2021 was supposed to bring people together and heal the devastating wounds of 2020. 2020, as we all know, was marred by the Covid-19 pandemic. Though the year started on a buoyant note with the country successfully developing two vaccines, and commencing the world’s largest vaccination drive, what followed four months into the year was nothing short of calamitous. As we dive into 2022 with faith and expectations, we recapitulate the events from the year gone by.
The year which was indicating, during the early months, a steady dilution in the Covid cases, took no time to show the behemoth delta-variant mutation of Covid-19. The new mutant created a mass disturbance to life all around the globe, especially in India. The loss of life was enormous leading to the disorganization of the Healthcare system everywhere. Grief Galore! The nation mourned, the feeling of positivity and security disappeared in a flash; murky tales emerged from every corner of India. Recovering from the impact was no more a mountain to be climbed, it became an ascent against an avalanche.
Consequently, it affected India severely on the economic front. As several states-imposed lockdowns, the impact was felt by daily wage earners and small businesses once again due to subdued demands in the market.
The gigantic wave of delta variant covid cases also continued to impact academics, disrupting the education process. However, this nightmarish virus indirectly helped keep the nightmare at bay as some students’ prayers were heard when board exams got canceled.
Despite not providing a viral Greta Thunberg moment for social media circulation, this year was still significant from an environmental point of view. The Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change released the very first part of its Sixth Assessment Report, warning everyone about the impact of Global Warming. The world witnessed the COP26 where the world leaders expressed their concern on the exacerbating climate crisis and its implications. One of the most iconic moments from the summit involved Tuvalu’s foreign minister delivering his speech standing in the sea, insinuating the sword hanging on island nations of being submerged under rising sea levels.
The country suffered irreplaceable losses this year, including legendary, veteran and Padma Vibhushan awardee Dilip Kumar, Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar, and many others. Also, this year, the sporting brethren lost one of its gems as the Flying Sikh, Milkha Singh, left for his heavenly abode. Literature lovers were left in grief when renowned author Manu Bhandari passed away in November. The nation mourned when the chopper carrying CDS General Bipin Rawat, crashed, claiming the lives of the brave heart and his wife along with twelve others. The nation shall stay indebted to them for their towering contributions.
Despite all this, 2021 did have a few silver linings in its dreadfully dark cloud. Sports was responsible for a large chunk of the rare glittery moments that 2021 had to offer. India produced its best-ever performance at the Olympics, finishing with 6 medals and ranking 48th overall, the highest in four decades. A single throw of javelin made Neeraj Chopra a household sensation as he clinched India’s first-ever medal in the track and field category with a gold medal win. We also saw the resurgence of hockey as the Indian men’s and women’s teams finished 3rd and 4th respectively, ending a 41-year-old medal drought in the sport. While their medals may not be cast in gold, they certainly inspired and brought joy to billions. But the Indian Olympics success story doesn’t end there. India finished the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic games with 19 medals comprising 5 gold, 8 silver, and 6 bronze. The Indian contingent bagged the 24th spot, making it India’s best-rank ever in the competition.
The pandemic restricted learning to online methodology, which stimulated teachers and students to adopt and adapt to pedagogical tools. This contributed to making studies technology-driven and made learning more flexible for students as the focus shifted from rote learning to gain new skills. During the course of the year, a digital revolution unfurled. Remote working (work-from-home), online business, and shopping became the new normal.
42 Indian startups entered the Unicorn Club with big names like Meesho, upGrad, Pharmeasy, Apna, Cred, and many more, pushing India to 3rd position on the list of most unicorns added in 2021. The world also saw a surge in the popularity of cryptocurrencies in the global market, accompanied by information on blockchain technology.
The upper echelons of society consisting of stock traders and investors prospered as stock indices Nifty and Sensex touched record highs. The general public also became aware of IPO’s, with companies like Zomato and Nykaa getting listed on the stock exchange, the latter making its founder, Miss Falguni Nayar the wealthiest Indian female billionaire. Speaking of billionaires, Elon Musk dominated the headlines as he became the first man on the planet to have a net worth of over $300 billion. His corporation Spacex created history by launching a record of 143 satellites in a single mission. All this led to him being named Time Magazine’s person of the year for 2021. Oh, and Sundar Pichai finally got new competition for the tag of the most popular NRI, when IIT Bombay alumni, Parag Agrawal was made the new CEO of Twitter.
Apart from the sporting accolades and increase in digitalization, India’s Defence sector also saw enhancement. A testament to this was the successful testing of the ‘Parlay’ ballistic missile by the DRDO, a missile that can change path mid-air. In addition to this DRDO also designed ‘Asmi‘, India’s first indigenous 9mm machine pistol. The world also witnessed massive advances in science and technology. With the first high-resolution blackhole image, the ‘Perseverance Mars Mission’ and the launch of the ‘James Webb Space Telescope’ space explorations reached new heights. Recent advances in messenger RNA vaccines, electrifying automobiles, lithium batteries, quantum computing, and digital contact tracing are revolutionary.
Amidst the pandemic, this year has been a huge success for Indian Cinema with ‘Jai Bhim‘ a high-quality Indian film and ‘Aspirants‘ a highly acclaimed Indian web series topping the chart of IMDB this year. While the latest Hollywood movie ‘Spiderman – No Way Home’, did a marvelous job of uniting all three Spidermen, providing spectacular entertainment for cinema lovers. It recorded the second-largest opening ever at the American box office.
BIT Sindri was showered with a bounty of success too as the Institute garnered plenty of laurels in the past year. Several branches from the college were granted the NBA accreditation, recognizing that its course and curriculum are at par with that of foreign universities. Along with that, the Institute Innovation Council was awarded a 4-star rating by the MHRD, while Atal Rankings of Institutions and Innovations Achievements (ARIIA) placed the Institute in the ‘Band Performer’ rank. But the real icing on the cake was provided by the inclusion of college in the annual NIRF Rankings 2021, where it was placed within the rank band of 201-250. The year will certainly go down as a new landmark in BIT’s history.
The year has been akin to a roller coaster ride. The Omicron variant has set the alarm bells ringing again. If 2021 has taught us anything, it’s that the virus is here to stay. Staying masked up in public and following covid related protocols are imperative. We firmly believe that the post-Covid era won’t be far away if the present times are spent with sensibility and safety measures.
As the cliché goes, all things, good or bad, must come to an end. With the advent of the new year, we must endeavor to eradicate the darkness of the past. Moving away from the darkness, we shall all work with hope in our hearts towards finding the peace and prosperity that 2022 has to offer.
“No matter how hard the past is, you can always begin again.” – Buddha
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2022!!