India’s 70th Independence Day on 15th of August, 2016, is when we celebrated 69 years of freedom from the colonial British rule. During these years, India has emerged to be one of the fastest growing economies in the world. A lot has been done, surely but there is no denying the fact that there still exists a fair lot that needs to be done. Hence, to shed light on the report card of India’s last independent year, following are the chances taken, changes initiated, feats achieved, and opportunities lost.
1) Passage of GST
Goods and services tax (GST) has been described as a game changing reform for the Indian economy. On 3rd August, 2016, its iconic passage took place in Rajya Sabha, with every political party backing it. It will do away with all the other forms of indirect taxes like- CST, VAT, service tax and countervailing duties and will work on the principle of ‘One India; One Market; One Rate’. It will simplify tax regimes, will keep a check on tax evasion and will increase investment prospects in India.
2) Democracy’s New Test- Irom Sharmila
In 2000, a 28 year old woman, began a hunger strike to protest against the extrajudicial killings of 10 people by security forces, under the garb of AFSPA in the insurgent area of Manipur. On 9th august, the iron lady of Manipur, Irom Sharmila, broke her 16 year fast, and showed her desire to join politics. She aspires to repeal AFSPA, 1958 and bring real change by being a part of the great Indian democracy.
3) A New Side of Showbiz
The canvass of showbiz painted an unexpected stroke this year. From overpriced budgets-pomp & show-slapstick comedies, the gear accelerated more towards low budget-generic-content-driven flicks, like Udta Punjab (drugs and censorship), Aligarh (homophobia) among many more!
4) Volatility of the Valley
Situation on the ‘heaven on earth’ undoubtedly turned hellish. While the rest of the world is falling victim to lone-wolf attacks and ISIS sponsored terrorism, India is dealing with home-grown formidable insurgency. If the latest statistics are to be stated, around 60 people in the valley have died, and the number of injured, mostly by pellet guns, is increasing by great magnitude. A comprehensive policy is the need of the hour to avoid further loss of humanity and democracy.
5) World Heritage Rankings
Among the doom, there is always a halo of light. UNESCO recently declared Capitol Complex (Chandigarh); Nalanda University (Bihar) and Khangchendzonga National Park (Sikkim) as world heritage sites. This is a proud moment for India as this felicitation will encourage tourism and boost income. This is also the first time that any country got three sites inscribed in the list at a single session.
6) NSG Entry Denied
India got denied the entry to Nuclear Supplier’s Group, due to resistance imposed by China and few other countries. Despite USA’s canvassing of our participation, end result turned unfavourable. However, on a bright side, India joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), which will enable the nation to buy high-end missile technology.
7) Sports Glory Galore
There are many reasons to cheer for, when it comes to sports. Few of them are: India will host the next International Kabaddi Match in Punjab this year; Indian junior cyclists declared number 1 in team sprint, as per UCI rankings; Ace India shuttler Saina Nehwal moved to 5th spot in BWF rankings; Delhi will host the ISSF World Cup finals, 2017; Indian shuttler Sai Praneeth clinched the Canada Open 2016 badminton title. And to top it all, Sania Mirza is ranked no. 1 in the women’s double ranking.
8) Outgoing of James Bond RBI Governor
RBI governor, Raghuram Rajan started quite a stir when he decided not to seek extension of his tenure, like his predecessors. Some people in the political domain questioned his resistance to deduction in interest, borrowing rates and even his nationality. But despite all that, none can ignore his steering the Indian ship towards growth and progress with his groundbreaking reforms in controlling inflation, black money, and Non Performing Assets (NPAs) of the banks.
9) Suppression and Agitation
Holy became the new folly last month. Cow slaughter again came in limelight for all the wrong reasons. Atrocities against Dalits rose, and so did their resentment, with many subdued people attempting suicides, and defying government authorities at every level possible. At one such place, a cow carcass was spread across a government office. Such incidents drag the economy to its ‘underdeveloped tag and demolish its chances of ‘inclusive growth’.
10) Student Unions
JNU’s sedition controversies and students’ spilling outrage at the mishandling of the case by the government forces were the breaking news in the beginning of the year. There was a huge debate over two contentious forces of freedom of speech and anti-nationalism.
11) Progress Sheets
Government of Kerala banned e-cigarettes, and imposed a fat tax on junk food @ 14.5%. India’s rank in readiness to digitized economy in the world is 91st. Growth rate projected for 2016-17 is 7.4% by ADB. Inflation target for the next financial year is set at 4%. Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows increased by 50% and Forex reserves clinched their all time high at $363 billion, approximately!
About The Author
A social recluse. Soldier of fiction. Soliloquist. Either silent or sarcastic. Possesses no interesting version of ESP, but likes to think she has the same glasses as Harry Hart.