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13 Ways India Took A Giant Leap Forward In 2014

From health to feminism to space exploration – jai ho across the board.

1. February: NASA announced that they're going to launch a satellite in collaboration with ISRO.

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NASA will launch a new water-related satellite in collaboration with ISRO, to acquire information that will help the planet's water-cycle, and improve water resource management.

2. March: The World Health Organisation certified India as polio-free.

Narinder Nanu/AFP / Getty Images

India was at one point the world’s epicentre of polio, but as of March, 2014, it is one of just six WHO regions to be completely polio free, resulting in 80% of the world's population living free of the disease.

3. April: India hit 100 million Facebook users, globally second only to the US.

Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP / Getty Images

India now has 164.81 million people who surf the internet, with an increasing number of them doing so on smart phones and tablets.

4. April: The Supreme Court recognised transgendered Indians as belonging to a third gender.

Manjunath Kiran / Getty Images

The first step for this judgement traces back to 2009, when India's Election Commission allowed transgenders to choose their gender as "other" on ballot forms.

5. May: We elected a Prime Minister via the largest democratic election in the world, showcasing the highest voter turnout for a general election, anywhere, EVER.

Dibyangshu Sarkar / Getty Images

The 2014 Lok Sabha election achieved the highest voter turnout ever with 66.4%, surpassing the previous record held by the 1984 polls.

6. May: For the first time ever, all six of India's neighbouring countries, as well as Mauritius, came together for the swearing in of an Indian Prime Minister.

Prakash Singh / Getty Images

Leaders from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal met for the first time to witness Narendra Modi's swearing in as the 15th Prime Minister of India, on May 16, 2014.

7. June, October, November: 2014 turned out to be a fantastic year for our athletes, with India bagging medals, breaking records, and generally dominating across the sporting world.

8. July, October: India unveiled two new sports leagues – Pro Kabaddi League and The Indian Super League.

Chandan Khanna/AFP / Getty Images
Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP / Getty Images

Aside from bagging achievements in international arenas, our sporting world grew by leaps and bounds internally too.

9. September, October: More than ever before, Bollywood's leading ladies spoke up against sexism, and took Indian feminism mainstream.

From Deepika Padukone to Guauhar Khan, India had no shortage of badass women ready to stand up and speak out.

10. September: India successfully launched the Mangalyaan satellite into orbit around Mars.

Manjunath Kiran / Getty Images

On Sept. 23, India successfully became the fourth country in the world to launch a satellite into orbit around Mars. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) joined NASA, the Russian Federal Space Agency, and the European Space Agency as the only international space agencies to succeed in this mission.

11. October: Narendra Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.


The "Swachh Bharat Mission" or "Clean India Campaign" gathered national attention from celebrities and non-celebrities alike, launching sanitation and cleanliness to the forefront of our national priorities. It's about time.

12. October: Indian child-rights activist Kailash Satyarthi won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Roberto Schmidt/AFP / Getty Images

In a pointed message to the ever-warring nations, the Nobel Prize committee jointly awarded this year's Peace Prize to India's Satyarthi and Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai.

13. November: Regardless of legislation, hundreds of Indians embraced gay pride in one of the largest demonstrations the country has ever seen.

Sajjad Hussain / Getty Images

On November 30, New Delhi saw the largest demonstration of gay pride since Section 377 was reinstated, and since Narendra Modi became Prime Minister of India.

So, while it hasn't been a perfect year by any means or measure, we have a LOT to celebrate. Here's to even more progress in 2015!

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