1. World Bank to be anchor investor in the New Railway Development Fund 

(i) Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu recently informed that the World Bank would be the anchor investor in the new Railway Development Fund which would be used for modernisation of the Indian Railway. 

(ii) The Government along with World Bank were since long working  on creating a Railway Development Fund and it is expected to be started soon as there is unanimity over the leadership of WB in this fund. 

(iii) Though the amount that will be extended by WB is not clear, Prabhu has confirmed it is largest ever provided by the WB to Indian Railways.

2. Tsai Ing-wen becomes the first female President of Taiwan 

(i) In a landmark elections in Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen was elected as the first female President of the country. Tsai Ing-wen is a leader of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won a  whooping 56.1% of the total votes.

(ii) The Nationalist Party candidate, Eric Chu in Taiwan’s presidential election conceded defeat to rival Tsai Ing-wen and congratulated her on her victory. 

(iii) This was the first time Nationalist Party lost election is Taiwan. DPP has won 68 of the total  113 seats in Taiwanese Parliament with Nationalist Party wining only 35.

3.  Anuradha Roy wins DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2016 

(i) In a recent event, at the Fairway Galle Literary Festival in Galle, Sri Lanka India’s Anuradha Roy won the DSC Prize for the South Asian Literature 2016 for her novel Sleeping on Jupiter. 

(ii) Roy was presented a trophy by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and a cash award worth $50,000. This was the sixth edition of the awards and the prize received 74 entries, with participation of publishers from countries outside the South Asian region such as the U.K., U.S., Canada, Australia and South Africa. 

(iii) Roy’s war winning novel deals with the subject of violence against women.The jury said,”We chose Sleeping on Jupiter by Anuradha Roy because of its elegance, flair and readability. It raises many issues succinctly and with commendable economy of words.”

4. NITI Aayog – IDFC institute to conduct an enterprise survey of manufacturing firms

(i) The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog recently announced its collaboration with IDFC Institute to conduct an enterprise survey of manufacturing firms. 

(ii) The objective in conducting this survey is to assess the business regulatory environment in each State and Union Territories (UT’s) and to identify policy and regulatory hurdles faced by businesses in various states and Union Territories in India.

(iii) As per the NITI Aayog statement,” The NITI Aayog- IDFC Institute Enterprise survey will complement the governments Make in India initiative by taking stock of issues faced and providing impetus for state-level reforms that will make it easier to do business in India, while fostering competitive and cooperative federalism.”

5. Veteran BJP leader and former Sikkim Governor V. Rama Rao passes away 

(i) Former Sikkim Governor V. Rama Rao and veteran BJP leader passed away in  Hyderabad due to prolonged illness. 

(ii) Rao,was a lawyer and practised at the Andhra Pradesh High Court. He joined Jan Sangh in 1956 and was BJP National vice president. He was the state unit chief twice in the united Andhra Pradesh from 1992-96. Later, he served as a member of the BJP National Executive and more recently as member of the core committee of the Telangana BJP. 

(iii) In his political career, he was elected as the Member of the State Legislative council in the Andhra State Legislature and successfully served for three terms in 1966,1972 and 1978, during his fourth term in 1984 after his election from graduate constituency the legislative council was abolished. He also served as Sikkim Governor from October 25, 2002 to October 25, 2007.

6. Former Ambassador T P Srinivasan receives Sree Chitra Thirunal 2015 Award 

(i) Recently, vice president Hamid Ansari presented the Sree Chitra Thirunal 2015 to former Ambassador and the Vice Chairman of the  Kerala Higher Education Council, T P Srinivasan.

(ii) The award which is instituted by a private trust is bestowed annually on individuals who have an excellent public service record. Srinivas brought about various progressive laws and reforms.

(ii) In 1932, he carried out a set of Constitutional Reforms – formed the first Bicameral Legislature and agreed to reduce some of its political powers. He is credited for allocating a substantial share of the State’s revenue towards furthering education.Several progressive measures including those dealing with child marriage restraint, suppression of immoral traffic, Hindu widows remarriage, maternity benefit aimed at empowerment of women and children were also introduced by him among other activities. 

7. BHEL commissions its second 660 MW supercritical thermal unit in UP

(i) The State run Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), commissioned the second 660 megawatt supercritical unit, at Lalitpur Super Thermal Power Project (STPP) in Uttar Pradesh.

(ii) In December 2014, BHEL successfully commissioned its first unit of 3×660 Megawatts Prayagraj Super Thermal Power Project (STPP) in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.

(iii) On commencement of the generation, the government expects there to be significant improvement in availability of power. As per the statement by BHEL, “Extra efforts were put in by BHEL for early readiness of the unit to enable the state to tide over its acute power shortage.”

8. India’s Dinesh Sharma elected to the board of directors of AIIB

(i) India’s Dinesh Sharma, the Additional Secretary of Ministry of Finance was recently elected to the 12-member board of the China backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). 

(ii) The bank was formally launched by the Chinese President, Xi Jinping at a special function in Beijing, China. 

(iii) The inaugural meeting of the board of governors of the bank concluded with approved by-laws, rules and codes of conduct for the bank. 

(iv) AIIB, with authorised capital of USD 100 billion and subscribed capital of USD 50 billion, will invest in various sectors including urban construction, education, healthcare, energy and others. 

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