(Current Affairs) Person in News | December: 2013

Person in News







G B Pradhan

Union Government of India appointed on 17 October 2013 Gireesh B. Pradhan, former Secretary of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, as the Chairperson of the Central Electricity RegulatoryCommission (CERC).

About Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC)

  • Central Electricity Regulatory Commission is a statutory body functioning under section 76 of the Electricity Act 2003.
  • It was initially constituted under the Electricity Regulatory Commissions Act, 1998 on 24 July 1998.

Main Functions of Central Electricity Regulatory Commission

  • to regulate the tariff of generating companies owned or controlled by the Central Government
  • to regulate the inter-State transmission of electricity
  • to determine tariff for inter- State transmission of electricity
  • to issue licenses to persons to function as transmission licensee and electricity trader with respect to their inter-State operations
  • to adjudicate upon disputes involving generating companies or transmission licensee
  • to specify Grid Code having regard to Grid Standards;
  • to specify and enforce the standards with respect to quality, continuity and reliability of service by licensees;
  • to fix the trading margin in the inter-State trading of electricity, if considered, necessary;
  • to discharge such other functions as may be assigned under the Act.

Ranjan Mathai

Former Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai on 30 September 2013 was appointed as India’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. He will succeed noted economist and veteran diplomat Dr Jaimini Bhagwati. However, he will take up the charge of the office later.

Arunendra Kumar

Arunendra Kumar was on 16 October 2013 appointed as Chairman of Railway Board (Ministry of Railways) and ex-officio Principal Secretary to Government of India.

Prior to this appointment he was acting as additional charge of Chairman of Railway Board since 1 July 2013 besides his regular posting as Member (Mechanical) Railway Board and ex officio Secretary to the Government of India.


Rajendra Yadav

Rajendra Yadav, the noted Hindi writer passed away on 28 October 2013 at Mayur Vihar, Delhi because of prolonged illness. He was 84 years old.

About Rajendra Yadav

  • Rajendra Yadav was born on 28 August 1929 in Agra.
  • He was a pioneer of Hindi literary movement known as Nayi Kahani in the 60s.
  • He re-launched Munshi Premchand’s magazine HANS, which he himself had been editing since 1986.
  • Pret Bolte Hain was his first novel and it was published in the year 1951. This was the first Hindi novel to try to shock orthodox Indian cultural traditions.
  • Pret Bolte Hain written by Rajendra Yadav was adapted into the movie of the same title, Sara Akash, by Basu Chatterjee in 1969.
  • His other novels included Ukhre Huey Log and Shaah aur Maat.
  • He wrote various stories during his career.
  • He was also nominated as a member of the Board of Prasar Bharati, from 1999 to 2001.
  • Rajendra Yadav’s wife Mannu Bhandari is also a renowned Hindi writer.
  • He authored two other novels entitled Kulta (The Wayward Wife), and Shaah aur Maat (Check and Mate).
  • Apart from these novels, his other works included Ek Inch Muskaan (A Little Smile), which was co-authored by his wife Mannu Bhandari. It was the love tragedy of schizophrenic individuals.


Rasheed Masood

Rasheed Masood, the arrested Congress leader resigned from the post of Chairman of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) on 9 October 2013. He was sentenced to four years of jail term on 1 October 2013 on the grounds of corruption as well as other offences.

He was appointed as Chairman APEDA, under the Commerce Ministry, for a three-year-term in April 2013. He had become the first political appointee in the expert body. Earlier, customarily, it was headed by the bureaucrat. After, Rasheed Masood’s resignation, Asit Tripathy, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce became the Chairman of the body. It is important to note that the exports of agriproducts in 2012-13 were 120450 crore Rupees, a growth of 40 percent in comparison to 86028 crore rupees of 2011-12. Rajya Sabha member Rasheed Masood became the first politician to lose his parliamentary seat after a recent Supreme Court ruling on convicted law makers.


Fortune Top 50 Women Business Leaders-2013

Four Indians, Chanda Kochhar, Chitra Ramkrishna, Shikha Sharma, Naina Lal Kidwai have made to 2013 Fortune magazine’s global list of top- 50 women business leaders. The list was released on 20 October 2013 by Fortune magazine, US. ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar has been ranked 4th, followed by National Stock Exchange chief Chitra Ramkrishna at 17th, Axis Bank’s Shikha Sharma at 32nd and HSBC’s Naina Lal Kidwai at 42nd place among the Indians on the international list of most powerful women in business.

This list is topped by Brazilian energy giant Petrobras’ CEO Maria Das Gracas Foster, followed by Turkish conglomerate Sabanci Holding’s Guler Sabanci at the second place and Australian banking giant Westpac’s CEO Gail Kelly at the third. Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director and CEO of India’s largest private sector bank, has moved up one position from her fifth position on the 2012 list, while NSE chief Ramkrishna has made it to the list for the first time.

Shikha Sharma and Naina Lal Kidwai were ranked 37th and 40th, respectively, on Fortune’s international list for most powerful business women 2012. Chitra Ramkrishna, a newcomer to the International Power 50 list, Fortune stated she has made history as the first woman to head an exchange in India.

A separate list for most powerful business women in the USA, also complied by Fortune magazine, continues to be topped by technology giant IBM’s Ginni Rometty, while PepsiCo’s Indianorigin CEO Nooyi has retained her second position. DuPont’s Ellen Kullman is ranked third, followed by Lockheed Martin’s Marillyn Hewson.


Ratan Tata

Ratan Tata, India’s leading industrialist was inducted into National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in the US for his outstanding contributions to industrial development in India as well as the world. Apart from Ratan Tata, eight Indian-Americans were also inducted in the NAE. 75-year-old Ratan tata, the Chairman Emeritus of the Tata Group was inducted as the Foreign Associate.

About the National Academy of Engineering (NAE)

  • The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) was founded in the year 1964.
  • It is the private, independent, nonprofit institution which offers the engineering leadership to the US.
  • In the year 2013, NAE elected 69 new members and 11 foreign associates, after which the membership of NAE became 2250 and the number of foreign associates became 211.

Other Indian-Americans inducted into National Academy of Engineering

  • Ganesh Kailasam, from Dow Chemical
  • Vijay Kumar, from University of Pennsylvania
  • Bal Raj Sehgal, emeritus professor of nuclear power safety, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm
  • Pradeep S Sindhu, founder, Juniper Networks
  • Krishna P Singh, president and chief executive officer, Holtec International

It is important to note that the percentage of US engineering graduates among all its graduates is 1/3 of the European average and 1/6 of the Asian competitor average.

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