Indian Independence Day: everything you need to know about Partition between India and Pakistan 70 years on

70 years ago, Partition came into effect, dividing British India into two new, independent countries: India and Pakistan.


Indian Muslim children carry Indian flags as they celebrate on the eve of India’s Independence Day in old Delhi city area, New Delhi, 14 August 2017 CREDIT: EPA

At midnight on August 14 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India, gave a famous speech which hailed the country’s decades-long, non-violent campaign against British rule:

At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.

However, it soon dawned on the leaders of both countries that the hope and optimism of that night would quickly turn to the harsh realities of how to handle one of the largest mass migrations in modern history and the ensuing communal violence.

As India and Pakistan celebrate 70 years of independence, we look back at how two nations were formed – and the years of bloodshed that followed.


A ‘Google Doodle’ on August 15 to celebrate Indian independence

How did Indian and Pakistani independence come about?

The Indian independence movement began in 1857. The early proponents led militant uprisings against British rule, but the leaders of the Indian National Congress, which was founded in 1885, pushed for more rights for Indians in terms of the vast civil service and land ownership.

From the 1920s onwards, Mahatma Gandhi was established as the leader of the Indian independence movement. His belief in civil rights and non-violent struggle inspired a generation. Many inspirational activists came to the fore, such as B. R. Ambedkar, who championed greater rights for the lower castes, that had been treated despicably under British colonial rule.

In 1942, Congress launched the “Quit India” movement. Britain, leading the fight against Nazism in the Second World War alongside 2.5 million Indian troops, promised to grant India independence after the war. Following the Battle of Britain, Gandhi said he would not push for India’s self-rule out of the ashes of a destroyed Britain.

TELEMMGLPICT000137425487_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqFEEiND-iVAHWLoyxZQxve8ihqGeS-UjBBHYr9-puJnA (1)


However, by the end of the war and with its empire weakened, Britain was unable to resist the overwhelming demand for independence. Both Congress and the Muslim League, led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, dominated elections. Further, Clement Attlee, by now Britain’s prime minister, was a supporter of independence.

In a climate of growing communal tensions and pressure from Jinnah, who argued that Muslims should have their own state, the Mountbatten Plan was hastily conceived. It divided British India along broad religious lines. The problem being that there were millions of Muslims living in what would become Hindu-majority India and huge numbers of Hindus and Sikhs living in what would be Muslim-majority Pakistan.



Sir Cyril Radcliffe, who led the Boundary Commission, proposed the Radcliffe Line, which was a “notional division” of the vast country based on simple district majorities. He submitted his plan for both the west and east borders on August 9 1947 – just five days before it came into force.

The two countries celebrate on different days because Lord Mountbatten, the viceroy of British India, had to attend the Pakistan celebration on August 14th and then travel to Delhi for India’s first independence day on August 15.

King George VI remained the head of state of India until the enshrining of the country’s constitution in 1950. Likewise, Pakistan remained a Dominion of the Crown until 1956, when its constitution came into force.


Tim Cook commits more energy, money to grow Apple in India


“We are investing in India-…we’ve already launched an app accelerator centre,” Cook said. 

KOLKATA: Apple CEO Tim Cook has reiterated the iPhone maker’s commitment to invest more money and energy in India, saying he is “very, very bullish and very, very optimistic” about the country. Talking to analysts during the tech giant’s third quarter earnings call on Tuesday, Cook indicated expansion of Apple’s manufacturing and distribution operations in the country.

“We are investing in India-…we’ve already launched an app accelerator centre,” Cook said. “That’s on top of working with the channel and looking at expanding our go-tomarket in general. And we began to produce the iPhone SE there during the quarter, and we’re really happy with how that’s going. And so we’re bringing all of our energies to bear there. I see a lot of similarities to where China was several years ago.”

Apple has started iPhone SE assembling operations in Bengaluru with partner Wistron, while it has plans to start full-fledged manufacturing operations in the country by bringing its key component makers under one roof, and has sought some tax exemptions and fiscal benefits from the Centre. Market trackers said much of Apple’s growth in India in the last few quarters came from wider distribution reach. “It expanded from couple of distributors to more than five now within two years,” said Tarun Pathak, associate director at Hong Kong-based market research firm Counterpoint Technology Market Research. “We believe that Apple’s direct tie-up with regional/area distributors can have a larger impact on its distribution reach,” he said.


