2023 was a special year for Bharat. From landing on the moon’s south pole to bringing home the Oscar Awards, India soared to new heights last year.
The canvas of 2023 unfolded with vibrant strokes, illustrating the nation’s resilience, creativity, and commitment to greatness. Let’s celebrate the exceptional feats that defined India’s 2023, affirming the nation’s achievement and progress on the global stage.
1st country to reach the moon’s south pole
On the historic evening of August 23 at 6.03 pm IST, ISRO made every Indian proud by announcing the successful landing of the Chandrayaan-3 lander on the moon’s surface. The 19-minute sequence showcased the spacecraft’s precise navigation, employing engines, thrusters, and a suite of sensors from an altitude of approximately 30 km, decelerating to a ground speed of 1.7 km/s.
The best part is, that this victory made India the first country to land on the Moon’s south pole. It also became the fourth country in the world to achieve a soft landing on the moon.
Beyond the scientific achievement, this win resonates with a broader narrative of empowerment. In a groundbreaking stride for gender equality in the male-dominated field of science, over 100 women scientists and engineers played pivotal roles in this historic mission. Many women like Ritu Karidhal Srivastava, Nandini Harinath, Kalpana K, and Anuradha TK contributed significantly, showcasing the spirit of women in shaping the path of space exploration.
India’s Presidency of the G20 Summit
India assumed the Presidency of the G20 summit on December 1st, 2022 which left an indelible mark on global governance. On September 9 and 10, the G20 New Delhi Summit was held in New Delhi. Under the theme of “One Earth, One Family, One Future,” world leaders engaged in discussions spanning crucial topics such as climate and energy, food security, development, digitalization, and health.
Contrary to initial scepticism from some quarters, the G20 Summit in India exceeded expectations. Matthew Miller, a spokesperson for the US State Department, praised India for orchestrating a successful summit.
Key Achievements of the Summit:
- India’s G20 presidency achieved a milestone in global diplomacy by welcoming the African Union as a permanent member
- Under the nation’s leadership, the G20 Independent Expert Group recommended strengthening MDBs (multilateral development banks).
- India played a pivotal role in facilitating a consensus on a debt relief framework for Zambia, Ghana, and Ethiopia, addressing their financial challenges and providing a template for responsible global debt management.
- A global consensus on the need for clearer policies and regulations for cryptocurrencies gained momentum, paving the way for a more transparent and regulated digital financial landscape.
India’s Big Win At The Oscars
March 12th 2023 also became a momentous day for India as India won in the glow of cinematic triumph at the 95th Oscar Awards. “Naatu Naatu” composed by M. M. Keeravani, with lyrics by Chandrabose, became the first Indian song to win Best Original Song. “The Elephant Whisperers” produced by Guneet Monga, achieved the honour of being the first Indian production to win Best Documentary Short Film.
Guneet Monga, in her acceptance speech, said, “I stand here today to speak on the sacred bond between us and our natural world. For the respect of indigenous communities. And empathy towards other living beings we share our space with. And finally, for co-existence. Thank you to the Academy for recognizing our film, highlighting indigenous people and animals. To Netflix for believing in the power of this film. To Boman Belli, for sharing their sacred tribal wisdom… To my motherland, India.”
MM Keeravani said, “I grew up listening to the Carpenters and now here I am with the Oscars.” He sang the melody of the 70s pop hit Top Of The World with his own version of the lyrics: “There was only one wish on my mind. … RRR has to win, pride of every Indian, and must put me on the top of the world.”
A Surge in Tiger Population
India recorded a significant conservation triumph in 2023. The tiger population rose to 3,682 in 2023, marking a substantial 24% increase from 2,967 in 2018.
- Madhya Pradesh: Ranks Number 1 with 785 tigers. It saw a whopping 49% growth from 526 in 2018.
- Karnataka: Secures the second position with 563 tigers, a 7.4% increase
- Uttarakhand: Ranks third, showing an increase of 26.7% growth. The current count is 560 tigers as compared to 442 in 2018.
- Maharashtra: Records a commendable 29% rise, boasting 444 tigers, up from 312 in 2018.
