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National Events in 1998

1st Jan

The Election Commission announces the poll schedule for the 12th Lok Sabha. The polling will be on February 16, 22, 28 and March 7. Simultaneously, elections are to be held for the Meghalaya, Tripura, Nagaland, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assemblies.

India, Pakistan exchange lists of nuclear sites in their countries.

The Madras High Court declares that Sanskrit is not a dead language. The Tamil Nadu Government's reasoning that it has ceased to be a language in use is ``nothing but ignorance of reality.''

5th Jan

The RJD president, Mr. Laloo Yadav, and the BSP chief, Mr. Kanshi Ram, launch a seven-party ``Jan Morcha.''

The Gandhi Peace Prize, 1997 is presented to Dr. Gerhard Fischer of Germany.

The 68-day-old Dilip Parikh Govt. in Gujarat quits.

Sixty are killed as the Bareilly-Varanasi passenger rams the Kashi Viswanath Express near Hardoi.

9th Jan

Three RJD ministers in the Gujral Cabinet - Mr. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Capt. Jai Narayan Nishad and Mrs. Kanti Singh - resign.

Fortythree persons are injured as a bomb goes off in Delhi.

10th Jan

Nine Ranbir Sena supporters are killed in an ambush at Rampurchauram village in Bihar's Jehanabad district.

12th Jan

Sixteen persons are killed and 10 injured when police open fire at a mob at the Multai tehsil headquarters in Madhya Pradesh.

The Manipur Ministry, headed by Mr. W. Nipamacha Singh, wins a vote of confidence.

13th Jan

At least 66 students, returning from a picnic, are killed as their bus falls into the river Padma at Jalangi in West Bengal.

The Punjab police seize 148 highly-explosive rockets, grenades and detonators at Tehna village in Faridkot district.

Sixteen persons are shot dead by Bodo militants at Kekorakuchi and Metangapara villages in Kamrup district of Assam.

16th Jan

Mr. T. R. Satish Chandran is sworn in Goa Governor.

18th Jan

Mr. Justice M. M. Punchhi is sworn in Chief Justice of India.

22nd Jan

Second Lieutenant Punit Datta is posthumously selected for the nation's highest peace time gallantry award, Ashok Chakra.

24th Jan

The Congress(I), in its election manifesto, ``unreservedly apologises to the people of India'' for its government's failure to protect the Babri mosque.

The French President, Mr. Jacques Chirac, arrives in Mumbai on a three-day state visit.

26th Jan

Militants kill 23 Kashmiri Pandits at Wandhana village near Srinagar.

28th Jan

All 26 accused who stood trial in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case have been sentenced to death. A designated Judge of the TADA court in Chennai found them guilty.

31st Jan

Mr. D. R. Karthikeyan, seniormost Special Director, CBI, takes charge as Director from Mr. R. C. Sharma.

3rd Feb

The BJP releases its election manifesto promising to make India a nuclear state, build a Ram temple at Ayodha and to work for a uniform civil code.

4th Feb

Seven naxals are killed in encounter with police in the Chadmal forest in Nizamabad district in Andhra Pradesh.

5th Feb

The Assam Governor, Lt. Gen. (retd) S. K. Sinha, rejects the CBI plea seeking sanction to prosecute the Chief Minister, Mr. Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, for his alleged role in the Letter of Credit scam, saying there is no prima facie evidence establishing his criminal culpability.

7th Feb

The Congress(I) returns to power in Nagaland with 48 of its candidates declared elected unopposed to the 60-member Assembly. Non- Congress(I) parties including Naga outfits decide to boycott the February 22 polls.

8th Feb

The Election Commission asks the U.P. Government to prevent the Minister for Programme Implementation, Mr. Raghuraj Pratap Singh, from disturbing the election process in Pratapgarh and directs that he should not enter the district till the February 16 poll. An FIR has been registered against him in a criminal incident.

A bomb blast at a rice mill at Satyamangalam in Thanjavur kills four persons. Police recover huge quantities of chemicals used in the manufacture of bombs.

10th Feb

Four persons are killed in an explosion at an unlicensed cracker unit near Kunnamkulam in Kerala's Thrissur district.

11th Feb

The Punjab police unearth a plot to kill the Prime Minister, Mr. I. K. Gujral, the Chief Minister, Mr. Parkash Singh Badal, and the Congress(I) leader, Ms. Sonia Gandhi, by a pro-Khalistan militant group.

