A to Z of 2016 must know events for essay writing, current affairs and GDPI.
1. A – Aleppo “Refugee and War effects”
Aleppo is a Syrian city that’s the epicentre of the Syrian civil war. In December, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s army said it had retaken full control the devastated city, scoring its biggest victory against opposition forces since the civil war erupted in 2011. The loss of east Aleppo is the biggest blow to Syria’s rebel movement in the nearly six-year conflict, which has killed more than 310,000 people. This year, a photograph of a young Syrian boy, Omran Daqneesh, taken after he was pulled from under the rubble of a building after terror airstrikes in Aleppo, came to symbolize the tragic conflict.
2. B – Brexit “Europe Crisis”
In June, a majority of UK citizens who participated on a referendum on the country’s membership of the European Union, voted to leave it. This move, called ‘Brexit,’ sent shockwaves across financial markets and the global political landscape. Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron resigned as soon as the results of the referendum were announced, and was succeeded by current PM Theresa May. The UK, however, still hasn’t formally left the EU. Reuters Photo
3. C – China, Cyrus Mistry
Relations between India and China in 2016 continued to be complicated. China’s protection for Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar, its opposition to India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, its plans to construct dams on upper reaches of the Brahmaputra, and territorial disputes at the Line of Actual Control are among the contentious issues that strain the China-India relationship. Former Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry’s (right) ouster, and the ongoing feud between Mistry and interim Tata chairman Ratan Tata, are two other major events that occured this year.
4. D – Demonetisation
Demonetisation, note ban, currency ban – whatever you wish to call it, this was easily the most significant event of 2016 in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the nation on November 8 that the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes (picture) would be removed from circulation. The move created a cash crunch, which the government made efforts to ease – by releasing new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes, and creating incentives for digital transactions. A 50-day window during which citizens could deposit old notes at banks ended on December 30.
5. E – E-payment “Cashless Society”
Ever since demonetisation was announced, the government has taken steps to promote digital transactions and a cashless economy. For example, it launched lucky draws with prizes for both consumers and businessmen who use cashless transactions, and doubled the balance limit of Prepaid Payment Instruments. The Finance Ministry announced eleven mesures to promote digital payments, including discounts on purchases of petrol and diesel. And finally, Prime Minister Modi launched a digital payments app, Bharat Interface for Money or BHIM, on December 30.
6. F – Fidel Castro and FDI
Fidel Castro, a former Cuban President and a Communist icon, passed away on November 26. He was 90. He was both admired as a hero and hated as a dictator during his time. He was well-known for his anti-Americanism. India continue to get highest amount of FDI.
7. G – Goods and Service Tax “GST”
In August, the Parliament passed the landmark Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, which aims to create a unified market by doing away with inter-state tax barriers. However, there’s been an impasse in the GST Council (picture) over the division of authority between assessing authorities of centre and states, and the issue will be taken up together at the council’s next meeting on January 3-4.
8. H – Hillary Clinton
This year, US Democrat Hillary Clinton (left) became the first woman Presidential nominee in the history of her country. However, she didn’t win the race to the White House, which she lost to real estate magnate Donald Trump.
9. I – ISIS, Irom Sharmila
The second phase of the operation to retake Mosul, the terrorist group Islamic State’s last major stronghold in Iraq, began on Thursday after several weeks of deadlock in the most complex operation in the country since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. The group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is still alive according to the Pentagon. Last month, he released a defiant audio message urging his supporters to defend Mosul. ISIS has been linked with several major terrorist attacks that took place this year. In August, Manipuri human rights activist Irom Sharmila ended a 16 year fast that she’d begun to protest against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. She later created her own political party – the People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance.
10. J – Jayalalithaa
Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and All India Anna Dravida Munntra Kazhagam supremo J Jayalalithaa, an icon of Dravidian politics, breathed her last on December 5. She was buried next to her mentor, former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M G Ramachandran, who also starred in several films with her during her glittering Kollywood career. After Jayalalithaa’s demise, her close friend and confidante Sasikala Natarajan (left) took over as general secretary of the AIADMK on December 31.
11. K – Kashmir
The Kashmir valley witnessed several months of unrest after Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces on July 8. The unrest affected normal life, and resulted in shutdown of schools and death of 86 people. The government had also to grapple with the NIT unrest, mysterious school burning incidents and blinding due to pellet gun firing issues.
12. L – Legion’s hacks
Legion, a group of hackers, was in the news for compromising e-mail and Twitter accounts of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi (picture), liquor baron Vijay Mallya, and two prominent senior journalists. A member of the group shared with TOI a list of what he claimed are email addresses and passwords of nearly 74,000 chartered accountants in the country. He said he had compromised the accounts of former Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi, and the sansad.nic.in domain, though the data is yet to be dumped.
13. M – Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali, a boxing legend and an American icon, passed away on June 4 after a decades-long battle with Parkison’s disease. He was 74. US President Barack Obama said Ali was “a whole greater than the sum of its parts” and “bigger, brighter, more original and influential than just about anyone of his era.”
14. N – Narendra Modi
It’s been an eventful year for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was declared Person of the Year by the readers of TIME magazine. His government implemented demonetisation, and the Army conducted surgical strikes across the Line of Control after the Uri attack. He made several state visits, made a historic speech in the US Congress earlier this year.
