"Mr Modi has got India and the world excited about his country's prospects again," Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez said in a press statement.
The charismatic nationalist politician won India's biggest electoral victory in three decades in the April-May polls and has been received like a pop star in visits to the United States and Australia.
Modi, 64, has vowed to reform the economy of the nation of 1.2 billion people by slashing red tape, attracting foreign investment and harnessing the potential of its youthful population.
Last year, the award was shared by President Xi Jinping of China and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. The inaugural award, in 2012, went to Prime Minister U Thein Sein of Myanmar.
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