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7 moments in 2015 that made India proud


By Harshmeet Singh

As a country, 2015 has been an extremely eventful year. There were some amazing highs which were averaged out by a number of lows. From banning anything remotely offensive to showing solidarity with the fellow countrymen at the time of natural crises, we added a number of new chapters to the nation’s history.

But to end the year on a cheerful note, we would prefer concentrating on the positives. The year 2015 brought with itself a number of moments that took India’s stature to new heights. Let’s revisit the top seven moments of 2015 that made India proud and cherish them before we start 2016 with a clean slate.

  1. The first all women contingent at the Republic Day parade

This year’s Republic Day Parade was in the news for multiple reasons. Barack Obama, during his second visit to India, became the first US President to attend India’s Republic Day Parade as the guest of honor. But what made this parade really special was the participation of first ever all women contingent. Women officers from all the three arms of the military took part in the parade, whose theme was “Women Empowerment.”


On January 25, Wing Commander Puja Thakur became the first woman to command the guard of honor for President Obama at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

  1. Chennai boy becomes the CEO of Google


Sundar Pichai became a household name not just in India, but in many other countries including the USA. The IIT Kharagpur engineer took over as the CEO of Google on October 2, 2015. Previously, he had played a key role in the development of a number of Google’s flagship products including Android, Google Drive, and Google Chrome.

  1. Air Force to induct female fighter pilots

On October 8, Air Force Day, air-chief Arup Raha announced the plans to allow the induction of women fighter pilots in the Air Force. Till now, women Air Force officers have only been employed in office work and navigation. Women have also flown cargo planes and helicopters in the past, but have been kept away from the fighter planes.

  1. Sania Mirza reaches the pinnacle and stays there


The year 2015 saw Sania Mirza setting out on a dream run along with her doubles’ partner, Martin Hingis. The duo ended the year as the world number one team, with 10 titles in their kitty, including the Wimbledon and the US Open.

  1. Society accepts transgender people

The year saw frequent rallies and pride parades in support of transgender people in different parts of the country. Though these rallies weren’t new, the professional success of Madhu Kinnar and Manabi Bandhyopadhyay raised great hopes.


Madhu Kinnar became India’s fifth transgender mayor after winning the Raigarh Municipal elections while running as an independent candidate. Dr. Manabi Bandhyopadhyay became the first transgender college principal in the country after she was offered the post at Krishnagar Women’s College.

  1. Magsaysay award for Sanjiv Chaturvedi

Indian Forest Services officer of the 2002 batch, Sanjiv Chaturvedi is known for unearthing corruption with every new posting. He was rewarded with frequent transfers, suspensions and false cases. The Magsaysay award foundation awarded him with the prestigious award for “his exemplary integrity, courage and tenacity in uncompromisingly exposing and painstakingly investigating corruption in public office, and his resolute crafting of programme and system improvements to ensure that government honorably serves the people.”

  1. 21 June is now the ‘world yoga day’


The UN accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposal of naming 21st June as the ‘world yoga day.’ June 21, 2015 saw millions of people practicing yoga in different parts of the world. PM Modi led from the front and practiced Yoga at Delhi’s Rajpath along with more than 35 thousand people. The gathering at Rajpath also found a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest yoga camp.

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CEO Sundar Pichai Defends Google Products as Regulators Kick in

Google has just unveiled a new more powerful Nest Mini speaker and Nest WiFi

Sundar Pichai, Indian American (CEO) of Google Inc. (Representational image). Wikimedia Commons

As anti-trust regulators increase the scrutiny in Google products over the company’s business practices, its CEO Sundar Pichai has said that it is important for advertisers to have standardized measurement that’s fair across all media and that delivers insights in a way that fully protects users’ privacy.

In an earnings call after reporting Q3 results, Pichai on Monday said the company consistently wants to work and build products that benefit users and support the ecosystem.

“And so our products and services benefit consumers, small and medium businesses advertise this and overall they’ve help reduce prices and expand choice. And so that’s our underlying approach, I think, which is what helps us engage and explain to regulators and we’ll continue to do that,” he told analysts.

The US Department of Justice is set to open a broad anti-trust review of tech companies including Google, and has also launched a separate antitrust probe into Google.

Pichai said that in several areas, the company is a new entrant.

“We create competition and sometimes the competitive pressures can lead to concerns from others. And so that’s part of what’s going on as well,” he noted.

Google last week announced a major update in its Search algorithms to better understand people’s queries and throw more relevant results.

“Any time we can better make sense of queries, we can serve users better. Our search quality goes up and people engage and engage more. So it’s part of a long run, sort of things we have been working on, but this is one of our bigger breakthroughs in terms of helping improve the search experience and search quality,” explained Pichai.

Google, Play Store, Dark Theme, Makeover
Huawei smartphones are seen in front of displayed Google Play logo in this illustration picture, May 20, 2019. VOA

On achieving “quantum Supremacy”, Pichai said it is the “Hello World moment we’ve been waiting for and represents a distinct milestone in our effort to harness the principles of quantum mechanics to solve computational problems”.

To demonstrate supremacy, Google’s 53-cubic quantum machine Sycamore successfully performed a test competition in just 200 seconds that would have taken the most powerful supercomputers 10,000 years to accomplish.

On his hardware business like Pixel smartphones, Pichai said the business is still in its early stages.

“But we are continuing to build the business and the portfolio of healthful products. Our new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are the first phones at motion sense. This allows users to use natural gestures to get things done without touching their phone,” said Pichai.

Also Read: Russian Hackers Can Target 2020 Olympics, Warns Microsoft

Google has just unveiled a new more powerful Nest Mini speaker and Nest WiFi.

“Finally, the team is looking forward to launching Pixel Buds, first truly wireless headphones as well as Stadia, our streaming gaming platform, which will soon be available in the US, UK, Canada, and throughout Europe,” he said.

“We are investing deeply in our next billion users. So markets like APAC continues to be a big long-term opportunities for us as well,” Pichai added, without mentioning whether India is still its next growth market. (IANS)