We start each year with the hope that the months to come shall bring us much prosperity, peace, and development to the country. By December we look back at the ups and downs that marked the passage of the year and are often amazed by the slow but steady process of transformation that time brings with it. Here are some of the events that brought India and Indians good cheer in 2017.
- One of the first events of the year that we welcomed gladly was the Supreme Court ruling that said that “religion, race, caste, community or language would not be allowed to play any role in the electoral process”. The apex court said that the election of a candidate who seeks votes on these considerations will be declared void.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s first international stock exchange – India International Exchange (INX). The exchange is located in International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in Gujarat International Financial Tech (GIFT) City in Gujarat.
- India became an associate member of CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) – the world’s largest and best-known scientific research organizations. This gives India full access to CERN research data.
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) gave India’s vaccine regulatory authority NRAI (National Regulatory Authority of India) the highest ratings for its work in vaccine regulations.
- India’s first integrated heliport, a landing facility dedicated to helicopters, was inaugurated in Delhi.
- India’s first indigenously manufactured electric multiple unit (EMU) – a rake specifically made for suburban trains called “Medha” was flagged off by the railway minister at Dadar station in Mumbai.
- The Chennai-Nashri Tunnel, India’s longest road tunnel, was flagged off in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
- GoI decided to do away with the “lal batti” culture red beacons for red beacons were banned from use in vehicles belonging to politicians, bureaucrats, and government officials (except the President, Vice President, and Chief Justice of India.
- The much touted high-speed Talgo train completed its first trail run between Bareilly and Moradabad in the state of Uttar Pradesh, covering a distance of about 90 kilometres.
- India’s first underwater rail tunnel connecting Kolkata and Howrah was completed well ahead of its deadline. The construction of this tunnel some 502 metres under water is the result of Indo-Russian collaboration
- Supreme Court upheld the government of India initiative to link the biometrics-based identity card, Aadhar, with ITR and PAN. The government seeks to eliminate cases of Income Tax fraud by making it impossible for a person to hold more than one PAN cards.
- India’s greatest tax reform since independence, the launch of Goods and Services Tax (GST) was rolled out on 1 July 2017. In May 2017, the GST Council set the GST rates of 1211 items many of these were later revised. The GST is an integrated tax that replaces numerous other taxes including the VAT (Value Added Tax), service tax, entertainment tax, and central excise.
- Both India and China decided to withdraw all the troops from the Doklam plateau ending a 2-month long military standoff that had sparked fears of a war. Both China and Bhutan stake a claim over the region and Chinese constructions in the vicinity had led to a buildup of Indian troops. Both armies withdrew in favour of a diplomatic resolution.
- The Supreme Court of India declared instant triple talaq unconstitutional.
- Nirmala Sitharaman became the only woman to become India’s defence minister apart from Indira Gandhi who held the portfolio as the country’s PM. Sitharaman is also the only woman apart from external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to be part of the Modi government’s cabinet committee on security (CCS).
- After having achieved great success in organizing and hosting sporting endeavours including the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, and Cricket World Cup, India hosted its first FIFA event in 2017. The FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 was held in the country in October.
- Miss India 2017, Manushi Chillar, a 20 year old medical student from Rohtak in Haryana, beat 108 other beauties from across the globe to be crowned Miss World 2017. She is the sixth woman from India to bag the prestigious title.
- India joined the US, Australia, and Japan to form the “quadrilateral” coalition of democracies in the Asia-Pacific region. The early round of talks of the alliance was held in Manila.
- The Union Cabinet approved the establishment of National Nutrition Mission (NNM) with a budget of INR 9046.17 for three years.