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Major Milestones of India in 70 Years

 

  1. India becomes a Republic, January 26, 1950

President DrRajendra Prasad formally endorsed the Constitution, making India a sovereign democratic republic. He hoisted the national flag and took the salute that day at what would later become an annual fixture: the Republic Day Parade.

  1. Five-Year Plans begin, 1951

Within two months of India becoming a republic, the Planning Commission started making blueprints for India’s future.

  1. India’s first General Election. January 1952

Fresh out of the freedom struggle, India gave voting rights to the masses. The logistics were mind boggling – 4,500 seats to be decided by 176 million Indians, spread over more than a million square miles. Eighty five per cent of them were illiterate. The West turned up its nose, calling it the biggest gamble in history. Yet, as an exercise in social organisation, and as a display of sheer political exuberance, the 1952 elections had no precedent.

  1. Family planning programme starts. 1952

At 369 million people, India had too many mouths to feed. The family planning programme revolved around safe contraceptive practices and aimed to put a cap on our burgeoning population. Its mascot, the red inverted triangle, is one of the most recognisable symbols of that era.

  1. Hindu Code Bills passed. 1956

First introduced in the Legislative Assembly in April 1947, the Hindu Code Bill was shelved in 1951 by Jawaharlal Nehru, forcing Ambedkar to resign in anger. The Hindu Succession Act finally became law on 17th June 1956, after pressure by liberal and women’s groups. It was a turning point for female rights, giving the widow, daughter and mother, equal right to a deceased man’s property, along with his son, grandson and great-grandson. Earlier, the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 banned polygamy and increased the right of the divorced wife to maintenance or alimony.

  1. Reorganisation of states based on language. 1956

When PottiSriramulu fasted to his death in 1952, demanding a state for Telugu speaking people, he set the groundwork for reorganising India on linguistic lines. People of the same language tended to share a cultural heritage and a will to work together – no matter what religion or ethnicity they belonged to. The State Reorganization Commission of 1956 ultimately redrew the map of India – coagulating people of the same language into separate autonomous states. It was the most practical way to hold the nation together.

  1. Communism wins in Kerala. March 1957

For the first time in world history, Communists took power through the ballot box. On March 16, 1957, the CPI-M secured 65 of the total 126 seats in the Kerala Legislative Assembly. E M S Nampoothiripad became the chief minister. It was India’s first Communist Government, and the first dent in the Congress’ hegemony.

  1. ‘Mother India’. 1957 released

From the day it hit the screen, Mehboob Khan’s Mother India has never stopped playing in some theatre or the other in India. Now five decades old—the tale of a peasant family struggling under a moneylender’s yoke and Radha who unflinchingly sacrifices all to keep the family together—tore at the hearts of Indians just freed from British colonial rule. It was the first Indian film to gross over Rs.40 million and the first ever to be nominated for the Oscars.

  1. Goa liberated. December 19, 1961

The Portuguese were the first European power to arrive in India (in 1510). They were also the last to depart (December 19, 1961), after 450 years. Goan resistance to the regime intensified under Dr Ram ManoharLohia’s leadership in 1946. After peaceful negotiations failed, sustained aerial bombing by India forced the Portuguese to formally surrender on December 19, 1961. 3,306 Portuguese troops laid down their arms. Within 40 hours of the start of military operations, the last foreign holding in India was brought to an end.

  1. Indira Gandhi becomes PM. 19 January 1966

On January 19, 1966, Jawaharlal Nehru’s daughter Indira Gandhi pippedMorarji Desai to take over India’s reins as first woman Prime Minister of the country. Over the years, she became India’s Iron Lady. She was supremely charismatic yet compulsively paranoid about political enemies. Her reign changed India’s future forever.

  1. ReitaFaria become first Asia to become Miss World 17th November 1966

ReitaFaria Powell(born c. 1945), the Indian model, doctor and beauty queen became the first Asian to win the Miss World title in the year of 1966. She is the only Miss World, who qualified as a Doctor during her reign.

  1. White Revolution. 1966

VergheseKurien’sAmul experiment in Gujarat soon blossomed into the much larger Operation Flood, spread over 23 states, 170 districts and 90,000 village cooperatives. It changed India from an importer to the world’s largest milk producer and exporter.

