India' s first unmanned lunar probe Chandrayaan-1, took India to a royal class in Space technology. On August 21 2009, Chandrayaan-1 made history by tracing water molecules on the moon's surface. In the words of renowned scientist Y S Rajan "I am really very happy to know that the NASA payload on Chandrayaan-1 has traced water. If it is true then it will pave the way for growing vegetation in moon surface in five or 10 years from now.” Chandrayaan-1 also transmitted excellent images including that of the solar eclipse on July 22. The mission was formally called off on August 30 by ISRO, with chairperson G Madhavan Nair stating that US and European space agencies who had also taken part in the Indian space mission "were satisfied" with the results. The spacecraft carried five Indian instruments and six from abroad, including M3 and another from NASA, three from the European Space Agency (ESA), and one from Bulgaria.
'Slumdog Millionaire' swept eight Oscars at the 81 st Academy Awards including Best Adapted Screenplay,Cinematography,Sound Mixing, Film Editing, Original Score, Original Song, Direction and Motion Picture. Danny Boyle directed modern-day fairy tale about hope and hard times in the slums of Mumbai, pushed aside big-studio contenders to sweep top honors at the Oscars in Los Angeles. India music maestro A R Rahman bagged home two awards with his 'Jai Ho' composition. “I have nothing but my mother and she is there with me. I thank her for making me coming all this way with her blessings,” said a proud Rahman. 2009 marked the beginning of a new era for Indian Film Fraternity.
2009 proved to be the 'year of glory' for Indian cricket. Team India became the number one cricket playing nation in the world. Men in Blue grabbed the top slot in ICC ODI Rankings. With a thrashing win over New Zealand in Compaq cup, India became the no.1 team in ODI. This is the first time, India has become no.1 in the ODI rankings. India is the third team to top the ODI rankings after AustraliaSouth Africa since the system of rankings started in 2001. Out of 30 matches in 2009 India won 17 and lost 10 and 3 were NR. A good year but hopefully 2010 would be a great one. and
July 1 2009 enlisted itself as a historic day in Indian Judiciary when the Delhi High Court issued its 105-page desicion on Gay Rights in India. The colours of freedom: "Discrimination is antithesis of equalit. It is the recognition of equality which will foster dignity of every individual," reads the Delhi High Court judgment. This was the first judicial desicion in India to directly guarantee rights for homosexuals.
2009 witnessed the Engineering Excellence of India with India's first bridge built over the sea was opened to the public. Mumbai's new landmark 'Bandra-Worli Sea Link' with stats of being an eight-lane, 5.6 km (3.47 mile)-long, bridge links the western suburbs of Bandra with Worli over the Arabian Sea. (AFP). This undated handout photograph shows an aerial view of the India's Engineering marvel.
2009 will be remebered as a 'black spot' in Indian Business World with the revealing of Asia's largest corporate scandal in history. In January, B Ramalinga Raju, the founder and former chairman of Satyam Computers, admitted to cooking up the company's account books for several years, leading to a multi-crore scam. The CBI filed a chargesheet and reports said that the financial scam could be to the tune of over Rs 14,000 crore. Satyam Computers' Chairman Ramalinga Raju resigned after the company's shares plunged nearly 80 percent. In a resignation letter that stunned India's business world, Raju said about $1 billion, or 94 percent of the cash and bank balances on the company's books at end-September did not exist. The country's fourth largest IT company - after TCS, Infosys and Wipro and ahead of HCL - was for several years cooking its books by inflating revenues and profits, thus boosting its cash and bank balances; showing interest income where none existed; understating liability; and overstating debtors' position (money due to it).
The year 2009 will go down as a 'dream run' for Indian Cricket. After a short stay at top in ODI format, India became the best test playing nation in the world. On 6 December 2009, India scored a dominating innings and 24-run win over Sri Lanka in third Test in Mumbai giving India a 2-0 series triumph and registering India's 100th test win. The occasion was turned to a festival when ICC announced the test ratings with India at the pinnacle. The legendary Sachin Tendulkar was amazed by the achievement and stated "dream come true. We have been waiting for this moment a long time. The last 18-20 months have been very good. It is a special day for me, and all Indians." India is only the third team after Australia and South Africa to go atop the ladder since the Test Championship was introduced in May 2001, the ICC said in a statement.
2009 proved to be a landmark year in Indian politics. Congress led-United Progressive Alliance (UPA) romped 2009 General Elections with 262 seats- a full 45 seats more from the stunning result of 2004. Manmohan Singh became the only Indian Prime Minister after Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, to retain his seat for the second consecutive term. Verdict 2009 was for stability, positivity and development. It rejected cynicism, negative campaigning and old approach to politics. BJP’s fortunes dipped by 25 seats, while the CPI(M) suffered its worst showing since when it first fought the Lok Sabha polls with 16 seats. With a clear mandate, all hopes are now set on the UPA government for it to meet the aspirations of the youth, who seem to have tilted the result in its favor.
2009 took along an eminent politician from India. The then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Dr. Y.S Rajshekhar Reddy, popularly known as YSR died in a chopper crash on 3 September 2009. The bodies of 60-year-old Reddy, his special secretary, chief security officer, pilot Group Captain and co-pilot were found on Rudrakonda Hill besides the mangled remains of the helicopter. A trained doctor, Yeduguri Sandinti Rajasekhara Reddy or YSR was learnt to feel the public pulse which was proved when he was sworn-in as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister for the second successive term and set new records. The 60-year-old broke the jinx by becoming the first Congress chief minister to retain power - a feat achieved before only by legendary N.T. Rama Rao of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in the 1980s. He had become the first Chief Minister in the state's history to complete a full five-year term. Popular as 'people's leader' among his followers, YSR tasted success at all levels but remained a lively example of modesty and humbleness. A great loss for India.
A huge fire that broke out at IndianOil’s petroleum terminal at Jaipur in Rajasthan on 29th October, 2009. The fire resulted in a massive Rs 300 crore loss according the rough ideas. All the 11 tanks were up in flames, one after the other. Full support from the Rajasthan State Fire Services, State Government authorities and the Indian Army were not able to control the fire. Ultimately, the product was allowed to burn inside the tank as any effort to spray foam or water would have cooled down the tanks, thus affecting its stability and metallurgy, leading to serious consequences of spillage(along with the fire) due to dangerous cracks on the tank surface. 11 people, including six IOC employees, perished in this accident while many sustained serious and minor injuries. The fire also damaged more than 30 industrial units in the industrial area, 20 km south of here. Black clouds of smoke billowing from the vertical petrol, diesel and kerosene tanks could be seen from 10 km away. The aftermaths were felt all over North India for two weeks.
By : Saranjeet Singh