Arguably the most controversial Indian politician in the modern era, Narendra Modi dominated media headlines in 2013. His elevation in June as the Bharatiya Janata Party’s poll campaign chief for 2014 elections was an indication for bigger things to follow for the Gujarat chief minister. In September, predictably he was named the party’s prime ministerial candidate for 2014 polls.
Arundhati Bhattacharya is the first woman to be the chairperson of the State Bank of India (SBI) and also lead a Fortune 500 company in India. Heading the country’s largest banking institution makes Bhattacharya one of the most powerful women in the world.
Giant-killer Arvind Kejriwal, who defeated three-time Chief Minister and Congress stalwart Sheila Dikshit in the New Delhi constituency, is nothing short of a political sensation, and his personal victory can be compared to the maverick Raj Narain’s electoral win over prime minister Indira Gandhi in the historic 1977 general election.
Rahul Gandhi’s elevation as the Congress party’s vice president in January 2013 was seen as the prelude to him being announced the party’s prime ministerial candidate.
Sachin Tendulkar, arguably India’s greatest cricketer, bid farewell in 2013. Retirement from the One-Day Internationals format in 2012 followed by an average performance against Australia at home this year set tongues wagging as people speculated on his retirement from Test cricket too.
First the Indian Space Research Organisation successfully launched its Mars Orbiter mission in November. Later eminent scientist CNR Rao was awarded the Bharat Ratna by the Indian government in recognition of the body of his work in chemistry. Prof. Rao is an international authority on solid state and materials chemistry.
He is one of India’s high achievers. He is the rock star who took over India’s central banking institution when the free-falling rupee was creating trouble for the country. Meet Raghuram Rajan, the man who took charge as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India on September 4, 2013.
Pusarla Venkata Sindhu
Pusarla Venkata Sindhu is a badminton player who became the first Indian to have won a medal in women’s singles at the World Badminton Championship in August 2013. She also won the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold and the Macau Open Badminton Championships further cementing her status in the international circuit.
Lalu Prasad Yadav
Lalu Prasad Yadav’s political career virtually came to an end when a special CBI court in September convicted RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, along with 44 others, in the 37.70 crore fodder scam case.
Gen. V K Singh
Shocking allegations were made against former Indian Army chief, General VK Singh, by a leading newspaper of having set up a special military intelligence unit that ‘misused secret service funds to topple the Omar Abdullah government in Jammu and Kashmir’, among other things.
Devyani Khobragade was arrested, handcuffed and allegedly treated like a common criminal by the law enforcement officers for visa fraud. The US said that she lied on her maid’s visa about how much she would pay her (minimum wages in New York City would entail the maid to $4500 per month, an amount higher than what Devyani was earning).
If the Oscar nomination of Pi’s Lullaby sung by Jayashri made 2012 memorable, 2013 was bigger. Trying a new format, Jayashri directed a children’s Carnatic choir. “It’s meant for the purist and based on Manodharma,” she said.
Cyrus Pallonji Mistry, successor of Ratan Tata, tops the list of 12 newsmakers who will define India in 2012. This year we will get to really know him, the man who led Shapoorji Pallonji & Co from a $20 – million to a $1.5 – billion company.
Next in the list is Mukesh Ambani. He has some big – bang diversification plans up his sleeve and Reliance Industries is likely to accumulate a 1.25 lakh crore cash pile by March.
Cognizant’s President & CEO Francisco D’Souza is the third likely newsmaker of the year because he might overturn the pecking order of Indian IT firms. The company plans to expand its offerings, having invested in management consulting, BPO / KPO, remote infrastructure management, mobility, cloud and social computing, enterprise analytics and big data.
In the political theatre, UP chief minister Mayawati and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi is likely to grab the headlines. For Mayawati, the UP polls scheduled for February is crucial, while year 2012 is the acid test for Rahul Gandhi’s political career.
Among the NRIs, Bobby Jindal and Rajat Gupta will be the headline grabbers of 2012. In entertainment sector, Anil Ambani and Aamir Khan will catch the headlines.
He will take charge of India’s biggest, most global and arguably most respected business empire: the Tata Group, collectively worth $83 billion.
2012 is the big year for Ambani’s 4G telecom venture, a project that the company has been working on for almost a year. Initial reports indicate that the company is likely to kick-start with low-cost 4G services on tablets.
Wipro gone, Cognizant’s D’Souza seems to be gunning for the big one : dethroning Infosys from the second spot in revenues and mind share.