The CPI(ML) candidate for the Dibrugarh Lok Sabha seat, Prof. Anil Kumar Baruah, is shot dead by suspected ULFA militants at Neharani.

12th Feb

Twenty persons are killed in Tripura, eight in an ambush by National Liberation Front of Tripura militants in Dhalai district and 12 others are gunned down by All-Tripura Tiger Force militants at Urbadi village.

13th Feb

The Allahabad High Court quashes the Election Commission's directive for externment from Pratapgarh district of the U.P. Minister, Mr. Raghuraj Pratap Singh, saying the directive aimed at curtailing the liberty of a citizen.

India signs two agreements with the U.N. Development Fund for a $13.75-million grant for food security and environment support.

14th Feb

Fortyeight persons are killed and over 180 injured as serial blasts rock Coimbatore. An election-meeting to be addressed by the BJP leader, Mr. L. K. Advani, is called off. The Tamil Nadu Government bans two fundamentalist outfits, Al-Umma and Jihad Committee. The founder president of Al-Umma, S. A. Basha and 12 others are arrested in Chennai.

15th Feb

Six extremists die in a blast during a raid on a hideout following the serial blasts in Coimbatore.

16th Feb

The first phase of polling for general elections is held in 222 Lok Sabha constituencies in 20 States and Union Territories.

Eighteen are killed in landmine blasts and shootouts in election- related violence in Patna.

17th Feb

Repoll is ordered in 599 polling stations spread over nine States, following reports of largescale booth capturing. The Election Commission is to probe malpractices in Madhepura, Baghpat and Patna.

Another blast in Coimbatore kills four boys.

The ban on the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front has been extended for two more years.

18th Feb

Mr. C. Subramaniam, former Maharashtra Governor, is awarded Bharat Ratna.

The Coimbatore Lok Sabha election has been put off to February 28 in the wake of serial blasts.

19th Feb

A huge haul of explosives has been made in Coimbatore.

20th Feb

A car bomb found in Coimbatore on February 18 has been defused.

21st Feb

The U.P. Governor, Mr. Romesh Bhandari, dismisses the Kalyan Singh Government and inducts an 18-member Ministry headed by Mr. Jagadambika Pal of the Loktantrik Congress Party. The BJP moves the Allahabad High Court. The BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate, Mr. A. B. Vajpayee, goes on a ``fast-unto-death.''

A repoll is ordered in 1,500 Bihar booths following complaints of booth-capturing and largescale poll irregularities.

22nd Feb

The second phase of polling is held in 183 Lok Sabha constituencies.

23rd Feb

The Allahabad High Court stays the Governor, Mr. Romesh Bhandari's order dismissing the Kalyan Singh Government; Mr. Singh assumes charge again as the Chief Minister. Mr. Vajyapee ends fast.

The Samajwadi Party candidate for the Motihari Lok Sabha seat, Mr. Devendra Nath Dubey, is shot dead at Baniarpur in Patna.

The BJP leader, Mr. Ranjit Yadav, is shot dead in Sahibganj district.

The freedom-fighter, Mr. Ramdeo Singh, is shot dead at Salaunchak village in Bihar.

24th Feb

The Supreme Court orders a `composite floor test' in the U.P. Assembly.

The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, survives a bid on life as the army foils a militant attempt to explode an Improvised Explosive Device in the Ganderbal area.

26th Feb

Mr. Kalyan Singh wins the ``composite floor test'' in the Assembly, securing 225 votes against the 196 got by Mr. Jagadambika Pal.

27th Feb

The Supreme Court upholds reinstatement of the Kalyan Singh Government.

A five-member Congress(I)-led ministry of Mr. S. C. Marak is sworn in Meghalaya.

28th Feb

The third and final phase of polling is held in 131 Lok Sabha constituencies in 10 States and one Union Territory.

1st Mar

Bharat Ratna is awarded to Dr. A.J.P. Abdul Kalam, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister, and Smt. M. S. Subbulakshmi, Carnatic musician. The award is also conferred posthumously on film director Satyajit Ray, freedom fighter Aruna Asaf Ali and former Prime Minister Gulzari Lal Nanda.

2nd Mar

Announcement of the results of the general elections begins. The BJP and allies win 252 seats, the Congress(I) and allies 166, and the United Front wins 96. No party or front gets absolute majority.

