As we bid adieu to the second decade of the 21st-century let’s look back at the national news stories that made headlines in the last 10 years (2010-19).
- On February 13 a bomb exploded at the German Bakery in Pune, Maharashtra killing 17 people, and injured at least 60. Two terrorist groups – Laskhar-e-Taiba Al Alami and the Mujahideen Islami Muslim Front claimed responsibility for the attack.
- The Commonwealth Games (CWG) scam is one of the major Indian scams involving pilferage of Rs. 70,000 crore. It is estimated that out of Rs.70,000 crore spent on the Games, only half of the said amount was spent on Indian sportspersons.
- The Indian anti-corruption movement, which began on March 25 and went on till November 26 was a series of demonstrations and protests across India intended to establish strong legislation and enforcement against perceived endemic political corruption. Led by anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare, the goal was to alleviate corruption in the Indian government through the introduction of the Jan Lokpal Bill. Furthermore, it resulted in a split in the Anna Hazare team with Arvind Kejriwal forming Aam Aadmi Party. The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 was enacted due to the movement. Time magazine listed it as one of the “Top 10 News Stories of 2011”.
- The Parliament of India passed the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences (POSCO) Bill, 2011 regarding child sexual abuse on May 22 2012 into an Act. The POSCO Act, 2012 received the President’s assent on June 19, 2012, whereby death penalty will be given to those convicted of raping a child up to 12 years of age.
- The coal allocation scam or the Coalgate is a political scandal that swamped the UPA government in 2012 implicated former PM Manmohan Singh and pulled top politicians into the probe. This scam hit the headlines after the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) accused the Indian government of allocating over 194 coal blocks to public and private enterprises (PSE’s) for captive use in an ad hoc manner between 2004 and 2009.
- The 2012 Delhi gang-rape, also known as the Nirbhaya rape case involved the rape of a 23-year-old female physiotherapy intern on December 16 2012 in Munirka, South Delhi. She was beaten, gang-raped, and tortured in a private bus in which she was traveling with her friend. Six people were accused – one of whom died during the trial period, four convicts were sentenced to death by the Supreme court as of May5 2017 and a Juvenile convict served imprisonment of 3 years.
- In April, a major financial and political scandal was unraveled, which was caused by the collapse of a Ponzi scheme run by Saradha Group, a consortium of over 200 private companies was believed to be running collective investment schemes referred to as chit funds in Kolkata, West Bengal.
- On June 16, a multi-day cloudburst centered on the North Indian state of Uttarakhand causing devastating floods and landslides becoming the country’s worst natural disaster since the 2004 tsunami. The reason behind the heavy flood was rainfall received on a larger scale.
- Launched on November 5, Mars Orbiter Mission or Mangalyaan is a space probe orbiting Mars since 24 September 2014. It is India’s first interplanetary mission and made the country the first Asian nation to reach Martian orbit and the first nation in the world to do so on its maiden attempt.
- Narendra Damodaras Modi was sworn in as the 14th and current Prime Minister of India on May 26, 2014. He has also been reelected for a second term on May 30, 2019. He also became the first Prime Minister who was born after India’s independence from the British Empire.
- On June 2, 2014, Telangana, earlier a part of Andhra Pradesh was separated and formed as the 29th state with Hyderabad as its historic permanent capital.
- Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian social reformer was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Malala Yousafzai, “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”
- The Hok Kolorob Movement or the Jadavpur University student protest was a four-month-long series of protests by the students of Jadavpur University in Kolkata. It began on September 3, 2014, due to laxity in the investigation of an alleged case of molestation on campus. The students wanted an unbiased, transparent, fast investigation of the allegation with an appropriate legal committee. The protests resulted in the resignation of the Vice-Chancellor.
- Cow vigilante violence involves mob attacks in the name of “cow protection” targeting mostly illegal cow smugglers since 2014. Cattle slaughter has been banned in most parts of the country. According to a Reuters report, a total of 63 cow vigilante attacks had occurred in India between 2010 and mid-2017and in these attacks about 28 people were killed with another 124 injured.
- Satya Nadella, an Indian American business executive became the chief executive officer (CEO) of Microsoft.
- Yakub Memon, a terrorist convicted over his involvement in the 1993 Bombay bombings & brother of one of the prime suspects in the bombings, Tiger Memon was executed by hanging on July 30, 2015, in Nagpur jail.
- The film Baahubali: The Beginning grossed 518.94 crores which made it the highest-grossing movie in India ever.
- On October 24, 2015, Indian origin Sundar Pichai became the CEO of Google and later in 2019, he went on to become the CEO of Google’s parent company the Alphabet Inc.
