APJ Abdul Kalam
Better known as the people's President, former President APJ Abdul Kalam stupefied the entire nation with the news of his demise. The visionary scientist, he was also known as the 'Missile Man of India'. On July 27, President Kalam left for the heavenly abode due to a cardiac arrest. He was delivering a lecture on 'Liveable Planet Earth' at Indian Institute of Management – Shillong when he suffered a cardiac arrest. Draped in a tricolour flag, he was laid to rest at Rameshwaram. As a token of respect towards the 'People's President', the NDMC nodded towards renaming the 'Aurangzeb road' as 'APJ Abdul Kalam road'.
The most followed person on Twitter after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal never missed the opportunity to hog the limelight. After winning Delhi Assembly polls with huge majority in February 2015, Kejriwal landed into many controversies.
Kejriwal government's achievements in 2015 include slashing electricity tariff for households, announcing audit of private discoms, free water for households, anti-corruption helpline and passing of Lokpal Bill.
Kejriwal remained in headlines for his public outrage against PM Modi, sacking his Cabinet colleagues, demand for bringing Delhi Police under state government and the tussle between him and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung.
The recent CBI raids at Delhi CM's office led to a fierce outrage from AAP which raised DDCA issue. The party sought Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's resignation in the DDCA case.
J Jayalalithaa took oath on May 23, 2015 as the Chief Minister for the fifth time after the Karnataka High Court acquitted her and three others of corruption charges in a disproportionate assets case.
The people of Tamil Nadu celebrated her comeback as the CM and she resolved a series of issues like release of Tamil fishermen, Cauvery water dispute, Periyar dam issue with Kerala until rains crippled the normal life in Chennai and adjoining areas in the state.
Chennai rain turned into India's worst natural disaster in 2015 with death toll crossing the mark of 200. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also visited the state and announced a package of Rs 100 crore which came as a huge relief for the residents. Jayalalithaa faced criticism for allegedly pasting her 'AMMA' stickers on relief materials and food supplies given to the flood-hit people.
Lalu Prasad Yadav
Year 2015 was very special for veteran politician and former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav. Rashtriya Janata Dal president was instrumental behind the Grand Alliance's massive victory in recently concluded Assembly polls in the state. Also, Yadav successfully launched his sons in politics. His younger son Tejsawi Yadav became Bihar Deputy Chief Minister. Yadav also revived his relation with Gandhi family. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi shared dais with Lalu Prasad. Also, Lalu Yadav capitalised 'reservation' debate in poll campaign which was triggered by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned 65 this year. In 2015, the Prime Minister undertook 25 foreign visits. The government launched over 25 schemes in the country. During his second year in his tenure as the Prime Minister, Modi has signed numerous deals in education, business, industries, nuclear energy, defence and health among others.
India’s GDP growth increased to 7.4 percent which is the fastest among all the large economies of the world after Modi-led NDA came to power at the Centre. PM Modi's pet projects like 'Make in India' and 'Digital India' were highly praised.
In the year 2015, PM Modi became one of the most talked about personalities and made headlines across the global media. Meanwhile, he face criticism from scholars and opposition over intolerance and the 'award wapsi' movement came as a big blow to him both nationally and internationally.
Nitin Jayram Gadkari is a renowned name in the world of Indian politics. Born on 27 May 1957 in Nagpur, Nitin Gadkari completed his M.Com and L.L.B. from University of Nagpur. Currently he holds the Union Transport Ministry in the BJP led central government cabinet.
If one has to underscore the achievement of Road Transport Ministry in past one year then the acceptance of PPP model by the investors on five different projects has to be inculcated.
The IT- based e-governance initiatives such as e-following, e-pay, overweight cargo (OWC) and over dimensional cargo (ODC) approvals have been introduced. A platform for infrastructure and materials providers, INAM-PRO, linking the suppliers to theroad contractors and users has been commissioned.
The ministry have also laid a blue print where it said that it would construct 30 km roads per day in next two years. The ministry has also launched an e-book where achievements of Road and Transports Ministry will be mentioned.
Nitish Kumar once again proved that he is the true 'chanakya' of Indian politics. In recently concluded assembly elections in Bihar, Nitish Kumar forged grand alliance of JDU-RJD-Congress to keep NDA out of power in the state. In the leadership of Nitish Kumar, the grand alliance won 178 seats out 243-member House.
Bihar elections were being deemed as battle between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar who snapped 17-year-old ties with BJP after former's elevation as saffron party's prime ministerial candidate in 2013.
Holding the position of first citizen of India, Pranab Mukherjee contributed towards the growth and development of the country. From Union Finance Minister to President of India, Pranab Mukherjee took India to a new height. From expressing his opinions over intolerance issue to welcoming foreign dignitaries, Mukherjee guided the country to new direction. He visited many nations to script the new history in the country's foreign policies. For the excellence in his work, Mukherjee was awarded with the 'Outstanding Global Leader in Open Innovation' by UC Berkeley-Haas School of Business in California in December 2015. Apart from that, he was also awarded with three honorary doctorates from various universities across the globe.
The Bhartiya Janta Party emerged as a much stronger political entity during 2015 under the leadership of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Heading the department of Home Ministry, Singh's great visionary powers led the country through several important decisions. Concerned over the various issues like intolerance, beef ban, Dadri lynching etc that gripped the nation, Rajnath Singh opined words to tackle the situation. The year also marked his first journey to the borders along Pakistan and China. He also expressed his views over the Indian economy, claiming that its growth would soon be in 'double digits'.
This year proved to be a victorious one for Rahul Gandhi as the Congress won 27 seats in Bihar polls. Rahul Gandhi. Grand Alliance's big win in Bihar and Congress' comeback in rural Gujarat proved to be a boost for the Congress vice president until National Herald case put a halt to all this.
Rahul Gandhi took the BJP-Congress war to another level by dragging Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and even PM Narendra Modi into controversies. Rahul Gandhi was also involved in the long FTII protest which didn't yield expected results.
Rahul Gandhi blamed PM Modi of 'vendetta politics' in National Herald case.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi didn't remain low even after party's massive defeat in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The year started for her with the disruption of Monsoon Session and a bitter verbal war with Sushma Swaraj in the Parliament.
Sonia Gandhi lashed out at Sushma Swaraj over helping former IPL chief Lalit Modi. Swaraj gave befitting reply to Gandhi over Bofors and Bhopal gas issues.
Later, in the wake of intolerance protests in the country, Sonia took charge and led a intolerance march to the Rashtrapati Bhavan where she submitted a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee and urged him to end the atmosphere of intolerance in the country using his constitutional powers.
In December, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and others had to present in the court in connection with National Herald case.
The Indian Railways witnessed some drastic changes in 2015 and the credit goes to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu. A Chartered Accountant by profession, Suresh has handled all the matters successfully. Whether it is about prioritizing women safety in railway budget or bating for transparency in the system, Prabhu remained in the headline throughout the year. This year, Prabhu has set many examples by helping train passengers responding on their tweets.
Apart from keeping the railways on track, Indian Railways added another milestone by flagging off Silchar-Guwahati rail link and by signing an agreement between India and China to enhance rail cooperation.
APJ Abdul Kalam