  1. Green Revolution. 1967

The Indian farm miracle started around the same time. Late Union Minister C. Subramaniam, scientists and farmers used better seeds, double-cropping and easy bank loans to up production by 70 per cent in a decade, making India completely self sufficient in food grains.

  1. Regional parties come to power. February 19, 1967

The DMK led by C N Annadurai not only supported popular demand for the advancement of Tamil culture and language and a separate state for Tamils – it also advocated wide spread industrialization as the key to economic independence. When New Delhi made the use of Hindi compulsory in 1967, popular resentment drove Annadurai to power. It marked the end of Congress rule in Tamil Nadu and the rise of regional parties and non-Congress, socialist, Janta Dal forces across India.

  1. Bank Nationalisation, abolition of privy purses. July 20, 1969

Forced to pander to the left wing in her minority government, Indira went populist with a vengeance – nationalizing banks, increasing budgetary allocation for the poor and abolishing state stipends for India’s former royalty.

  1. India beats England in England. August 24, 1971

They had just brought the Ashes home, after 12 years. So logically, Ray Illingworth’s England should just have overrun AjitWadekar’s India. Yet it was routed by our spin revolution – spearheaded by Chandra, Bedi and Venkat. So full of the Ashes was all of England at that time, that its shock loss of a home series to India, didn’t really matter. But to purists, it was proof enough of Indian cricket’s coming of age.

  1. India-Pakistan War, creation of Bangladesh. December 1971

India defeated Pakistan and helped carve out Bangladesh. The victory shook off our weak image after the unsettled 1965 war and the disastrous 1962 conflict with China. Earlier, President Nixon had sent warships to the Indian Ocean to “threaten” India into submission. But Mrs Gandhi’s special bond with Brezhnev and her “friendship treaty” with the Soviets forced America to back off. However, the India-Pakistan Shimla Agreement signed soon after, could not settle the Kashmir dispute once and for all.

  1. First Nuclear Explosion, Pokhran 1. 1974

“It was like Krishna lifting up the hill,” said a top nuclear scientist after watching the explosion of India’s first nuclear device on May 18, 1974, in the Pokhran desert in Rajasthan. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Z A Bhutto swore his country would make the bomb even if they had “to eat grass”. It took another 24 years for India to declare itself a nuclear weapons state after a series of explosions in May 1998.

  1. Aryabhata Launched, 19 April 1975

Aryabhata was India’s first satellite named after an Indian astronomer of ancient times with the same name. It was launched by the Soviet Union on 19 April 1975from Kapustin Yar using a Kosmos-3M launch vehicle. It was built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to gain experience in building and operating a satellite in space.

  1. Sikkim becomes 22nd Indian State, 16 May 1975

On 16 May 1975, Sikkim became the 22nd state of the Indian Union, and the monarchy was abolished.To enable the incorporation of the new state, the Indian Parliament amended the Indian Constitution. First, the 35th Amendment laid down a set of conditions that made Sikkim an “Associate State”, a special designation not used by any other state. Later, the 36th Amendment repealed the 35th Amendment, and made Sikkim a full state, adding its name to the First Schedule of the Constitution.

  1. Sholay: India’s first 70 mm spectacle, 15 August 1975

Some call it India’s answer to Godfather. Ramesh Sippy, its maker, could never manage an equal in his long career. A finely scripted, mega-budget, multi-starring blockbuster, Sholay released on August 15, 1975. Almost three decades later, it remains the Indian film industry’s most memorable movie.

  1. Mother Teresa, Winner of Nobel Peace Prize- 1979

Mother Teresa won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her outstanding devotion to the poor in Calcutta’s slums.

  1. SLV-3 satellite launcher succeeds. July 18, 1980

On July 18, 1980, India’s image as a country of bullock-carts was changed forever. The SLV-3, our first satellite launcher, punched a 30 kg satellite 300 km into space. ‘Made in India’ suddenly was a tag to be proud of. Today, India hurls indigenous satellites as big as trucks 36,000 km into space, saving billions in foreign exchange. And Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, team leader of that operation is today our President.

