Mumbai Current Affairs

Mumbai’s Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Buildings declared World Heritage site by UNESCO

Two building clusters of Victorian Gothic and Art Deco architectural styles in Mumbai, Maharashtra were jointly inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage List. The decision was taken during 42nd session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee (WHC) in Manama, Bahrain. This recognition will push country’s financial capital high on global cultural map.

Recognised Structures are

This is first world heritage site that flaunts combination of 19th Century Victorian Gothic structures and 20th Century Art Deco buildings. The ensemble of two building clusters recognized from Mumbai consists of 94 buildings primarily of 19th century Victorian Gothic revival and early 20th century Art Deco style of architecture.

Victorian buildings of Mumbai that have earned recognition, forms part of larger Fort precinct and are situated to east of Oval Maidan. These public buildings, include Old Secretariat (1857-74), University Library and Convention Hall (1874-78), Bombay High Court (1878), Public Works Department Office (1872), Watson’s Hotel (1869), David Sasoon Library (1870),  Elphinstone College (1888), Prince of Wales Museum (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya), Maharashtra Police Headquarters, and NGMA (National Gallery of Modern Art). The buildings of Art Deco structures that have earned recognition includes building of first row of Marine Drive, Regal and Eros Cinemas, Ram Mahal along Dinshaw Wacha Road, Cricket Club of India and Buildings of Backbay Reclamation scheme.

Key Facts

This is third such honour for Mumbai after Elephanta Caves and majestic Victoria Terminus (rechristened Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station) which had earned coveted tag in 1987 and 2004 respectively. With this, Mumbai has equal number of World Heritage sites as Delhi, which has three — Red Fort, Qutub Minar and Humayun’s Tomb.

With this, the count of World Heritage Sites in India has now risen to 37, of which 29 are cultural, seven natural and one mixed site. It makes India sixth ranked country in the list of world heritage properties. With five sites, Maharashtra has maximum number of world heritage sites in India, including Ajanta and Ellora caves in Aurangabad and Mumbai has three.

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3rd Annual Meeting of AIIB held in Mumbai

The 3rd Annual Meeting of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) concluded in Mumbai, Maharashtra in optimistic note to raise its lending capacity to boost prosperity and security in Asia. The meeting was jointly organised by Department of Economic Affairs under Union Finance Ministry and AIIB.

Key Facts

The theme of third meeting was ‘Mobilising Finance for Infrastructure: Innovation and Collaboration’. It was attended by over 3,000 delegates from 86 member countries of AIIB.  It was held on high note to improve connectivity within region and in turn enable citizens in the region to reach their potential and enjoy prosperity and security. It had several concurrent sessions that discussed critical issues pertaining to environment, low carbon emissions, connectivity through railway network across borders among several others.

The first AIIB board of governors annual meeting was held in Beijing, China in 2016  and second in Jeju, South Korea in 2017 . The fourth annual meeting will be held in Luxembourg in July 2019. Luxembourg is a founding member of AIIB. It is also leading international financial center in Europe and facilitator of investments between Europe and Asia.

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

AIIB is multilateral development bank initiated by China. Its purpose is to provide finance to infrastructure development and regional connectivity projects in Asia-Pacific region. It is viewed as Asia’s response to West-dominated Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank (WB).

It was officially established in December 2015 with mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia and beyond and opened for business in January 2016. It is headquartered in Beijing, China. Its goals are to boost economic development in Asia-Pacific region, provide infrastructure, and promote regional cooperation and partnership. It priorities investments in energy, power generation, transport, rural infrastructure, environmental protection and logistics in Asia.

So far it has 86 members including India (US is not its member of AIIB but its allies Canada, Germany, UK, Australia and South Korea have joined it). It has an authorised capital of US $100 billion. China is largest shareholder of AIIB with 26.06% voting shares. India with 7.5% vote share is second largest shareholder followed by Russia, Germany and South Korea.

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