4th Mar

The BJP Ministry headed by Mr. Keshubhai Patel takes charge in Gujarat.

5th Mar

A Congress(I) Ministry, headed by Mr. S. C. Jamir, is sworn in in Nagaland.

6th Mar

A Congress(I) Ministry headed by Mr. Virbhadra Singh is sworn in in Himachal Pradesh.

7th Mar

Mr. A. B. Vajpayee is elected leader of the BJP Parliamentary Party.

The Jain Commission submits the final report on Rajiv Gandhi assassination.

8th Mar

The founder-president of Al-Umma, S. A. Basha, is detained under the National Security Act.

10th Mar

The President, Mr. K. R. Narayanan, writes to Mr. Vajpayee, asking whether he is willing to form a government which would secure a vote of confidence.

Mr. B. B. Lyngdoh of the United Democratic Party is sworn in Chief Minister of Meghalaya. The 12-day-old Congress(I) Ministry has resigned following the failure of the party nominee to be elected Speaker.

11th Mar

A Left Front Ministry headed by Mr. Manik Sarkar is sworn in in Tripura.

12th Mar

The President invites leaders of the Congress(I) and the United Front for talks on formation of a government, as the BJP fails to produce proof of support of the required majority, what with the AIADMK backing out.

13th Mar

The Congress(I) and the U.F. seek time for exploring the possibility of forming a government in case the BJP fails to prove its strength.

14th Mar

Mrs. Sonia Gandhi takes over as the Congress(I) president from Mr. Sitaram Kesri.

The Pakistani diplomat, Mr. Hameed Ula Khan, is expelled for ``activities incompatible with his status as a diplomat.''

Pakistan expels the Indian High Commission Official, Mr. P. N. Nair, for ``involvement in acts of espionage and subversion.''

The AIADMK extends support to the BJP and the latter submits proof of its strength to the President. Meanwhile, the U.F. partners decide to back a Congress(I) Government.

15th Mar

Mr. Vajpayee is appointed Prime Minister. The number of MPs supporting the formation of a government by the BJP stands at 264 in a house of 539, just short of the working majority of 270. However, the President sees the figure as crossing the half-way mark as the Telugu Desam decides to remain neutral. Earlier, the Congress(I) conveys to the President its decision not to stake claim to form a government.

16th Mar

Mrs. Sonia Gandhi is elected chairperson of the Congress(I) Parliamentary Party.

17th Mar

A `huge cache' of explosives is unearthed and six `hardcore' Muslim fundamentalists are arrested at Kodambakkam, Chennai.

18th Mar

The Prime Minister-designate, Mr. Vajpayee, releases the `national agenda for governance' in New Delhi. It is silent on the Ram temple issue, scrapping of Article 370 and a uniform civil code.

19th Mar

Heading a 13-party led coalition, Mr. Vajpayee is sworn in Prime Minister along with the Union Council of Ministers.

The Samajwadi Party leader, Abdul Rauf Seddiopui, is shot dead near Jadharpur village in U.P.'s Bareilly district.

20th Mar

The CPI(ML) leader, Mr. Rajesh Kumar Singh, is shot at Pandeypur village in Patna.

21st Mar

Mr. Jaswant Singh is appointed Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission in place of Prof. Madhu Dandavate, who resigned.

22nd Mar

Five Tripura State Rifles jawans are killed in an ambush by the All-Tripura Tiger Force militants near Ampura in West Tripura.

23rd Mar

The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and United Front convener, Mr. Chandrababu Naidu, resigns from the U.F. and decides to float a new front comprising the Telugu Desam, the National Conference and the Asom Gana Parishad.

Film actor Dilip Kumar is presented with the Nishan-i-Imtiaz (Medal of Distinction) award by the Pakistani President, Mr. Rafiq Tarar, in Islamabad.

24th Mar

Mr. G.M.C. Balayogi of the Telugu Desam is elected Speaker of the Lok Sabha as the candidate of the BJP-led Government.

Two hundred persons are killed in a tornado on both sides of the West Bengal-Orissa border. The toll includes 80 from West Bengal's Midnapore district.

A BJP-Himachal Vikas Congress Ministry headed by Mr. Prem Kumar Dhumal is sworn in in Himachal Pradesh.

25th Mar

The Finance Minister, Mr. Yashwant Sinha, and the Railway Minister, Mr. Nitish Kumar, present the interim budgets for 1998- 99.

