2020 has been a historic year. The year started with bushfires across Amazon rainforests and Australia. This was followed by an accidental shooting of a Ukrainian jetliner, which led to heightened tensions between the US and Iran. Major earthquakes in Turkey and the Caribbean, volcano eruptions in the Philippines and Indonesia, gas plant explosion in Nigeria, an explosion at Beirut port in Lebanon, record floods in China, oil spill emergency in Mauritius, all led to loss of lives and disruption in normal activities.
India saw increasing cases of violence across various parts in the first quarter of 2020 along with cross border tensions with China and Nepal. Cyclone Amphan caused widespread damage in eastern India and Bangladesh while cyclone Nisarga hit India from the western side. A major locust swarm outbreak in east Africa and India destroyed huge hectares of agriculture. Deaths of many known names across the world including the basketball player Kobe Bryant, football legend Diego Maradona and many from Bollywood such as Rishi Kapoor, Irfan Khan, Sushant Singh Rajput, etc. further led to a sad state of affairs.
But what you will remember 2020 for, for years to come, is for COVID 19. The deadly disease has devastated the whole world. With only a few cases reported at the beginning of the year, the tally currently stands at 1.6 million deaths and 71.6 million cases worldwide (as we go to press). Businesses have suffered and the economies have shrunk globally.
Scientists are making their best efforts to invent the most effective and safe vaccine. Some have also succeeded. US’ Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine, UK’s Oxford-AstraZeneca, and Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine are few which are ahead of others and have been pronounced effective. Countries including the UK, US, Canada, Israel, and Russia have either started or are in process of starting the mass vaccination drive. India is also hoping to start its widespread vaccination exercise soon.
Hopefully, the coming year will be different. And it will be good for all. Till we get there, practice social distancing, wear a mask, and wash your hands frequently. As for the few days left of this year, enjoy the Christmas festivities with your family and friends.
Have a joyful Christmas!!
Highlights of the Year 2020
Nation & Politics
- Delhi and Bihar Legislative Assembly Elections 2020 took place retaining Chief Ministers Arvind Kejriwal and Nitish Kumar in the respective states
- JP Nadda replaced Amit Shah as the BJP President
- Construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya commenced
- India banned many Chinese apps for security reasons
- First Rafale jets inducted in Indian Air Force
- India successfully tested hypersonic and supersonic technologies
- New Education Policy 2020 launched to bring about change in the Indian education system
- UK withdrew from the European Union in January
- Harry and Meghan Markle stepped back as senior members of the royal family
- US tightened H1 B visa norms
- New governments were announced in Austria, Spain, Lebanon
- New Prime Ministers were elected in Russia, Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Japan, Slovenia, Kyrgyzstan, New Zealand
- Presidents were reelected in Taiwan, Afghanistan, Belarus, Tajikistan, and new Presidents were elected in the US, Moldova, Peru, Mali
- Potential signs of life found on planet Venus
- Discovery of the presence of water on the moon’s surface
- New organ named tubarial salivary glands found in the human throat
- India defeated Japan in U-19 World Cup in cricket
- Cricketers MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina announced retirement from international cricket
- Lewis Hamilton won Formula 1 2020 world championship
- IPL 2020 concluded with Mumbai Indians as the winner
- New species of flies, dinosaurs (fossilised), spiders, apes, etc. found
- Chinese paddlefish, one the world’s largest fish declared extinct
- Fossils of old birds, dinosaurs, other species found
- India got cheetahs from South Africa