The Republic of India turns 69 this year, and ever since, India’s road to being a developed nation is certainly one for the books. As patriotism fills the air on this day, we take a look at the many milestones we have achieved along the way, and look forward to the ones that await us in the future –
Primarily being the agricultural land, today, India is the largest producer of milk with 18 % of world production, second largest producer of rice, over 100 million metric tonnes, wheat over 90 million tonnes, sugar 25 million tonnes, fruits and vegetables over 200 million metric tonnes.
- India is the largest producer of cotton with a production of 6.51 million tonnes of the fibre.
- Besides, it is a significant producer of a variety of spices, plantation crops, poultry, and fishery products. While beef may be banned in many parts of the country, India is the highest exporter of beef in the world.
Science and Technology
Ever since Independence Modern India has had a strong focus on science and technology, realising that it is a key element for economic and social growth.
- Mangalyaan – India’s first aircraft to Mars entered Mar’s Orbit on September 24, 2014, making India the first Asian country and only the fourth country in the world to enter the Mars orbit in its first attempt.
- India successfully launched Chandrayaan in 2008 in order to explore the moon. The craft was inserted into lunar orbit in its first attempt. One of the greatest achievement of Chadrayaan was the discovery of the water molecules in the lunar soil.
- Indian company Hero MotoCorp is the world’s largest manufacturer of two-wheelers.
The foundation of Infrastructural development was laid down during the British Raj. Most of the historical monuments were built during their rule.
- As of June 2018, India has 37 heritage sites, the sixth most of any country. Few of the sites include: Western Ghats, Forts at the foothills of Rajasthan, Kaziranga national park, Sun Temple and many more.
- Country’s first Solar Park came up at Charanka village in Gujarat in April 2012. The park at Charanka is spread across 5,000 acres, and has 500 MW of generation capacity of both solar and wind energy.
- The Western Ghats are considered as one of the eight “hottest hotspots” of biological diversity in the world. The range starts from Gujarat and is approximately 1,600 km long and ends at the southern tip of India in Kanyakumari. The area plays host to around 5,000 species of flowering plants, 139 mammal species, 508 bird species, 179 amphibian species and 288 freshwater fish species.
- The Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport in Delhi won the Best Airport award from the Airports Council International within 25–40 million annual passengers category in 2015. It also bags two awards for The Best Airport in Central Asia/India and Best Airport Staff in Central Asia/India at the prestigious Skytrax World Airport Awards.
- Indian Railways are one of the largest railway networks comprising 115,000 km that carries more than 23 million passengers daily from one place to another.
- India has the largest postal network in the world. With 1,55,618 post offices and over 5,66,000 employees.
Social and health
While the life expectancy was around 37 years in 1951, it almost doubled to 65 years by 2011. There is a steady decline in Infant mortality rate marked with death rate coming down to half of what it was during the 50s. A similar improvement has been noticed in the maternal mortality rate.
- India’s last polio case was reported in West Bengal in January 2011 Since then no other such case has been reported. In March 2014, The World Health Organisation certified India- a polio-free region.
- The Mid-Day meal scheme of Government of India is the world’s largest scheme for kids serving 120,000,000 children in over 1,265,000 schools across the country.
- India reduced its “out of school” children by over 90 per cent and achieved “universal primary education” in 2015.
- One of the major achievements of the decade was the approval of the Right to Education bill that was passed on July 2, 2009. The RTE Act makes education as a fundamental right of every child and bridges the gap between different classes of society. It requires all private schools to reserve 25 percent seats for poor children.
- In 2002, RTI act was passed which aims “to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens” RTI is active in all states and union territories of India except Jammu and Kashmir.
When it comes to sports, the first thing that strikes our mind is cricket and Sachin Tendulkar. But there are other people who have been making India proud in sports apart from cricket.
- In 2008, Abhinav Bindra created history by bagging gold in men’s 10m air rifle event at the Beijing Games. His gold remains the country’s first and only individual gold medal till date.
- While we all remember the 2010 Common Wealth Games held in Delhi for all wrong reasons. What we don’t remember is that we won 101 medals, including 38 gold, and acknowledge the hard work put in by the athletes. For the first time in the history of the Games, India won over 100 medals in total and stood in the second position, after Australia.
- Pankaj Advani, the only Indian who has dominated the world billiards for several years now and has won 16 world titles.
- PV Sindhu achieved the Silver medal in the World Badminton Championships in 2017 where she lost by a whisker to Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara. She has reached an all-time high of 2nd ranked women badminton player. She also became the first Indian woman to win a silver medal in the Olympics, at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
- 10-year old R Pragganandhaa became the world’s youngest International Master in chess.
- Vijendra Singh in 2008 Olympics won the Bronze medal and blessed India with first ever Olympic medal in boxing.
- India has been part of 5 men’s Kabaddi World Cups held till now and have won all them. The Indian women’s team has also won all Kabaddi World Cups held until date.
India was the first country in South East Asia that decided to have a democratic form of government soon after the independence. The first general elections were conducted in the year 1951 with Universal Adult Franchise.
- India was the first ever country to grant voting rights to women without any discrimination.
- So far, India has witnessed 16 major bloodless changes of power (Lok Sabha) at the Centre. It shows the strength of democratic values of the people of this country.
- India has the largest number of elected persons in the world, thanks to Panchayati Raj system across the country.
- India is among the very first countries to have a woman head of state (Indira Gandhi).
- Women participation in the Indian politics has been the highest. They have held high offices including that of the President, Prime Minister, Speaker of the Lok Sabha and Leader of the Opposition. One of the five major states has women chief ministers.