Pathak said that while the tier 2 and 3 cities are important for Apple when it comes to targeting first-time users in the country, the company’s proposed own retail stores in big cities will appeal to repeat buyers to upgrade by controlling end-to-end experience and generating more interest in overall Apple devices and ecosystem. In the April-June quarter, iPhone gained market share in the Indian premium smartphone market at 34 per cent, up from 30 per cent a year earlier, as per Counterpoint data. Rival Samsung led the market with 55 per cent share during the quarter with China’s OnePlus at the third spot with 9 per cent share.

World War I: Role of Indian Army in Britain’s victory over Germany

Indian Army contributed a large number of soldiers to the British and helped them win the war. British promised self-rule to India at the end of the war. They failed to keep their promise, had they kept that pledge, the sacrifices of India’s First World War soldiers might have been seen as a contribution to India’s freedom in 1919.

World War I officially began on July 28, 1914, after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and lasted until 1918.

During the World War I, the Central Powers made up of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire fought against the Allied Powers which consisted of Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Japan and the United States.


13 lakh sodliers from Indians Army served during World War I fighting for the British. Photo Courtesy: Newsflicks

Being a British colony, the Indian Army contributed a large number of soldiers to the European, Mediterranean and the Middle East conflicts of war in World War I.

The Indian Army fought against the German Empire in East Africa and also on the Western Front.

More than 13 lakh Indian soldiers served during World War I fighting for the Britishers.They served in places as diverse as France and Belgium, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Gallipoli, Palestine and Sinai.


74,187 of the 13 lakh soldiers who fought for Britishers lost their lives. Photo Courtesy: Newsflicks

As many as 74,187 of the Indian soldiers who served British in World War I lost their lives.

Sir Claude Auchinleck, Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army once said ” Britain couldn’t have come through the wars if they hadn’t had the Indian Army.”

They were heroes, some recognised but mostly unsung. The Indian Army played vital roles during the war.


In 1931 British commemorated the war by constructing the arch knwon as India Gate. Photo Courtesy: Newsflicks

India Gate is a popular monument, visited by thousands daily who have no idea that it commemorates the Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for British in World War I. India Gate was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and is at New Delhi’s Raj Path.

The India Gate was originally named All-India War Memorial and it was built to pay homage to the soldiers of the Indian Army who lost their lives fighting for the British Empire in World War I and the Third Anglo-Afghan War.

What is stock market in India?

59803320India has two major stock exchanges – National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchangeof India (BSE). Most of the share trading in the Indian equity market takes place on these two stock exchanges.



Stock exchanges in India

The BSE, Asia’s first stock exchange, was established in 1875. BSE is one of the world’s fastest stock exchanges, with a median trade speed of 6 microseconds. is the world’s 11th largest stock exchange with an overall market capitalization of $1.83 Trillion as of March, 2017. More than 5500 companies are publicly listed on the BSE.

The NSE, on the other hand, was founded in 1992 and started trading in 1994, as the first demutualized electronic exchange in the country. It was the first exchange in the country to provide a modern, fully automated screen-based electronic trading system which offered easy trading facility to the investors spread across the length and breadth of the country. The NSE has a total market capitalization of more than US$1.41 trillion, making it the world’s 12th-largest stock exchange as of March 2016.

Both exchanges – BSE and NSE – follow the same trading mechanism, trading hours, settlement process, etc.

Market Indexes in India

Sensex and Nifty are two of the prominent market indexes in India.

The Sensex, also known as S&P BSE Sensex or S&P Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index or BSE 30, is a free-float market-weighted stock market index of 30 well-established and financially sound companies listed on Bombay Stock Exchange. Published since January 1, 1986, the Sensex is regarded as the pulse of the domestic stock markets in India. One of the oldest market indexes for equities, Sensex represents about 45 per cent of the index’s free-float market capitalization.

The S&P CNX Nifty or Nift 50 or simply Nift is NSE’s benchmark stock market index for Indian equity market. It was launched on April 21, 1996. It is owned and managed by India Index Services and Products (IISL), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the NSE Strategic Investment Corporation Limited. Nifty includes 50 shares listed on the NSE, which represent about 62 per cent of its free-float market capitalization.
Market Regulation
 The Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) manages the overall responsibility of development, regulation and supervision of the stock market in India. Sebi was formed in 1992 as an independent authority to lay down market rules in line with the best market practices. In case of any breach, Sebi reserves the right to impose penalties on market participants.