28th Mar

The BJP-led Government wins the vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha with 271 votes in its favour and 261 against.

1st Apr

A 21-month-old prohibition regime under the HVP-BJP Government in Haryana is lifted.

Mr. Prabhat Kumar, a 1963 batch IAS officer, takes over as the new Cabinet Secretary. He succeeds Mr. T.S.R. Subramaniam.

2nd Apr

Mr. Pramod MahaApr is appointed Political Advisor to the Prime Minister ``in the rank and status of Cabinet Minister in the PMO''.

The BJP wrests the Patna Lok Sabha seat from the RJD by a margin of 52,606 votes.

The first Rajdhani train on the Konkan route, Hazrat Nizamuddin- Trivandrum Rajdhani Express, is flagged off by the Railway Minister, Mr. Nitish Kumar, in New Delhi.

3rd Apr

The Government announces a downward revision in diesel prices in keeping with the policy of import parity.

Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu rules out TDP participation in the BJP- led Govt. The party would, however, extend ``issue-based support''.

6th Apr

The Sonia Gandhi era begins in the Congress(I), with a special AICC session ratifying the decision of the CWC appointing her president in place of Mr. Sitaram Kesri.

India resumes export of marine products to the European Union; 25 units have been approved by the Export Inspection Council for exporting to EU countries.

7th Apr

Mr. Soli Sorabjee is appointed Attorney-General of India.

8th Apr

Mr. Prem Singh Lalpura, who defied the Akali Dal leadership, not taking oath as a Lok Sabha member on denial of a ministerial berth, is expelled by the party.

Mr. Sedapatti R. Muthiah resigns as the Union Surface Transport Minister, at the behest of his party supremo, Ms. Jayalalitha. He is involved in court cases.

The CPI parts company with the TDP in Andhra Pradesh in protest against the latter ``joining hands'' with the BJP.

India enters into a historical partnership with France, with the formal launch of a joint programme for restoring and protecting the Taj Mahal.

10th Apr

The CPI(M) also severs ties with the TDP.

13th Apr

The Governors of Goa and Mizoram, Mr. T. R. Satishchandran and Mr. Arun Prasad Mukherjee, resign.

14th Apr

Mr. Kushabhau Thakre is declared elected BJP president.

The Governors of Gujarat, Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar and Pondicherry step down.

The Union Welfare Ministry is renamed Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

17th Apr

The Rashtrapati Bhavan announces the appointment of six Governors and two Lieutenant Governors: Mr. Suraj Bhan - Uttar Pradesh, Gen. (Retd.) J.F.R. Jacob - Goa, Justice (Retd.) Anshuman Singh - Gujarat, Mr. Bhai Mahavir - Madhya Pradesh, Dr. P. C. Alexander - Maharashtra, Mr. A. Padmanabhan - Mizoram, Mr. Vijai Kumar Kapoor - Delhi and Dr. (Mrs.) Rajani Rai - Pondicherry.

The BJP's Prof. Chaman Lal Gupta retains his Lok Sabha seat in the Udhampur-Doda-Kathna constituency defeating National Conference's Mr. Rajinder Kumar Chib by over 50,000 votes.

18th Apr

Dr. A. R. Kidwai is appointed Governor of West Bengal.

19th Apr

The AIADMK leader, Ms. Jayalalitha, demands that all ``tainted leaders'' be dropped by the Vajpayee Government or that Mr. Sedapatti R. Muthiah be taken back.

20th Apr

The Prime Minister sacks Mr. Buta Singh from the Cabinet, following the demand made by Ms. Jayalalitha.

The Congress(I) Government in Orissa, headed by Mr. J. B. Patnaik, is plunged into a crisis with one of the two Deputy Chief Ministers, Mr. Basant Kumar Biswal, sending in his resignation letter.

21st Apr

The services of 12 non-railway chairmen of Railway Recruitment Boards are terminated.

Mr. Ashok Kumar, Special Secretary, Union Home Ministry, who headed a Central team to Tamil Nadu to assess the law and order situation, is transferred to the Planning Commission.

22nd Apr

Mr. S. S. Bhandari is appointed Governor of Bihar, Mr. G. C. Saxena, Governor of J&K and Mr. Darbara Singh, Governor of Rajasthan. Mr. C. Rangarajan, Governor of Andhra Pradesh, will hold concurrent charge of Orissa.