- On February 12, 2016, Kanhaiya Kumar, the National Executive Council member of the Communist Party of India was arrested by the Delhi police over an event organised by some students at JNU against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
- April- May: The Uttarkhand forest fire was one of the worst wildfires to ever happen in India. The fires were set mainly in pine forests in the slopes of the sub-Himalayan region, produced clouds of smoke. The forest department estimated that 3,500 hectares (8,600 acres) of the forest had been burnt.
- The 2016 Uri attack took place when four heavily armed militants attacked an Indian army brigade on 18 September, near the town of Uri in J&K. A gun battle went on for six hours where the four militants and 17 army personnel were killed. The terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed was involved in the planning and execution of the attack.
- On November 8, the Modi government announced the demonetisation of all 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series. It declared the issuance of new 500 and 2,000 rupee banknotes in exchange for the demonetised banknote. PM Modi claimed that it would reduce the use of illicit and counterfeit cash to fund illegal activity and terrorism.
- On April 18, 2017, liquor baron Vijay Mallya was arrested by the UK Metropolitan Police extradition unit “on behalf of the Indian authorities in relation to accusations of fraud” but was released on bail. He was arrested as part of a money-laundering case in London. He was filed on charges of bank fraud estimated at Rs. 9,000 crores.
- The Unnao rape case refers to the gang rape of a 17-year-old girl on 4 June in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh. On December 16, 2019, politician Kuldeep Singh Sengar was convicted for the rape and on 20 December sentenced to life imprisonment.
- On August 24, 2017, India’s Supreme Court gave the country’s LGBT community the freedom to safely express their sexual orientation under the Right to Privacy law.
- On November 18, Manushi Chhillar was crowned Miss World 2017 and she became the sixth representative from India to win the beauty pageant.
- The film, Padmaavat before its release on January 25 became a political scandal as several Rajput caste organisations including Shri Rajput Karni Sena and its members protested the release of the film claiming it portrayed Padmavati, the Rajput queen, in a bad light. Members of the Sena also made further threats of violence to Deepika Padukone and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
- The Punjab National Bank fraud case is about the fraudulent letter of undertaking worth Rs. 14,356.84 crore that was issued by the Punjab National Bank at its branch office at Brady House in Fort, Mumbai, making the bank liable for the amount. This fraud was masterminded by jeweler and designer Nirav Modi in collusion with two PNB officials. After discovering the fraud, PNB filed a complaint with the CBI wherein it was alleged that Nirav, Ami Modi, Nishal Modi, and Mehul Choksi, committed the offence of cheating PNB and causing a huge financial loss. Modi is on Interpol’s most-wanted list for committing the criminal conspiracy, since February 2018.
- On September 6, the Supreme Court of India ruled that the application of Section 377 to consensual homosexual sex between adults was unconstitutional, “irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary”. The same month the 11th Gay Pride March was held in Bengaluru which made history as it was the first march since the Supreme Court decriminalised homosexuality.
- The Statue of Unity is a colossal statue situated at the Narmada valley, Gujrat of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel – the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of independent India. The 240 m (incl. 58 m base) statue, which is currently the world’s tallest statue was inaugurated by PM Modi on October 31 2018 – the 143rd birth anniversary of Patel
- The Kathua rape case refers to the abduction, rape, and murder of an 8-year-old girl, Asifa Bano, in Rasana village near Kathua in J&K in January 2018. Eight men were charged with the crime in April 2018. Four of the accused were sentenced to imprisonment of 25 years, three were sentenced to five years in jail, and another was tried at a juvenile court.
- On January 1, Allahabad was renamed as Prayagraj, a city in Uttar Pradesh.
- The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Act, 2019 received the assent of the President of India on January 10, 2019, which seeks to do away with the no-detention policy in schools.
- Article 370 of the Indian constitution gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir which was administered by India as a state from 1954 to October 31, 2019. Jammu & Kashmir, as well as Ladakh, were conferred with the power to have a separate constitution, a state flag, and autonomy over the internal administration of the state.
- On October 14, Indian-American born Abhijit Banerjee won the Nobel Prize 2019 for Economics along with his wife Esther Duflo and US-based Michael Kremer “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.”
- Launched on July 22, Chandrayaan-2 is the second lunar exploration mission developed by ISRO. The craft reached the Moon’s orbit on August 20, 2019, and began orbital positioning maneuvers for the landing of the Vikram lander. However, the lander deviated from its intended trajectory starting at 2.1 kilometres altitude and had lost communication when touchdown confirmation was expected.
- The Pulwama attack took place on February 14, when a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber in the Pulwama district of J&K. Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack.
- An extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani hit the Odisha coast in Puri with wind speed or around 175 kmph on May 3. It originated as a result of a tropical depression formed over the west of Sumatra in the Indian Ocean on April 26. Indian authorities moved lakhs of people from areas within Fani’s projected path into cyclone shelters, which helped reduce the death toll. It caused damages worth millions in India.