  1. Colour TV launched. November 19, 1982

Indians saw colours come alive on screen for the first time. November 19, 1982 saw the first colour telecast of the Asian Games in Delhi. It wasn’t cheap, an Indian colour TV cost Rs 8,000. An imported set, Rs 15,000. Yet, TV sales boomed. And Indians were hooked to the idiot box.

  1. India wins Cricket World Cup. June 25, 1983

The Venue: Home of India’s past colonial masters. The enemy: West Indies, invincible supermen. The Result: victory. By grabbing India’s first and till date only World Cup; Kapil’s Devils made cricket an entire nations everlasting obsession.

  1. Maruti 800 launched. December 1983

On roads ruled by the Ambassador and the Premier Padmini, not many gave the 800 a chance. Yet, in just two years, it became India’s largest selling car. By becoming a middle-class necessity and putting more women behind the wheel than any other car in India, the 800 redefined the concept and class of mobility.

  1. Family Soaps Hum Log &Ramayan. 1984-86

157 episodes telecast, 214 crore man-hours glued to the TV. 400 letters a day flooding the Doordarshan office. By the time Hum Log wound down in December 1985, its blend of homespun family values and Ashok Kumar’s breathless homilies were already the stuff of legend. In January 1986, Ramayan hit the screen and Sunday mornings were never the same again.RamanandSagar’s TV adaptation of Valmiki’s ancient epic had the nation begging for more. Side by side Hindutva fever began sweeping the nation.

  1. India’s Historic Mission to Space1984:

The then Squadron leader Rakesh Sharma becomes the first Indian to embark on a historic mission to space. He spent eight days aboard the USSR’s space station Salyut 7.

  1. Mandal Commission report accepted. August 1990

V P Singh stretched the limits of affirmative action, including more castes in the reservation net.

  1. Economic liberalisation. June 1991

The policy shifts were big enough. But even bigger was the change in mindsets. Thanks to liberalization, the license raj ended; almost all Central taxes were lowered and public-sector monopoly on a whole range of industries was broken. A good 44 years after political freedom, India finally began to taste economic freedom.

  1. Satellite cable TV revolution, 1990

1991, the Indian government led by P. V. Narasimha Rao started a series of economic reforms including the liberalisation of the broadcasting industry, opening it up to cable television. This led to an explosion in the Indian cable TV industry and saw the entry of many foreign players like Rupert Murdoch’s Star TV Network, MTV and others

  1. Honorary Oscar to Satyajit Ray for Lifetime Achievement, 30 March 1992

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Ray an Honorary Oscar in 1992 for Lifetime Achievement.

  1. Beauty pageants craze. 1994

First Sushmita Sen became Miss Universe then AishwaryaRai was crowned Miss World. The double whammy sparked off a near hysterical beauty industry.

  1. Telecom revolution. 1995

For 40 years owning a phone was more difficult than owning a house in this country. There are more than 800 million mobile phone users in India now, even as landline phones have seen a huge decline in numbers. Mobiles are credited with changing the manner in which information has been disseminated and making large swathes of the country connected to the information highway.The credit goes to two major policy decisions. First, the privatization of the telecom sector in the November 1994, ending government monopoly and indifferent service. Second, revenue sharing between the government and the telecom operators in 1999 – triggering a tariff crash from Rs 16 a minute then to Re 1 now.

  1. Kalpana-Chawla An Indian-American Woman in Space–1997

In 1997, an Indian – American, Kalpana Chawla – was part of the international crew aboard the U.S. Space Shuttle, Columbia, becoming the first woman born in India to go into space. Sadly, the second mission in Columbia ended in tragedy.

  1. Nuclear Test May 1998

Under the leadership of PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, India carried out nuclear tests, leading to widespread international condemnation.

  1. Nobel Prize for Amartya Sen, 10 December 1998

Amartya Sen was awarded Nobel Prize for his contributions to welfare economics

  1. Lahore Bus and Kargil War 1999

First the miracle: Prime Minister Vajpayee taking the bus to Lahore to greet Nawaz Sharif, his Pakistani counterpart. Then the shock: Pakistan occupied Kargil heights. A three-month war that almost went nuclear finally ended with a Pak army retreat. In Pakistan, the military revolted against its political masters. In India, terrorism became the crux of international diplomacy.