Kargil Vijay Diwas: 10 facts you should know about the Indo-Pak war

In spite of various agreements, India and Pakistan have fought three wars since they were granted independence in 1947 but out of all of these wars, there is one such war between the two countries that always remain in the recent memory and that is the Kargil war which witnessed heavy bloodshed on both sides.

On 26th July 1999, the Indian army got victory as they managed to force out every trespasser from our motherland. This Wednesday, India will observe the 18th Kargil Vijay Divas in the honour of the soldiers that lost their lives in the war.


Here are 10 highlights of the Kargil war that you need to know:

1. In the year 1999 the Kargil war was fought between India and Pakistan in Kargil, Ladakh which was earlier known as Baltistan district and was separated by the Line Of Control after the first Kashmir war.

2. Before the Kargil war, India and Pakistan had fought a war in 1971 which had led to the formation of Bangladesh as a separate country.

3. The ruling party at the time of the Kargil war was that of NDA which was led by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

4. ‘Operation Vijay’ was launched by the Indians to clear the Kargil sector of infiltration by Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri militants on the Indian side of the Line of Control.

5. The war of Kargil took place even after the Shimla Agreement was signed between the two countries that stated that no armed conflict shall take place on the said boundary.

6. The major part of the Kargil war was the Indian Air Force’s ‘Safed Sagar’ that used air power at the height of 32,000 feet for the first time. All actions including identifying Pakistani troops and Mujahideens were performed greatly by the pilots and engineers despite of only one week of training.


7. ‘Operation Vijay’ was declared successful on 26th July, 18 years ago when India won a determined victory. While the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared the operation successful on July 14, and officially declared closed on July 26, 1999.

8. India lost more than 500 soldiers in the war while reports from Pakistan claimed that more than 3000 of their soldiers, mujahideens and infiltrates died.

9. Kargil war is one of the most recent and infamous examples of high-altitude warfare which was considered more dangerous due to the rough terrain and natural habitat.

10. Kargil war had been the one where a war was fought between two nuclear states and also the first war between two countries was widely covered by the media.


Indian Space Pioneer Udupi Ramachandra Rao Passes Away at 85

Udupi Ramachandra Rao served as the chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for 10 years from 1984-1994.


Bengaluru: Eminent space scientist and former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Udupi Ramachandra Rao passed away in Bengaluru in the wee hours on Monday due to age related ailments.

He was 85.

Who is U R Rao?

– Space scientist U R Rao was the former Isro chief (1984-1994)

– He succeeded Satish Dhawan as Isro chief

– He was serving as chairman of governing council of Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad

– He was chancellor of Indian Institute of Science and Technology in Thiruvananthapuram

– He has won 10 international awards

– He worked on a gamut of space missions — from Aryabhatta to Mars Orbiter

– May 2016: He became the first Indian to be given the ‘Hall of Fame’ award by International Astronautical Federation, or IAF

– He was conferred on Padma Vibhushan in January, 2017

– He is recipient of D.Sc degree from over 25 universities

– He was conferred on D.Sc by University of Bologna, the oldest University in Europe.

Born in Adamaru area of Karnataka’s Udupi district, Rao as involved in all ISRO missions till date in one capacity or the other. He is credited for contributions to the development of space technology in India and its extensive application to communications and remote sensing of natural resources.

He was currently serving as the chairman of the governing council of the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad and the chancellor of the Indian institute of science and technology in Thiruvananthapuram.

Rao served as the chairman of ISRO for 10 years from 1984-1994.

After taking charge as chairman of the space commission and secretary, department of space in 1984, he accelerated the development of rocket technology which led to the successful launch of ASLV rocket and the operational PSLV launch vehicle, which can launch 2.0 ton class of satellites into polar orbit, his profile on the space agency’s website reads.

He also initiated the development of the Geo Stationary Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and the development of cryogenic technology in 1991.

Rao was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1976 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2017 for his contribution to Indian space technology.

He has published over 350 scientific and technical papers covering cosmic rays, interplanetary physics, high energy astronomy, space applications, satellite and rocket technology and authored many books.

Rao also became the first Indian space scientist to be inducted into the prestigious ‘Satellite Hall of Fame’ in Washington DC on March 19, 2013, and the ‘IAF Hall of Fame’ in Mexico’s Guadalajara.