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The year in review - 2013: Highs & lows

Thursday, 26 December 2013 - 1:05pm IST | Agency: Zee News

A: Business and Economy

Highs

Enduring value: Rupee depreciation and revival in the US economy pitch-forked TCS to be the country's most valued firm. Currently, the market capitalization of TCS is nearly Rs 4.13 lakh crore followed by Reliance Industries (Rs 2.89 lakh crore), and ITC (Rs 2.53 lakh crore) (as of December 24)

Rs 1 lakh crore quarterly club: While announcing the second quarter results of fiscal 2013-14 (Q2FY14), Reliance Industries became the first private sector company in India to achieve revenues of Rs 1, 06,523 crore in a quarter.

Sensex high on politics: Stock soar a new high on assembly poll verdict: Sensex touched the life-time high level of 21,483.74 in the intra-day trading on December 9, 2013. Even Nifty hit record high level of 6415 after a gap of 5 years and 11 months.

NRN returns: The Board of Infosys approved appointing Narayana Murthy as executive chairman of the board and additional director with effect from June 1, 2013. Since then the stock closed with gains of 38 per cent as of December 24.

Breaking the glass ceiling: For the first time, 2013 witnessed a woman head at SBI. On October 8 the government cleared the elevation of Arundhati Bhattacharya as the chairperson of the largest public sector bank State Bank of India. (Gross Advances increased from Rs 8, 93, 613 crores in March 12, to Rs 10, 78,557 crores in March 13 and 20.70 per cent YOY growth).

Lows

Free-fall:
Rupee touched all-time low of 68.85 against US dollar on August 28. The major reasons behind the sharp depreciation of rupee were: wide current account deficit and slowing growth.

Murthy yet again:
On May 21, the board of California based IT outsourcing company iGate Corp announced the sacking of its President and CEO Phaneesh Murthy over alleged sexual harassment claims. Moreover, it was not for the first time that he had been allegedly charged with sexual harassment claims.

Negative for India:
According to the ‘Doing Business 2014’ report, India has occupied the 134 position out of the 189 economies surveyed. India’s overall rank in Ease of Doing Business has dropped from 131st position to 134th position.

Biggies say no: In July 2013, South Korean mining giant Posco cancelled plans to construct a steel plant in Karnataka. Similarly, after waiting for seven years, ArcelorMittal scrapped plans for a steel mill in Orissa. Both companies cited similar reasons for pulling out: Weak market conditions and problems in securing land and mining licences in the country.

B: Entertainment

Highs
 
Low is high: Many low budget movies like Aashiqui 2, Madras Café, Kai Po Che did very well at the box office. This signaled a new positive trend for Bollywood.

Queen Padukone: All three releases of (Ye Jawani Hain Deewani, Chennai Express and Goliyon ki Raasleela, Ram Leela) of Deepika Padukone were super hits. She was appreciated for her acting skills and good looks.

Kolaveri Di in Bollywood: Dhanush’s Bollywood debut not just proved to be a hit at the box office but the performances of the actor was also appreciated. Within two weeks of its release, 'Raanjhanaa' had been able to collect Rs 52 crore at the box office.

Young entry in 100 crore club: Ranveer Singh (28) and Anushka Sharma (25) became the youngest lead actors in the 100 crore club. Ranveer

BMB is 100-crore sprint:
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag was the first film without a bankable superstar' to net 100 crore. More so, this was a story about an athlete who performed in fifties and sixties.  
 
Lows

Too young to die: Bollywood actress, Jia Khan committed suicide on the night of June 3, 2013. Was it suicide due to a love story having turned sour or a murder? Courts have to decide yet. 

An era ends: On July 12, Bollywood’s villain and popularly known as ‘Pran Sahab’ passed away after a prolonged illness. A man who lived an innocent life outside was feared as a villain as much adored for his supporting role as an actor.

