The year 2019 was an eventful one. It had its highs and lows and there were landmark decisions taken by the government and judiciary in addition to individual and organizational achievements. Here’s our chronicle of the major events of the year as we move on to 2020.

By Prathima.G.Kulkarni

1st January 2019: Arunima Sinha becomes the first women Amputee to climb Mount Vision in Antarctica.

Arunima Sinha is a volleyball player and a mountaineer who lost her leg in an accident that she met with in 2011. She has climbed seven of the tallest peaks across the continents till date. The recent one was, Mount Vision in Antarctica. The other peaks that she has climbed are Everest in Asia, Kilimanjaro in Africa, Elbrus in Europe, Kosciuszko in Australia, Aconcagua in Argentina and Carstensz Pyramid (Puncak Jaya) in Indonesia.

3rd January 2019:National Council for teacher’s education bill (amendment), 2019

The Rajyasabha on 3rd January 2019 passed the National Council for teacher’s education amendment bill, 2019 which retrospectively grants recognition to certain Educational Institutes by running certain educational courses and also grants retrospective permission to start new courses.

This permission was required as these impacted thousands of students who have completed their courses from unrecognized institutions, as their degrees were not being recognized.

24th January 2019: Microsat-R along with KalamsatV2

Microsat-R is an earth observing satellite which is manufactured by Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO). This was launched by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on 24th January 2019 and was meant for military use. Microsat-R along with KalamsatV2 as its piggyback was launched at 23.37 hours on the 24th from the First Launch Pod of SatishDhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The fourth stage (PS4) of the vehicle was taken to a higher circular orbit which is 453 kilometer to establish an orbital platform to carry out experiments.

14th February 2019:  Pulwama attack

A dastardly terror attack on our Central Reserve Police Force(CRPF) happened on the 14th of February, which killed 40 personnel and injured many others. A convoy of 78 vehicles carrying around 2500 CRPF personnel from Jammu and Kashmir left at around 3.30 and took the National Highway 44. At the same time, a Mahindra SUV carrying around 100 kilogram of explosives driven by the suicide bomber, Adil Ahmad Dar of Jaish-e- Mohammed terror group of Pakistan rammed one of the vehicles.

19th February 2019: Bangalore airshow collision of jets.

During the rehearsal of the Suryakiran Aerobatic Team, for the Aero India show to be held in Bangalore, they used two Hawk Trainer jets. During the rehearsal the two jets collided and one of the pilots lost his life. Three pilots were in the two jets namely Wing Commander VT Shelke and Squadron leader TJ Singh and Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi.While Wing Commander VT Shelke and Squadron leader TJ Singh ejected,Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi sustained fatal injuries.

21st February till 25th February 2019: Bandipur forest fire

On February 21st a major forest fire broke out in the Bandipur National Park located in Karnataka state, India. The National Sensing Centre in their report mentioned that by 25th, 10920 acres of forest was burnt. The major fire was brought under control by 24th February but still some parts continued to burn. On 25th February the fire was completely doused by 2 Mi-17 Indian Air force Helicopters.

26th February 2019: Balakot airstrike

Balalot airstrike was in response to the Pulwama attack by the IndianAir force. The airstrike was conducted at the early hours on the 26th when Indian warplanes, including Mirage 2000 fighters crossed the line of control and dropped bombs on the Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist camp in Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. This airstrike was codenamed “Operation Bandar”.

27th February 2019: Abhinandan Varthaman abduction

AbhinandanVarthaman is a Wing commander in the Indian Air force who was held captive by Pakistan for 60 hours. This happened when he flew out of Line of Control when the IAF was preventing the Pakistan retaliation. He was in a MIG-21 fighter Jet that was shot by the Pakistan military. He had downed an F-16 fighter jet before he ejected into Pakistani territory. He was released on 1st March 2019 at the Wagah border and many had gathered to welcome the new hero of our country. He was later presented with Vir Chakra by Shri Narendra Modi during the Independence Day.

27th March 2019: Mission Shakti

Mission Shakti is the operational code for the testing of an Anti- Satellite weapon by India. Anti-satellite weapons are used to destroy other satellites for achieving strategic military objectives. This test made India the fourth country in the world after US, Russia and China who have already tested ASAT weapons. The test led to concerns about the creation of Space Debris, which our government addressed by mentioning that the debris will not lastin the space for long.

23rd May 2019: General Elections and BJP posts a landslide victory

The counting started at 8 AM on the 23rd, which started with the postal ballets and then all of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM). AT the last the paper slips of Voter-verified paper audittrail was counted. The final results were announced around 10 PM. BharatiyaJanata Party won 303 seats and the BJP led National Democratic alliance won 353 seats which brought them to majority. Simultaneously, the Indian National Congress won 52 seats and Congress led United Progressive Alliance won 91 seats. The other parties and their alliance won 98 seats. 

30th May 2019: Shri Narendra Modi takes oath

After winning the General Elections, 2019 Shri Narendra Modi took oath as the 16th Prime Minister of India on 30th May. In the ceremony the heads of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and economic cooperation (BIMSTEC) were present. Shri Narendra Modi met the President of India, Mr Ram NathKovind after the results. Kovind then invited Modi to form the next government. Many other ministers also took oath along with Modi.