India and Bangladesh resolve to work together to ``root out terrorism'', push bilateral trade and harness river waters of the region.

23rd Apr

The second report of the M. Narasimham Committee calls for strengthening of the banking system so that it could handle ``problems'' arising as the country moves towards a more liberal capital account regime.

The Army calls off its unilateral ceasefire with the NSCN (Khaplang), saying the outfit has betrayed it by carrying out ambushes recently.

24th Apr

Twentyfour persons are killed and 28 injured when some bogies of a goods train break free and roll back to collide with the stationary Manmad-Kacheguda Express at Parli Vaijnath in Maharashtra.

25th Apr

The Government announces a new salary structure for university and college teachers, consequent to the implementation of the Fifth Pay Commission recommendations.

India protests against Pakistan raising the Kashmir issue at the first SAARC Information Ministers conference in Dhaka.

26th Apr

The Orissa Chief Minister, Mr. J. B. Patnaik, resigns as president of the Pradesh Congress(I) committee.

The Centre issues an ordinance creating the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, apex body to regulate tariffs, with similar commissions set up at the State level.

27th Apr

The BJP announces that the TDP is among the new Government's post-poll allies who would be accommodated on the coordination committee.

28th Apr

The BJP formally announces the composition of the coordination committee. The panel will have Mr. Vajpayee as Chairman, Mr. Jaswant Singh as Convener and 12 members or chiefs of the pre-poll allies minus the Janata Party president, Dr. Subramanian Swamy.

The Centre announces extension of the ceasefire with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) group for a further three months.

29th Apr

The Reserve Bank reduces the bank rate by one point from 10 per cent in its monetary and credit policy for the first half of 1998- 99.

The President, Mr. K. R. Narayanan, receives the World statesman award in New York.

India and Myanmar agree upon steps to ensure trans-border security, cooperation in the fight against trafficking of narcotics and implementation of mutually beneficial cross-border projects.

30th Apr

Mr. Sukh Ram, former Union Minister, decides to resign as Minister in the Himachal Pradesh Government.

The Jain Commission, which probed the conspiratorial aspects of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination for 6-1/2 years and submitted two voluminous reports, folds up its operations.

Pakistan troops open fire during the Defence Minister, Mr. George Fernandes' visit to Siachen.

Mr. Anna Hazare, social worker, is awarded the CARE International humanitarian award for 1998.

Pakistan will not extend the Most-Favoured Nation status to India.

1st May

The Konkan Railway, running for 760-km, is dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister, Mr. Vajpayee.

India and Peru sign agreements on space technology and agriculture during the visit of the President, Mr. K. R. Narayanan, there.

4th May

India is placed on the U.S. Special 309 watch list.

5th May

Mr. Yashwant Sinha and Mr. Madan Lal Khurana, Union Ministers, are discharged in the hawala case.

8th May

The Bangladesh Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, gets the Gandhi award for 1998.

9th May

Mr. Kirit Raval is appointed Solicitor-General of India.

11th May

India explodes three nuclear devices at Pokhran, Rajasthan.

The U.N. Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, regrets the tests.

Russia says the nuclear tests will have no effect on defence co- operation between the two countries.

Pakistan declares that it reserves the right to take appropriate steps for its security following the Indian nuclear tests.

Trishul, short-range triple role missile, test-fired successfully.

12th May

Mr. Vajpayee writes to Western leaders on nuclear tests.

The U.S. President, Mr. Bill Clinton, asks India to sign CTBT.

Germany freezes aid to India.

China denies crossing the Line of Actual Control, and says the Indian nuclear tests are detrimental to peace.

Mr. Yeltsin feels let down by the Indian nuclear tests but says the Indo-Russian ties will not be hit.

Canada asks India to renounce n-arms.

13th May

India conducts two more nuclear tests at Pokhran. The U.S. slaps sanctions. The Prime Minister says India will face down sanctions.

The Japanese Government suspends grants to India.

Russia will oppose sanctions against India.

The World Bank cancels India donors meet.

14th May

India will not sign CTBT unconditionally, says the Prime Minister.

Japan imposes more sanctions on India.

The U.N. Security Council strongly deplores the nuclear tests.

15th May

The U.S. President, Mr. Bill Clinton, is against isolating India on the nuclear tests.

Russia offers more n-subs to India.