‘Himmat..’ doesn’t’ pay: Sajid Khan's remake of 1981 film 'Himmatwala' turned out to be the biggest debacle of 2013. After giving hits like 'Housefull', Sajid Khan was quite sure that 'Himmatwala' would do wonders at the box office but it failed miserably.

Couple, that isn’t:
Hrtithik Roshan and Sussane Roshan parted ways. They got separated after 13 years of marriage and 17 years of relationship. All might not be lost yet for the fans of the couple for both shunned any undue negativity in public.

Oh, Ghosh! :Bengali cinema actor, director and producer ‘Rituparno Ghosh’ died on May 30, 2013. His work brought him nation-wide fame. 

C: Safety and Security

Highs

Death penalty for rape: On September 13, 2013, after a nine-month-long trial, fast track court handed down death penalty to all the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.
This brought to life speedy justice with fast track courts coming into being in the aftermath of Nirbhaya rape and murder.

New anti-rape law: On April 3, 2013, President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to the Anti-rape Bill which provides for life term and even death sentence for rape convicts besides stringent punishment for offences like acid attacks, stalking and voyeurism.

Sexual Harassment Act is a reality: The Sexual Harassment at the Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act and Rules, 2013 finally got notified by the ministry of women and child development and came into force from December 9, 2013.

Banking on women: On November 19, 2013, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the country's first all-women bank, Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB). This was a budget promise. 

Food for all: The National Food Security Bill, 2013 received the assent of the President and came into force from 10th September 2013. The scheme is targeted to alleviate the poverty by offering free food to the poor and needy. 

Lows

Life flooded: In June 2013, a multi-day cloudburst centered on the North Indian state of Uttarakhand caused devastating floods and landslides in the country's worst natural disaster since the 2004 Tsunami.  According to figures provided by the Uttarakhand government, more than 5,700 people were "presumed dead."

(In)Secure India: India was ranked pretty low in terms of social security when compared to its Asian neighbours. Asian Development Bank's 2013 report pegged India's social protection index (SPI), a ratio of total expenditure on social protection to the total number of intended beneficiaries, at just 0.051, way below the Asian benchmark score of 0.2 and lower than even that of Sri Lanka, Nepal and Maldives.

Hopes dashed: Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh died in a Lahore hospital on May 1, 2013 after being comatose for nearly a week following a brutal assault by fellow inmates in a high-security Pakistani jail. This put to rest hopes of his family that moved from pillar to post to secure his release.

Demons at work:
Nation was shocked with two back to back cases on alleged sexual harassment of women. Justice Ganguly and Ex Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal faced alleged sexual harassment charges from their colleagues. Tejpal is in judicial custody while Ganguly continues to be in chair as head of Human Rights Commission, West Bengal.

Picture imperfect: On August 22, 2013, five men allegedly raped a 22-year photojournalist inside the deserted Shakti Mills compound in central Mumbai while she was on assignment with a colleague. The girl survived and vows to live her life in dignity. 

D: Sports 

Highs

Tail-ender has a new tale: In the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge in 2013 against England, Ashton Agar from Australia struck an astonishing 98- the highest Test score ever by a No. 11. In the same match he also made a record of becoming the first teenaged Australian spinner to take a Test wicket.

Openers delight: In October 2013, Team India created a record of scoring 362 for the first wicket against Australia in an ODI match at Jaipur.

Swan song: Sachin Tendulkar broke the jinx in his final encounter as unlike many cricketing greats around the world, he ended his career with a win in his final match. In recent time, after Saurav Ganguly, Tendulkar has become the only Indian to do so.  

Bharat Ratna Sachin:
Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar became the first sportsperson and youngest to be chosen for Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award. 

Back to winning: In September 2013, Leander Paes won his eighth men’s doubles Grand Slam title, and 14th overall, as he combined with Radek Stepanek to clinch US Open trophy with a dominating victory over Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares in the title clash, in New York.

Lows

50:50 low:
This year, a total of four ODI matches, ended without any result, which is the highest number of matches in the 50 over cricketing history so far.