15. O – Olympians
It was a special year for India at the Olympic Games and at the Paralympic Games in Rio. PV Sindhu clinched the silver medal in the womens’ singles badminton final, and Sakshi Malik won the bronze medal in the women’s wrestling event. Dipa Karmakar became the first Indian gymnast to reach an Olympic final. Four Indian Paralympians – Mariyappan Thangavelu (gold, men’s T42 high jump), Devendra Jhajharia (gold, men’s F46 javelin throw), Deepa Malik (silver, women’s F53 shot put) and Varun Singh Bhati (bronze, men’s T42 high jump) – also made the nation proud at the Rio Paralympics.
16. P – Pakistan, Paris Climate Agreement (ratified by US, China)
Pakistan was in news for CPEC china pakistan economic corridor. Pakistan’s relationship with India has deteriorated significantly this year, after Pakistan-sponsored terrorist attacks in Pathankot (Punjab) and Uri (Jammu and Kashmir), the unrest in the Kashmir valley after the death of terrorist Burhan Wani (whom Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called a ‘martyr), India’s surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and diplomatic efforts made by India to isolate its neighbour on the world stage. In September, the US and China – the world’s top two emitters of greenhouse gases – ratified the Paris Climate agreement – which was approved by 195 countries, including India, in December last year.
17. Q – Qandeel Baloch
Pakistani social media sensation Qandeel Baloch was murdered by her own brother in July this year, in an ‘honour killing.’ The 26-year old, whose real name was Fouzia Azeem, had received received threats from her family – especially her brother – to quit modeling and her provocative appearances on social media. In October, Pakistan’s national assembly passed legislation closing a loophole that allowed people who killed in the name of “honour” to go free, mandating life imprisonment even if the victim’s relatives forgive the murder.
18. R – Raghuram Rajan and the RBI
Raghuram Rajan, the former governor of the Reserve Bank of India, made way for currenct RBI chief Urijit Patel on September 4. Rajan’s resignation came earlier in the year after BJP leader Subramanian Swamy wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to accuse Rajan of “harming the nation’s economy.” Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said he was “profoundly saddened” by Rajan’s decision, and blamed the BJP-led government for his exit. The RBI was often in the news in November and December, as it announced frequent rule changes after Prime Minister Modi announced demonetisation.
19. S – Surgical strike
Just days after the September 19 terrorist attack in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir, India’s Director General of Military Operations Lt Gen Ranbir Singh announced that the Army had conducted surgical strikes’ on terrorist launch pads across the Line of Control. Surgical strikes are military operations undertaken by forces across the world to move on the offensive, hit enemy targets and installations, and return to primary positions – all with lightening speed and with the added precaution of suffering limited casualty.
20. T – Trump
Donald Trump, a real estate magnate whose populist, divisive Presidential campaign was rocked by allegations of sexual assault, defeated Hillary Clinton in the US elections. He will succeed Barack Obama, and will take his oath of office in January. TIME magazine named him its Person of the Year.
21. U – Uri attack
On September 19, terrorists crossed the Line of Control and attacked an army camp in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir, killing 19 jawans. The attack sparked outrage across the nation, and just days later, the Indian Army responded by conducting surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the LoC. The Uri attack was just one of several events in 2016 that have led to a marked deterioration in the India-Pakistan relationship.
22. V – Vijay Mallya, Vladmir Putin
Beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya owes over Rs 9,000 crore to a consortium of banks. The United Breweries boss left India in March this year, and has received several summons from the Enforcement Directorate in connection with its money laundering probe. However, he has avoided personal appearance so far. Russian President Vladmir Putin was named by Forbes magazine’s as the world’s most powerful person for the fourth consecutive year in December. Forbes said Russia’s 64-year-old president has exerted his country’s influence in nearly every corner of the globe; from the motherland to Syria to the US presidential elections, continuing to “get what he wants”. Russia has been accused of using hacking as a weapon to meddle in the US elections, and help Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.
23. W – World Cup (Junior Hockey) and West Bengal
India beat Belgium 2-1 to win the 2016 Hockey Junior World Cup at Major Dhyan Chand Stadium in Lucknow. The last time the Indian junior team had won the title was in 2001. In west bengal Mamta Banerjee was on tender hooks since demonisation.
24. X – X’mas day attack in Berlin
On December 19, a failed Tunisian asylum seeker drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany, killing 12 people in the name of the terrorist group Islamic State. He was shot dead by Italian police in Milan on December 23. The influx of immigrants in Germany (more than one million arrived in 2016 and 2015) has hit incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel’s popularity, and boosted support for the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany, whose leader blamed Merkel for the Christmas Day attack.
25. Y – Yadav family feud
A feud within the Yadav clan headed by Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav reached boiling point on December 30, when Mulayam expelled his son, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, from the party for six years.
26. Z – Zika
Zika is a virus that’s transmitted by mosquitoes belonging to the genus Aedes, and there’s no known cure or treatment for the disease it causes. The virus is linked to deformations in babies’ heads and brains – a condition called microencephaly. First reported in 2007, the zika threat has reached 56 countries across South America, Europe and Africa since last year. The World Health Organization declared the Zika epidemic a global health emergency in February this year, but said in November that it was no longer one. It did warn, however, that it was still a challenge. source timesofindia