, especially in tech, venture capital, and Hollywood.

They are builders, disruptors, and innovators in every sector from business to creative worlds, taking a modern, forward-looking view on power and using their positions to better the world.

Members of the 2018 Most Powerful Women list represent women in six categories: business (27 honorees), technology (18), finance (12), media & entertainment (16), politics & policy (22), and philanthropy (5). In total, the Power Women control or influence nearly USD 2 trillion in revenues and oversee 5 million employees.

The 2018 list spans more than six generations of influential women, with Taylor Swift the youngest honoree at 28 and Queen Elizabeth II the oldest at 92.

The list also includes siblings for the first time Anne and Susan Wojcicki of 23andMe and YouTube respectively.

North America represents 50 women on the list, Asia Pacific 22, Europe (inclusive of Russia and Turkey) 17, the United Kingdom 7, the Middle East 3, one in Africa.

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Thiruvananthapuram: Authorities in coastal areas of Kerala have been put on high alert after an intelligence report said 15 Islamic State terrorists had set off from Sri Lanka for the Lakshadweep islands on boats, police sources said.

Coastal police stations and police chiefs have been alerted about suspicious vessels. The sources said, though, such alerts are "usual practice", this time they have a specific information about the number of terrorists.

The coastal police department said it has been on alert since May 23 after the intelligence input came from Sri Lanka.

"We have been on alert since the Sri Lankan attack. We have alerted fishing vessel owners and others venturing into the sea to be cautious," a coastal police department official told PTI.

After the serial bomb blasts in Sri Lanka, Kerala was put on alert, especially after NIA investigations revealed that IS operatives had planned attacks in the state.