- Tamil Nadu: Secures fifth position with a total of 306 tigers
- Assam: Records 227 tigers, securing the sixth position
- Kerala: Houses 213 tigers
- Uttar Pradesh: Secures the eighth position with 205 tigers
Women’s Reservation Bill Gets A Green Flag
In a historic moment on September 21, 2023, the Parliament of India passed the “Women Reservation Bill”. The bill mandates that at least 33% of seats in state legislative assemblies and the Lok Sabha be reserved for women.
The Women’s Reservation Bill dates back to September 1996 when it was first introduced by the H. D. Deve Gowda-led government. Despite several attempts, the bill faced obstacles and failed to secure political support and consensus over the years. The UPA administration achieved partial success in 2010 when it got the bill approved in the Rajya Sabha. However, the road to full implementation remained elusive. After a long legislative history, the Women’s Reservation Bill finally found success in 2023.
Registration of 100,000+ Startups
India achieved a big success in business as the number of government-registered start-ups reached a seven-figure mark i.e. 1,12,718. Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal shared this news, highlighting the impressive growth from 450 startups in 2016 to now having more than 100,000 in 2023. India has emerged as the third-largest startup ecosystem globally.
According to recent government data, Maharashtra leads with 4,801 registrations, followed by Uttar Pradesh with 2,572, and Delhi with 2,567, making them the top three startup hubs. In 2022, there was a significant increase in new startups, with 26,522 joining under the Startup India initiative, a 32.6% rise from the previous year. The government has also registered over 3,000 fintech startups.
Various states like Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal have also seen significant growth in their startup scenes. This depicts India’s growing startup ecosystem, highlighting the nation’s economic growth.
India’s Speedy 5G Rollout and Top Global Performance
India’s two biggest telcos, Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, saw the fastest 5G rollout, covering 22 service areas in just nine months. The collaboration between the telcos led to the deployment of 2.70 lakh 5G sites.
The launch of 5G networks in October 2022 marked the beginning of a transformative era in India’s telecommunications landscape. Within just one year of the official rollout, India’s 5G speeds have earned a spot in the top 10 global list. According to Ookla’s recent report, India stands out as one of the top-performing countries in 5G in 2023. This achievement reflects the substantial impact of the rapid network rollout and the operators’ ability to meet the growing network demands of consumers across the country.
Surat Diamond Bourse in Gujarat: World’s largest office Building
The Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB) in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, earned the distinction of being the world’s largest office building, surpassing even the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia. Spanning over 7.1 million square feet, the SDB not only sets new standards in architectural grandeur but also exemplifies a commitment to environmental consciousness.
With 4,500 offices and 130+ elevators spread across a passage exceeding 22 km, the SDB stands as a symbol of India’s dedication to integrating solar power. This colossal structure is a towering milestone in the country’s journey towards renewable energy.
A Biofuel Revolution: The Introduction of E20 Fuel
India launched the E20 fuel (a blend of 20% ethanol and 80% petrol) in 2023 which became a notable step towards a biofuel revolution. The country aims to achieve a nationwide rollout of 20 per cent ethanol-blended petrol by 2025.
Union Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri mentioned that by 2025, the entire country would have special fuel stations retailing E20 petrol. This initiative highlights India’s dedication to adopting eco-friendly fuel sources and fostering a greener future.
Construction of the Grand Ram Mandir in Ayodhya
The Ram Mandir in Ayodhya has an immense cultural and religious history attached. Dedicated to Lord Ram, the temple’s journey involves legal battles and debates spanning decades. According to the most popular version which finds mention in government gazettes, in 1528, Mughal ruler Babur demolished a temple at the birth spot of Lord Ram and constructed Babri Masjid. The first religious violence occurred for the first time in 1853 and continued for decades, on and off, accompanied by riots, legal battles and campaigns by political parties.
In 2019, a historic verdict by the Supreme Court of India favoured the construction of the Ram Mandir on the disputed land. Simultaneously, the court allocated an alternate piece of land to the Muslim community for the construction of a mosque. Post this verdict, the construction of the Ram Mandir commenced in Ayodhya, marked by the Bhoomi Pujan ceremony on August 5, 2020.
The Consecration ceremony (Pran Pratishtha) of the Ayodhya Ram Temple has been celebrated on January 22, 2024.