Unhappy Anand: Five-time title-holder Viswanathan Anand's reign as the world champion came to a heart-breaking end with Norway's Magnus Carlsen took the crown after a hard-fought draw in the 10th game of the World Chess Championship match in Chennai this year.

Bowled Out: Fast bowler Sreesanth was found guilty of spot-fixing during the Indian Premier League (IPL) Season Six tournament. The probe was conducted by an internal by the BCCI. He has been banned for life on September, 13 2013.

King arrest; In May 2013, Gurunath Meiyappan, a top official of the Chennai Super Kings franchise and son-in-law of the BCCI president N Srinivasan, was arrested by Mumbai Police on the charges of cheating, forgery and fraud. Along Meiyappan, Bollywood actor Vindoo Dara Singh was also arrested.  He has now been released on bail.

Down & out: In December, 2012 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) at its Executive Board meeting in Lausanne, apparently for ignoring its warning against holding its elections under the National Sports Code. The IOC objected to tainted officials standing for elections and asked the Indian federation to amend its constitution to prevent them from contesting.

E: Politics

Highs

Jhadoo sweep: The Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) made a stunning debut during Delhi polls as they won 28 out of a total of 70 assembly seats. Kejriwal himself defeated Sheila Dikshit, former chief minister of Delhi by a whopping 22000 votes from New Delhi constituency. He will be amongst the youngest chief ministers in India. 

Lokpal is here: In a rare bonhomie between the two major national parties – BJP and Congress made Lokpal a reality after 46 years of wait. Despite a few digs at one another, both parties converged to push the Lokpal Bill through Parliament.

Beware and behave: In a big leap towards cleaning up Indian politics, the Supreme Court ruled that MPs and MLAs would be immediately disqualified if they are convicted in a criminal case by a trial court. The court struck down Section 8 (4) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which protects convicted MPs and MLAs from disqualification if they appeal before a higher court within three months.

GenX power:
In recently held state elections a high voter turnout was recorded. While, Chhattisgarh recorded a polling percentage of over 75, Madhya Pradesh of over 71 and Mizoram about 82 per cent. Rajasthan 75 per cent and Delhi witnessed over 66 per cent in the polls. The chief election commissioner V.S. Sampath believed a significant enrolment of young voters in the electoral rolls has resulted in the unusually high voter turnout in the state polls.

Yes to (NOT)A:
The newly introduced NOTA (None of the above) made a notable impact in recently held state assembly elections. More than 15 lakh people exercised the option in Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Lows

Love for fodder is bad: The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) founder was convicted in a 17-year-old multi-crore fodder scam for allegedly swindling more than Rs 37 crore. He was sentenced to five years in jail by a special CBI court which slapped a fine of Rs 26 lakh on the former Lok Sabha MP. He is currently out on bail.

Forgettable year for Congress: In 2013, the Congress has lost in six out of total nine states went for polls. Interestingly, barring Karnataka, Meghalaya and Mizoram Congress couldn’t increase its tally of MLAs in any state.

Short lived tenure: In a major setback to the UPA government, two senior cabinet ministers Pawan Kumar Bansal (former rail minister) and Ashwani Kumar (former law minister) quit their positions. Bansal stepped down after police arrested his nephew on suspicion of accepting a bribe in a case. Kumar's departure came days after the Supreme Court said the government substantially changed a report by the CBI into alleged irregularities in the awarding of mining rights potentially worth billions of dollars to private companies.

Women, not the first choice: Of all the assembly polls held during the last five years, as many as 22 states registered less than 10 per cent participation of women candidates in these elections. Worse, three states also observed less than five per cent women participation during assembly elections. It includes all five states went for elections recently. 

New low for democracy: Delhi assembly poll has thrown more than one surprise verdict. Apart from denying anyone absolute majority, the poll threw up a whopping 75 per cent (610 out of 808) candidates who lost their deposit with the Election Commission of India (ECI).


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