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Major events which took place in 2020. Pixabay

The year 2020 has been a roller-coaster ride of various events. There were many instances which broke our heart and people were dejected with things happening around them, yet we all are here entering 2021 along with all the courage and strength we’ve gained from the difficulties that arose. However, it is true that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Here is the list of few major events which took place in 2020:

Australian Bushfires

Australia faced a devastating bushfire in late 2019, and things swiftly got worse before rains helped contain many of the worst fires in February 2020. At least 33 people have been killed – including four firefighters – and more than 11 million hectares (110,000 sq km or 27.2 million acres) of the bush, forest, and parks across Australia have burned.

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In the worst-hit state, New South Wales (NSW), the fire has affected more than five million hectares, destroying more than 2,000 houses and forcing thousands to seek shelter elsewhere. Fires had raged near the Australian capital Canberra for weeks – at one stage shutting the city’s airport as flames approached the perimeter.

Delhi Riots

On the eve of February 23, riots broke out in Northeast Delhi between Anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and pro-CAA protestors. The protests on CAA took a communal turn and led to the death of over 53 people over the course of the next 10 days. More than 200 were left injured. Shops and houses were burnt down and even places of worship were attacked. This happened when the US President then, Donald Trump had visited India.

In areas like Bhajanpura, thousands of people attacked petrol pumps, carried petrol bombs, sticks and weapons. Violence was reported from Babarpur, Maujpur, Jaffrabad, Kardampuri, Gokalpuri, Seelampur, and Shiv Puri. Section 144, imposed in riot-hit areas, had little effect. A man named Shahrukh, opened fire at the police with a gun, before being arrested days later from UP’s Shamli district.

Over 10,000 emergency calls were made to the police control room during the week.

As of March 6, as many as 53 people had been reported to have died in communal violence.

COVID Pandemic

The COVID-19 created a global pandemic caused by the coronavirus. The first case of COVID-19 in India, which originated from China, was reported on 30 January 2020. India is the second-highest in the world after the United States, with more than 9 million reported cases of COVID-19 infection and more than 100,000 deaths. The per-day cases peaked mid-September in India with over 90,000 cases reported per day and have since come down to below 40,000 in December.

On March 22, the central government insisted nationwide curfew. Later, on March 24, PM Narendra Modi announced a 21 days nationwide lockdown to avoid the spread of the virus. Further, the lockdowns were extended and made stern as per the requirement. Everything including movie theatres, shopping malls, clubs, bars, restaurant dine-in, etc were closed. Public gatherings were not allowed. However, by the time we had unlock-down taking necessary precautions and safety measures.

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George Floyd’s Death

George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, died on May 25 after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a white police officer’s knee. The encounter, captured on video, incited large protests against police brutality and systemic racism.

The explosive footage, recorded by a bystander and shared widely on social media, led to community outrage, and F.B.I. civil rights investigation, and the firing and arrest of the officer, Derek Chauvin. It also ended up as a social media campaign with the usage of #blacklivesmatter against racial discrimination.

Floyd’s triggered violent unrest in Minneapolis, leading to a state of peacetime emergency being declared in Minnesota state. Protests have also taken place in other parts of the US, including in California, New York, Ohio, and Colorado.

The incident once again brought to the fore concerns over the law enforcement’s bias against the African American minority, with Floyd’s death being cited as the most recent incident of racially-driven police brutality.

Protests have taken place in the US, including in California, New York, Ohio, and Colorado. Pixabay

Sushant Singh Rajput Death and Bollywood Drug Case

On 14 June 2020, the Indian actor Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead hanging from the ceiling fan at his residence in Bandra, Mumbai. The cause of death was ruled to have been suicide. The official postmortem reports concluded that he died of asphyxia due to hanging.

Suicide turned to murder, to pre-meditated politicized slaughter, to connections to drug cartels, taking in its long tail some of the mightiest of the film industry. The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) joined the probe that had been handed over to the CBI amidst much fanfare. The anti-drugs agency has since taken Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik Chakraborty among many others into custody.
Images of a stunned Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan and Shraddha Kapoor entering the NCB portal over ‘maal’ charges and leaving minus their lifeline cellphones held television audiences captive for several days.

Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: 2020 Flashback : कॉमन मैन के चश्मे से 2020 की सबसे चर्चित खबरें

Beirut Explosion

On the evening of 4 August 2020, a fire at a hangar containing ammonium nitrate in the port of Beirut saw a team of firefighters dispatched to the scene. This resulted in a gigantic explosion, causing devastation for miles around.

The blast destroyed the immediate dockside area, creating a crater approximately 140m (460ft) wide, which flooded with seawater. More than 200 people were killed, including at the port and further afield.

Lebanon’s Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, blamed the detonation on 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that he said had been stored unsafely at a warehouse in the port.