Mid-May to Mid-June: Severe heat wave in India and Pakistan

The heat wave was one of the worst experienced by the two countries. It was considered as one of the hottest and longest heat wave since both the countries started recording weather reports. Churu in Rajasthan saw a temperature of 50.8 degree Celsius (123.4 degree Fahrenheit). Due to the hot temperature and lack of preparations, more than 184 people died in the state of Bihar and deaths were also reported from other parts of the country. In Pakistan, reports state that 5 infants were also among the dead. The heat wave caused extreme drought and water shortage in both countries.

28-29th June 2019: G20 summit

The G20 Summit is formally known as ‘Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy.’ This G20 summit was the fourteenth meeting held in Osaka, Japan. G20 summit is a forum of 19 countries and the EU that together make upfor most of the world’s economy. The summit, held in International Exhibition Centre in Osaka was the first in Japan. Eight themes were covered including Health, Development, Women’s Empowerment, Employment, Environment and Energy, Innovation, Trade and Investment and Global Economy. Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi also took part in the summit.

23rd July 2019: Chandrayaan 2

The mission of Chandrayaan-2 was complex as it represented a significant technological leap as compared to the previous missions of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). It comprised an Orbiter, Lander and Rover to explore the South Pole of the Moon which has been unexplored till date. The mission was designed to expand the lunar scientific knowledge through the study of topography, seismography, mineral identification and distribution. This helps in understanding the origin and evolution of the Moon in a new approach. However the mission was only partially successful as the lander sheared off from the spacecraft during landing.

30th July 2019: Triple talaq ban

Triple Talaq is also known as Talaq-e-biddat which means instant divorce and talaq-e-mughallaza which means irrevocable divorce. This is a form of Islamic divorce, which works by the male saying talaq three times either verbally or non-verbally through texts or email. The Triple Talaq has always been a subject of controversy and debate. The debate has involved the Government of India and the Supreme Court of India, and is connected to the debate about a Uniform Civil Code (Article 44) in India. The ban on this has brought a sense of security to Muslim women.

5th Aug 2019: Article 370 and 35 A revoke

Modi Government led by Home Minister Amit Shah revoked two key constitutional provisions, Article 370 and 35(A). These gave the state of Jammu and Kashmir a host of special rights.  The central governmentrevoked all special provisions provided to Jammu and Kashmir under these articles. Article 35A mentioned who would be the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir under the constitution. Before the revocation of the article 370 and 35A no other person who stayed less than 10 years at Jammu and Kashmir was eligible for acquiring immovable property.  Now any resident of India can purchase immovable property at Jammu and Kashmir and can even take up jobs.

22nd Aug 2019: Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram arrested by CBI

P Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI in connection with Indian International Exchange Limited (INX) media corruption case. A CBI spokesperson mentioned that P Chidambaram was arrested based on a warrant issued against him by a competent court. After the arrest he was taken to Ram ManoharLohia Hospital for health check up and later taken to CBI guesthouse before presenting him to the court.

22nd September 2019: “Howdy, Modi!”

The “Howdy, Modi!” event which was held in Houston, Texas, US was not organized by BharatiyaJanata Party or the US Government. It was organized by the volunteers who had funded for it as mentioned by the overseas affairs department head Vijay Chauthaivale.  This event was attended by both Democrats and Republicans along with US president Donald Trump. There were 50,000 participants who were mostly people of Indian origin from across the US.

31st October 2019: Union Territories of J&K and Ladhak

The bifurcation of Jammu Kashmir into union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladhak was announced by our Home Minister Amit Shah, three months post the revocation of Article 370 and 35(A). This was for the first time in the history of India that a state was being converted into two Union Territories.

9th November 2019: Ayodhya Verdict

The Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, announced their verdict on the Ayodhya case on the 9th November.It left behind the previous decision and ruledthat the land belonged to the government. It further ordered that a trust be formed and land to be handed over to them so that the temple can be built at the site of Babri Masjid. It also ordered the government to give an alternate five-acre tract of land to the Sunni Waqf Board to build a mosque.

27th November 2019: Hyderabad Gang Rape

26 year old, Disha who was a veterinary doctor from Telangana was raped by 4 men and her body was burnt. The incident happened at the outskirts of Hyderabad where she was taken by the culprits to commit the crime. Disha parked her two wheeler at the Thodupally toll and this was watched by four truck workers and planned for the rape. They punctured her vehicle and  in the pretext of helping her took advantage of the girl. Later they burnt her body.

6th December 2019: Justice for Disha.

The four accused ,Arif, Naveen, Siva and Chennakeshavulu were encountered during the inspection of the sight of the crime. During the inspection, the accused started pelting stones at the police and tried to escape. Thisprompted the police to shoot the culprits. This operation was led by Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar.

10th and 11th December 2019: Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019.

The Citizen Amendment Bill provides Indian Citizenship for six communities such as Hindus, Buddhist, Christians, Parsis, Sikhs and Jains who have fled from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. This bill was passed in both LokSabha and RajyaSabha by getting majority from the respective members. Home Minister Amit Shah announced the same.