  1. ndia got People’s President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, 25 July 2002

A career scientist turned reluctant politician AvulPakirJainulabdeen “A. P. J.” Abdul Kalam took oath as the 11th President of India, who later came to be known as people’s president, loved by one and all, and that he loved them back in equal measure.

  1. Beginning of Delhi Metro, 24 December 2002

The first section of the Delhi Metro opened on 24 December 2002 with the Red Line, which is now expanded to over 189 kilometres (117 mi)of route length, and has seven operational lines. The system is built and operated by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited (DMRC).

  1. Software becomes $10 billion industry. 2001-2002

India became the back-office of the world, and raked in the moolah. Software boomed – achieving the magic US$10 billion mark, most of it from exports ($7.68 billion). IT-enabled services and Business Process Outsourcing posted a 67 percent growth, outstripping every other industry in the world! Low cost, high quality and a vast base of specialized, English-speaking manpower were the prime drivers combined with a well-developed telecom network. Soon, one in four global IT customers would turn to India for their software needs.

  1. First non-Congress coalition completes 5-year term. May 2004

BJP’s first coalition lasted a paltry 13 days in 1996. It shot back to power after the Kargil war, leading the United Front. Tossed out in November 1997, it bounced back on March 20, 1998. Trashed in April 1999, it rose again, with the National Democratic Alliance in October 1999. It wasn’t until May 2004, that a Congress led alliance could wrest power back and make Dr. Manmohan Singh Prime Minister. By that time, the BJP and its varied allies had already become the first non-Congress coalition to complete a full five-year term.

  1. Rajyawardhan wins 1st individual (Post Independence) Olympic silver medal–2004

RajyawardhanRathore, the shooting star won a silver medal for India at the 2004 Athens Olympics in double trap event. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore later took retirement from the army and joined politics.

  1. RTI Act. June 15, 2005

By giving aggrieved Indians the right to question government bodies and to expect an answer within 30 days – it became the common man’s greatest weapon against corruption and red-tapism. From passport wrangles to University admissions, from inflated bills to municipal infrastructure – government inefficiency was questioned and quick remedies provided. Nothing was secret anymore. Passed by Parliament in June, The Right to Information Act was enforced from 13 October 2005.

  1. US signs nuclear deal with India. July 18, 2005

America went out on a limb – recognizing India as a responsible nuclear weapons power. It offered us nuclear technology, fuel and military hardware it had banned after Pokhran in 1998. By doing so – it put aside non-proliferation laws it had held sacrosanct for the past 60 years, just for India! The document signed in July was only a memorandum of understanding. Yet, it shattered the suspicions and aloofness of the cold war era – and demonstrated just how far the US is willing to go to woo us.

 

  1. MNREGA Act 2005 Passed, 23 August 2005

On 23rd August 05, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act later renamed as the “Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act” (or, MGNREGA), an Indian labour law and social security measure that aims to guarantee the ‘right to work’ was passed by Indian Parliament. It aims to ensure livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.

  1. Tata Corus &Arcelor Mittal deals. 2006-07

In June 2006, India’s mascot businessman Lakshmi Mittal did the unthinkable. The world’s largest steel company, Mittal Steel, merged with the second largest player, Arcelor SA, to form Arcelor Mittal-producing 10% of the world’s steel. In January 2007, Tata Steel brought out British steel company Corus for $13.6 billion – the largest foreign takeover by an Indian enterprise ever. It created the world’s fifth-largest steel company and made Tata, India’s largest business group. In February, Aditya Birla Group’s Hindalco paid $6bn to acquire Canadian aluminum firm Novelis. The three deals shook the world – India took a bow as a global economic player.

  1. India wins 1st Twenty 20 cricket world cup–2007

The 2007 ICC World Twenty20 was the inaugural Twenty20 cricket world championship, contested in South Africa from 11 to 24 September 2007. Twelve teams took part in the thirteen-day tournament—the ten Test-playing nations and the finalists of the 2007 WCL Division One tournament: Kenya and Scotland. India won the tournament, beating Pakistan in the final.

  1. PratibhaPatil becomes country’s first woman to be elected president. –2007

PratibhaPatilwon the 12th Presidential Elections of the Republic of India, becoming the first woman president of the second most populous country in the world.