- On November 27, a 26-year-old veterinary doctor in Shamshabad, near Hyderabad was gang-raped and burnt to death by four men. The men were later arrested and later killed in a police encounter on December 6, 2019.
- The CAA and NRC protests or the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens protests are a series of ongoing protests in India, against the CAA Act that was enacted into law on December 12, 2019.
- Anushka Sharma got married to cricketer Virat Kohli on December 11, 2017, in Italy.
- Sonam Kapoor married Indian businessman Anand Ahuja in a traditional Sikh ceremony in Bandra on May 8, 2018.
- Deepika Padukone married Ranveer Singh in a low-profile ceremony in Italy on November 14, 2018.
- Priyanka Chopra married singer Nick Jonas in a two-day ceremony at Jodhpur’s Umaid Bhawan on December 1, 2018.
- Ambani heiress Isha Ambani married businessman Anand Piramal in a high-profile wedding on December 12, 2018, at Antilia in Mumbai.
- Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap tied the knot 0n December 14, 2018.
Olympics first-time winners
2010 Commonwealth Games
- Saina Nehwal became the first Indian woman to win gold in Badminton.
2012 London Olympics
- Vijay Kumar – Silver medal in Shooting
- Sushil Kumar – Silver medal in Wrestling
- Gagan Narang – Bronze medal in Shooting
- Saina Nehwal – Bronze medal in Badminton
- Yogeshwar Dutt – Bronze medal in Wrestling
- Mary Kom – Bronze medal in Boxing
2014 Asian Games
- Mary Kom became the first Indian woman boxer to get a gold medal for boxing.
2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics
- P.V. Sindhu – Silver medal in Badminton
- Sakshi Malik – Bronze medal in Wrestling
- In July, Hima Das became Indian to win a gold medal in track events at the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships.
- Mary Kom became the first Indian woman boxer to win gold at the Commonwealth Games.
- P.V.Sindhu became the first Indian to win gold at the 2019 Badminton World Championships.
- Dev Anand took his last breath at The Washington Mayfair Hotel in London at the age of 88 on December 3, 2011, due to cardiac arrest
- Rajesh Khanna, an Indian actor, film producer, and politician died on July 18, 2012, after a period of illness. He was posthumously awarded India’s third highest civilian honour, Padma Bhushan.
- Bal Keshav Thackeray, founder of the Indian political party Shiv Sena died at the age of 86 on November 17, 2012, in Mumbai.
- Actor Jiah Khan committed suicide on June 3, 2013. Although her mother claimed she was murdered by her boyfriend, actor Sooraj Pancholi which created much uproar and the case is yet to be settled.
- Narendra Dabholkar, a medical doctor, social activist, rationalist, and author was killed on August 20, 2013, by two unidentified gunmen near Omkareshwar temple, Pune. Political parties called for a strike a day after his murder.
- Abdul Kalam Azad, who served as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007 died on July 27, 2015, due to cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture at IIM-Shillong.
- M. M. Kalburgi, an Indian scholar, who served as the vice-chancellor of Kannada University in Hampi was shot dead on August 30, 2015, at his residence in Dharwad district of Karnataka by two unidentified men.
- Jayaram Jayalalithaa, who served as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for over fourteen years between 1991 and 2016 died on December 5, 2016, at the age of 68 due to cardiac arrest.
- Journalist Gauri Lankesh, the owner of her own weekly called Gauri Lankesh Patrike was shot dead by assailants outside her home in Bengaluru on September 5, 2017.
- Sridevi was found dead on February 24, 2018, at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates as a result of accidental drowning.
- Journalist Shujaat Bukhari a Kashmiri journalist and the founding editor of Rising Kashmir, a Srinagar-based newspaper died on June 14, 2018. He was killed by top Pakistani terrorist, Naveed Jutt.
- M Karunanidhi, who served as Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister for almost two decades died on August 7, 2018, at Kauvery Hospital in Chennai at the age of 94.
- Manohar Parrikar, Chief Minister of Goa and former defense minister died at 69 on March 17, 2019.
- Sheila Dikshit, a veteran Congress politician and the longest-serving Chief Minister of Delhi died due to cardiac arrest on July 20, 2019.
- Sushma Swaraj, who served as the Minister of External Affairs of India in the first Narendra Modi government died on August 6, 2019, due to cardiac arrest.
- Arun Jaitley, who served as the Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs of the Government of India from 2014 to 2019 died on August 23, 2019, at the age of 66 due to multiple health issues.
- Veerappa Gangaiah Siddhartha Hegde, the founder of the cafe chain Café Coffee Day died due to suicide in July 2019.