Manmohan Singh and Pranab Mukherjee
First, there’s a chance that a Congress heavyweight may be nominated by the ruling party. Manmohan Singh and Pranab Mukherjee are the names being whispered in Delhi’s corridors.
If a Lokpal is finally appointed in 2012, it will be after numerous failed attempts to bring in the institution, stretching back decades.
This year will be make or break for him. Nilekani is assured of a place in the history of Indian governance if he can make UID work.
Arvind Kejriwal topped the list of newsmakers, while adult film star Sunny Leone was the most searched celebrity online in 2012 in India.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was next in line, followed by Malala Yousafzai ( an education activist from Pakistan ), Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Robert Vadra.
Superstar Amitabh Bachchan and Sonam Kapoor topped the list of ‘Best Dressed Celebrities’, while queen of small screen Ekta Kapoor topped this year’s ‘Worst Dressed’ list, with Mallika Sherawat tailing her at a close second.The quiet Khan will become a game changer across entertainment formats. This year, he will cross over to the other side, television
Virat Kohli was the most searched cricketer, ahead of Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Kevin Pietersen.
Sachin Tendulkar has finally reached where no cricketer has been before. However, Sachin Tendulkar’s 100th century went in vain as the team ultimately lost to Bangladesh.
But the ”Little Master” relieved himself of the burden in the Asia Cup at Mirpur Sher – e – Bangla National Stadium for undoubtedly the most anticipated cricket milestone ever.
Manmohan Singh :
- Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh made a crucial visit to the US from October 22 to 26, 2009. During his visit, India and the US signed six important bilateral agreements.
G. Madhavan Nair :
- The then ISRO Chief, Dr.G. Madhavan Nair, was elected President of the International Academy of Astronautics on August 31, 2009.
- He was instrumental in the success of Chandrayaan – 1, which had found traces of water on the Moon.
Kapil Sibal :
- HRD Minister Mr.Kapil Sibal inaugurated the Right to Education Bill on August 4, 2009.
- He also initiated CBSE’s new education system, which envisages doing away with Class X board exams, on September 7, 2009.
Pranab Mukherjee :
- Union Finance Minister Mr.Pranab Mukherjee presented the 2009 – 2010 Budget on July 6, 2009 in the Lok Sabha. In the Budget, he stressed on fiscal sops and rural spending programs.
Meira Kumar :
- Ms. Meira Kumar was elected as the Speaker of the Lok Sabha on May 3, 2009.
- She is the first woman Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
A.R. Rahman :
- India’s noted musician A.R. Rahman won two Oscar Awards in Los Angeles, USA onFebruary 22, 2009.
- He was awarded for Original Score and for Best Song in Slumdog Millionaire.
Ratan Tata :
- Mr.Ratan Tata, MD of Tata Motors, launched the Tata Nano in Mumbai on March 23, 2009.
- Nano, the Rs.1 lakh car, is the cheapest four – wheeler in the world till date.
Nandan Nilekani :
- Mr. Nandan Nilekani was appointed as the Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority (UIA) on June 25, 2009.
- The UIA has been set up to provide unique identification numbers to all citizens of India.
Nirupam Sen :
- Mr.Nirupam Sen was appointed on April 6, 2009 as Special Senior Adviser to the President of the UN General Assembly on the world financial and economic crisis.
- He was formerly the Indian ambassador to the US.
Nirupama Rao :
- Ms.Nirupama Rao was named as the Foreign Secretary with effect from July 31, 2009. With this, she became the second woman to hold this important post.
Sachin Tendulkar :
- Sachin Tendulkar has become the first cricketer to score 30,000 runs in international cricket.
- He achieved this feat during the first test of the India – Sri Lanka series in Ahmedabad on November 20,2009.
K. Radhakrishnan :
- Dr. K. Radhakrishnan became the Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on October 24, 2009. He took over from Dr. G. Madhavan Nair.
Mukesh Ambani :
- Mr. Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of RIL, topped the Forbes’ Richest Indians list released onNovember 19, 2009. According to the list, he currently has a net worth of $32 billion.
M.S. Dhoni :
- Team India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was named by Wisden on April 8, 2009 as the captain of its first – ever Dream Test XI.
- He has led Team India to the No. 1 spot in the ICC Test Rankings.
Prakash Raj :
- Noted actor Mr. Prakash Raj won the Best Actor award at the 55th National Film Awards for 2007 on September 7, 2009.
- He won the award for his role in Tamil movie Kanchivaram.