  1. AbhinavBindra wins 1st Individual Olympics Gold medal at Beijing–2008

Abhinav Singh Bindra an Indian shooter by winning the gold in the 10 m Air Rifle event at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, became the first Indian to win an individual gold medal at the Olympic Games

  1. World cheapest one- lakh car Tata Nano–2009

Tata Motors launched Nano in 2009; it was heavily marketed as ‘the world’s cheapest car’, ‘the Rs one lakh car’ or ‘the people’s car’.

  1. India’s pride INS Arihant is launched–2009

INS Arihant, the lead ship of India’s Arihant class of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines was launched on 25 July 2009. The 6,000 tonne vessel was built under the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project at the Ship Building Centre in Visakhapatnam, based on the Russian Akula-1 design.

  1. Right To Education Act approved–2009

One of the major achievements of the decade was the approval of the RTE Bill by the Cabinet on July 2, 2009. Later on, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha passed the bill on July 20 and August 4, 2009 respectively. It finally received the president’s assent and was notified as a law on August 26, 2009.

  1. Oscar to AR Rahman, 2009

AR Rahman became the first Asian to win two Oscars in same year and be nominated twice in the same category for the same film. He is the first Asian to receive three Oscar nominations in same year and also the first Asian to receive multiple nominations in the category Academy Award for Best Original Score.

  1. India Hosts Commonwealth Games-2010

India hosted the Games in 2010, at Delhi. It was India’s most successful Commonwealth Games to date with Indian athletes winning 38 gold, 27 silver and 36 bronze medals.

  1. India wins Cricket world cup after 28 years–2011

The 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup Final was played between India and Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on 2 April 2011. This was the 10th ICC Cricket World Cup. India won the match by six wickets, its second World Cup victory, having previously won in 1983

  1. Golden Quadrilateral Completed, 6 January 2012

India completed the Golden Quadrilateral highways project, which connects Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. The initiative, which covers 5,846 km between the four metropolises, had been delayed by legal and engineering hurdles after its start in 2000. It is part of the first phase of the government’s National Highways Development Programme (NHDP).

  1. Agni V India’s first ICBM test fired, 19 April 2012

The Agni V, India’s first ICBM was successfully test-fired by DRDO from Wheeler Island off the coast of Orissa. The test launch was made from the Launch Complex 4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheeler Island using a rail mobile launcher.

  1. Western Ghats Designated as World Heritage Site by UNESCO- July 2012

The Western Ghats are considered as one of the eight “hottest hotspots” of biological diversity in the world. India applied to the UNESCO to include the Western Ghats in the World Heritage Sites list in 2006, and it was granted this status in 2012 along with 39 other places in India.

  1. National Food Security Act passed, 12 September 2013

The National Food Security Act, 2013 (also known as Right to Food Act) an Act passed by the Parliament aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two thirds of India’s 1.2 billion people. It was signed into law on September 12, 2013, retroactive to July 5, 2013

 First Bharat Ratna in Sports goes to Sachin, 4 February 2014

Sachin Tendulkar was conferred the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, by the president Pranab Mukherjee. He becomes the first sportsperson, as well as the youngest person to receive the award.

  1. WHO officially declared India ‘polio free’, 27 March 2014

India officially declared ‘Polio Free’ by the World Health Organisation. India is one of the 11 countries in the South East Asian region which have been certified as being free of the wild polio virus.

  1. First non-Congress Majority government came to power, 26 May 2014

NarendraModi becomes the Prime Minister of first ever non-congress majority government since Independence. BJP under the dynamic leadership of NarendraModi won 282 seats with 31% popular vote share.

  1. India’s Mangalyan successfully entered into Mars orbit, 24 September 2014

India’s low-cost mission to Mars successfully entered the red planet’s orbit, crowning what Prime Minister NarendraModi said was a “near impossible” push to become the only country to complete the trip on its maiden attempt. The Mars Orbiter Mission was achieved on a budget of $74 million, almost 10 times less than the amount the U.S. space agency NASA spent on sending the Maven spacecraft to Mars.

  1. Nobel Prize for Peace to KailashSatyarthi, 10 December 2014

KailashSatyarth was awarded Noble Peace Prize jointly with MalalaYousafzaifor their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.