The US Elections 2020

In the presidential elections of the United States of the year 2020, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was elected the 46th president of the United States on November 7th, 2020. The presidential electors gave Biden a solid majority of 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232. The Electoral College decisively confirmed Joe Biden on December 14th, 2020 as the nation’s next president, ratifying his November victory in an authoritative state-by-state repudiation of President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede he had lost.

Farmers Protest in India

The 2020 Indian farmers’ protest is an ongoing protest against the three farm acts which were passed by the Parliament of India in September 2020. The acts have been described as “anti-farmer laws” by many farmer unions.

Soon after the acts were introduced, unions began holding local protests, mostly in Punjab. After two months of protests, farmer unions—notably from Punjab, Rajasthan, and Haryana—began a movement named ‘Dilli Chalo’, in which tens of thousands of farmer unions marched towards the nation’s capital.

ALSO READ: 2020 Flashback: Events That Caught An Eye In 2020

The government offered some amendments to the laws, but the farmers’ unions are asking to repeal the laws by protesting for the past 2 months.



Dia Mirza champions sustainable fashion

Actor and environmental activist, Dia Mirza, who is also the National Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) was showstopper for Indian designers Abraham & Thakore at the recently held LFW X FDCI event. The designer duo who are pioneers of slow fashion and sustainability in the Indian fashion landscape showcased a timeless sustainable collection.

IANSlife spoke with Mirza on sustainable choices when it comes to fashion.

Read Excerpts:

Q: Did you enjoy the on-ground fashion event and the energy that came with the physical show and appearance?
A: Yes absolutely. It was just so refreshing and wonderful to finally be back from a virtual audience. Last year we did a digital show and the energy was just not there, this is an interactive experience and we draw so much from real people.

Q: The outfit that was chosen for you, how did it complement your style?
A: It's a garment that I think involves and is reflective of what I stand for, I deeply care about sustainability and I love the fact that the garment has been made with repurposed material, used and created with a hundred per cent post-consumer bottles, and made by the waste generated from the pieces of fabric that we discard while creating other garments. So it was a very special garment that really and truly celebrated repurposing and reusing and upcycling.

Dia Mirza is an Indian model, actress, producer, and social worker who predominantly works in Hindi films. Mirza won the title of Miss Asia Pacific International in 2000. IANSlife spoke with Mirza on sustainable choices when it comes to fashion. | Wikimedia Commons

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Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Delhi to get new QR-based driving livenses and registration certificates.

In a step towards digitisation of the system, Delhi Transport Department will soon issue QR based Smart cards for driving licenses (DLs) and registration certificates (RCs).

As per a statement, the new driving licence will have an advanced microchip with features like Quick Response (QR) code and Near Field Communication (NFC). The new RC will have the owner's name printed on the front while the microchip and the QR code would be embedded at the back of the card.

The cards earlier had embedded chips, but chip reader machines were not available in the required quantity with both the Delhi Traffic Police and the Enforcement Wing of the Transport Department. Moreover, chips were designed and implemented by the states concerned, which resulted in difficulties in reading the chip and retrieving information, especially in case of defaulters.

"Now with the QR based smart card, this issue is resolved. This will enable unification in linking and validating one's information to smart cards with Sarathi and Vahan, the two web-based databases of all driving licenses and vehicle registrations," the release added.

The QR is also being implemented nationwide, the QR code reader is easily procurable and will do away with the requirement of any manual intervention altogether. The new cards will also allow two specific materials for their card manufacturing -- PolyVinyl Chloride or PVC, or PolyCarbonate which is slightly more expensive but more durable. (Card Size - 85.6mm x 54.02 mm; Thickness minimum 0.7 mm)

An October 2018 notification of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) had made changes to the Driving License and Registration Certificate. The new Smart card based DL and RC, will have chip based/ QR code based recognition system. At the same time, documents such as driving license or registration certificates in electronic formats on DigiLockers and mParivahan were also made valid in place of physical documents and treated at par with original documents.

The QR code also has an added advantage of acting as a safety feature on the smart card. The department will be able to retain records and penalties of the DL holder for up to 10 years on the VAHAN database as soon as a driver/ owner's Smart card is confiscated. The new DLs will also help the government in maintaining records of differently-abled drivers, any modifications made to the vehicles, emission standards and the person's declaration to donate organs. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Delhi, Driving License, Registration License, Digitisation.


In this handout photo provided by Sotheby's Auction House, the auction for Banksy's "Love is the Bin" takes place in London, Oct. 14, 2021

LONDON — A work by British street artist Banksy that sensationally shredded itself just after it sold at auction three years ago fetched almost 18.6 million pounds ($25.4 million) on Thursday — a record for the artist, and close to 20 times its pre-shredded price.

"Love is in the Bin" was offered by Sotheby's in London, with a presale estimate of 4 million pounds to 6 million pounds ($5.5 million to $8.2 million).

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