Did you know…World-famous musical director Zubin Mehta has worked as a permanent conductor with major foreign orchestras, among them the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Montreal Symphony, in the latter half of the 20th century. “Mehta…has the capacity to control every sound made by an orchestra, and he does this with the simplest of gesture, every one of which has an immediate and perceptible effect”, Winthrop Sargeant wrote in the New Yorker in May 1967. “He has a talent for conveying a mood of serenity, or of serene grandeur, to both orchestra and audience that is rare indeed among the younger generation of conductors”. Mehta was born on April 29,1936 in Bombay,India.


Did you know…India’s cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma became the second Asian to fly in space when he flew aboard the Soyuz T-11 in April 1984. Like America, Russia, Vietnam, and Afghanistan, India was one of the first nations of the world to send an astronaut into space.


Did you know…The real breakthrough for Indian cinema came in 2009 when “Slumdog Millionaire” won a leading eight Oscars –Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing — at the 81st Annual Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, CA.This event was the most successful for India, the birthplace of a number of notable performers, among them Julie Christie and Aishwarya Rai, as well as Engelbert Humperdinck and Ravi Shankar.

America & India

Did you know…During a visit by Hillary Rodham Clinton, at that time First Lady, to India in the mid-1990s, she went to Taj Mahal, the country’s most famous ancient palace and one of the New Seven Wonders of the world.

Nobel Prize

Did you know… Surprisingly, Sir Chandrasekhara V. Raman became the first Asian to be a sole recipient of a Nobel Prize for Physics in the 1930s.Between 1932 and 1948, no other non-American/European had ever won it. C.V. Raman was born on November 7, 1888, in Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India.

United Nations

Did you know…Beginning in the 1950s,Madame Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit was the first woman to be elected President of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. Like several national idols, she has helped elevate the image of India.

Human Development

Did you know…The state of Kerala is one of the most industrialized regions in the Third World. Great social changes have occurred in Kerala in the last decades. Among other achievements, this region has produced thousands engineers, scientists, researches and educators.

World-famous Individuals

Did you know… This Asian nation has a number of world-famous persons: Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize for Economics (1998); Deepak Chopra, the prolific author; Satyajit Ray, film-maker; actress Aishwarya Rai; Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Nobel Prize for Physics (1983); and Abhinav Bindra, the first Indian in history to win an individual gold medal at the Summer Olympics (2008). 

Women & Power

Did you know… Indira Gandhi was one of the first female Prime Ministers in the world. She, daughter of India’s first leader Jawaharlal Nehru (1947-1964),came to power nearly 12 years before the first woman won a democratic election in Britain. By 2007 India took another major step forward when Pratibha Patil, an ex governor of northwestern Rajaltan, became the first female to be elected President of India. “This is a victory of the principles of which our Indian people uphold”, said Patil.

Mahatma Gandhi

Did you know… MahatmaGandhi (1869-1948) is one of the most popular heroes India. Curiously, he, unlike Nelson Mandela, Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa of Calcutta, did not win the Nobel Prize for Peace, the world’s highest award.

Universal Wonders

Did you know…India has one of the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites on the Planet. In the meantime, this Asian nation has more universal wonders than the United States (20) and the Federation of Russia (23). The following are the Universal Heritage Places in India:

1.Agra Fort

2. Ajanta Caves

3.Ellora Caves

4.Taj Mahal

5.Group of Monuments at Mahabaliporam

6.Sun Temple Konarak

7.Manas Wildlife Sanctuary

8.Kaziranga National Park

9.Keoladeo National Park

10.Churches and Convents of Goa

11.Fatehpur Sikri

12.Group of Monuments at Hampi

13.Khajuraho Group of Monuments

14.Elephanta Caves

15.Great Living Chola Temples

16.Group of Monuments at Pattadakal

17.Sundarbans National Park

18.Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks

19.Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi

20.Humayun’s Tomb

21. Qutb Minar and its Monuments

22.Mountain Railways of India

23.Mahabpdhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya

24.Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka

25.Champaner-Pavagadh Archaelogical Park

26. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

27. Red Fort Complex

Field Hockey

Did you know…After long periods of “Olympic control”, on September 9, 1960, India was beaten by Pakistan (0-1) in the Olympics in Rome, Italy. It was a “bittersweet day” for India. The Indian National team hadn’t lost a match since 1928;it had won the Olympic tournament for the sixth straight time.

Wars/Conflicts (1944-2000)

Did you know… India has had a number of wars/conflicts in the past century:

Civil Conflicts (periods)

1944-1947; 1956-1964; 1966-1967; 1969

Foreign Conflicts

1947-1948 India-Pakistan

1957 India-Cachemira (Kashmir)

1961 India-Portugal (annexation of Goa, Damao, and Diu).

1962 India-China

1965 India-Pakistan

1971 India-Pakistan

1971 India-Bangladesh

1986 India-Pakistan

1987 India-Sri Lanka

1988 India-Nepal; India-Maldives

Source by Alejandro Guevara Onofre