  1. NITI Ayog replaces YojanaAyog, 1 January 2015

National Institution for Transforming India Aayog a policy think-tank of Government of India replaced Planning Commission. It aims to involve the states in economic policy-making in India. It will be providing strategic and technical advice to the central and the state governments i.e. by adopting bottom-up approach rather than traditional top-down approach as in planning commission. The Prime Minister heads the Aayog as its chairperson. While the Planning Commission had no representation for State and Union territories, the NITI Aayog has

  1. First International Yoga Day, 21 June 2015

The word celebrated first ever IYD announced by UN on the initiatives of India. The Indian Prime Minister NarendraModi in his UN Address suggested the date of June 21 as it is the longest day of the year (Summer Solstice) in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world.

  1. India-Bangladesh signs Land Boundary Agreement, 6 June 2015

India and Bangladesh settled their 4,096-km long prickly land boundary dispute as Prime Minister NarendraModi and Sheikh Hasina exchanged instruments of ratification of the land boundary agreement, far away in the enclaves on the India-Bangladesh border, the door opened for over 50,000 virtually stateless people to finally get a national identity.

  1. Indian Army’s Myanmar operation- July 2015

The Indian army in aid with the air force made a spectacular cross-border operation into Myanmar in July. Special operation troops carried out early morning attacks at the Indo-Myanmar border neutralizing many militants. This was in avenge to Insurgents carried out by military convoy in Manipur’s Chandel where 18 Indian militants lost life.

  1. ISRO launched 20 satellites from Sriharikota 22 June 2016,

PSLV-C34 successfully launched 20 satellites in a single mission. It included India’s CARTOSAT-2 series of satellite (weighing 727 kg) as primary payload and two academic institutes’ satellites, namely, SWAYAM and SATHYABAMASAT and 17 satellites (total weighing 555 kg) of foreign customers from Canada, Germany, Indonesia and USA as co-passengers.

  1. Created a world record by launching 104 satellites in single mission, 15 February 2017

On February 15, 2017, ISRO created history by lifting off 104 satellites using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), an Indian rocket. The launch took place on the Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh and successfully managed to put these satellites into their desired orbit in one go. 101 were foreign satellites out of the 104 launched. It also included the Cartostat-2 series, India’s earth observation satellite.

  1. Mother Teresa declared saint by Pope Francis at Vatican, 4 September 2016

Mother Teresa of Calcutta, known as the “saint of the gutters” during her life, was declared a saint of the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Francis on Sunday, fast-tracked to canonization just 19 years after her death. Born to ethnic Albanian parents in 1910, Mother Teresa went on to establish the Missionaries of Charity sisterhood in India in 1950, caring for the destitute in Kolkata’s slums, and garnering both praise and criticism for her method

  1. Surgical strike in Pakistan, September 29, 2016

The daring surgical strike against terror camps operating in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) by India’s elite para commandos is undoubtedly one of the biggest high points of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-year old administration.

  1. Demonetisation, 8 November 2016

The Government of India announced the demonetisation of all Rs 500 (US$7.80) and Rs 1,000 (US$16) banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series. The government claimed that the action would curtail the shadow economy and crack down on the use of illicit and counterfeit cash to fund illegal activity and terrorism.The sudden nature of the announcement—and the prolonged cash shortages in the weeks that followed—created significant disruption throughout the economy, threatening economic output.

  1. India launches first South Asia satellite GSAT-9, May 5, 2017

India launched the first South Asia Satellite, built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) and funded entirely by India, that at once boosted its “neighbourhood first policy” as well as helped it carve a unique place for itself in space diplomacy by “gifting” a satellite to its neighbours.

  1. India becomes full member of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, 2017 June

Along with Pakistan, India becomes a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, an inter-governmental security grouping. India’s membership sees the grouping’s membership expand into South Asia.

  1. India GST: Sweeping tax reform introduced, June 30, 2017

India replaced its numerous federal and state taxes with the Goods and Services Tax (GST), designed to unify the country into a single market. The historic overhaul of the existing tax legislation was carried out at a special midnight session of parliament. India says introducing GST will cut red tape and increase tax revenues, fuelling economic growth.

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