Loans to India will continue, says the World Bank.

Sitar maestro, Pandit Ravi Shankar, receives the 1998 Polar music award.

Germany protests against the Indian nuclear tests.

16th May

The U.S. rejects India's claim of nuclear status.

A new Chinese missile is to target India.

India rejects China's charges on n-tests.

G-8 countries urge India to sign CTBT.

17th May

Mr. Clinton wants India and Pakistan to sign CTBT.

18th May

India is for talks with the U.S. on the nuclear tests.

Pakistan seeks the U.S. mediation on Kashmir.

India may take the U.S. to WTO.

19th May

Nuclear deal with India will stay, says Russia.

Brazil breaks off the nuclear energy pact with India.

The U.S. Congress' anti-India move faces resistance.

The EU is not for isolating India.

20th May

Mr. Kofi Annan, U.N. Secretary-General, asks India to sign CTBT.

21st May

India declares a moratorium on nuclear testing.

22nd May

The AIADMK Minister, Mr. R. K. Kumar, quits the Vajpayee Ministry on ``health grounds''.

Mr. Indrajit Gupta is to head poll panel reforms.

23rd May

Mr. L. K. Advani, Home Minister, is to look after J&K affairs.

The Russian President, Mr. Boris Yeltsin, discusses the post- nuclear test situation with Mr. Vajpayee.

26th May

The European Union says it will delay loans to India in protest against its nuclear tests.

The economist, Prof. Jagdish Bhagwati, has been awarded the 1998 Freedom Prize of the Max Schmidmeiny Foundation.

Bodo leaders stick to their demand for a separate State.

The Indian scientist, Mr. S. Chandrasekar, has been selected for the Niels Bohr-UNESCO gold medal.

27th May

Mr. Vajpayee says India is willing to sign a no-first-use agreement on nuclear weapons.

28th May

India takes retaliatory measures against Australia for its unilateral action.

The President, Mr. K. R. Narayanan, says there is no surprise in Pakistan conducting nuclear tests.

29th May

Mr. Vajpayee says India is open to a dialogue with Pakistan.

31st May

The Defence Minister, Mr. George Fernandes, says Pakistan's nuclear tests are no match to India's.

India rejects mediation on issues with Pakistan, reiterates its commitment to address outstanding issues bilaterally.

An Indian diplomat, Mr. B. R. Rawat, is assaulted by a Pakistani private security guard in Islamabad.

The Bihar Governor, Mr. Sunder Singh Bhandari, meets the Union Home Minister, Mr. L. K. Advani, and tells him that the situation in the State is ``a matter of concern''.

1st Jun

The BJP-led Government presents the Union Budget, which aims at mobilising an additional Rs. 813 crores, conceding a revenue loss of Rs. 950 crores.

Petrol price is raised by Re. 1 per litre.

The Prasar Bharati Bill is introduced in the Lok Sabha to revive the Prasar Bharati Act, 1990.

2nd Jun

Suspected Bodo militants blow up two rail bridges in Kokrajhar district in Assam - one on the river Joyma and the other on the Beki.

The Rajya Sabha adopts the Chemicals Weapons Convention Bill which prohibits the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and provides for their destruction.

3rd Jun

By-elections are held in three Lok Sabha and 51 Assembly constituencies spread over 13 States.

The naval version of the surface-to-air missile, Trishul, is test-fired in Kochi.

5th Jun

Three hostages held by forest brigand Veerappan are rescued by the Tamil Nadu and Karnataka Special Task Force.

The Urdu writer, Ali Sardar Jafri, is presented the Jnanpeeth award for 1997.

The P-5 U.N. Security Council members tentatively agree to avoid threatening sanctions against India and Pakistan over nuclear testing.

6th Jun

The U.N. Security Council condemns the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan.

Six persons are killed in police firing after communal violence breaks out in Hyderabad.

8th Jun

The Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Mr. Jaswant Singh, meets the U.N. Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan.

9th Jun

Eightyone persons are killed as cyclone hits the Saurashtra and Kutch regions of Gujarat and Jalore district of Rajasthan. Subsequently the toll is put at 934 in the Kutch-Saurashtra region alone.

The rupee plunges to an all-time low of Rs. 42.23/25 against the dollar.

10th Jun

Thirteen persons including a sub-inspector of police and eight CRPF jawans are killed in a landmine blast detonated by PWG extremists near Mottagudem village in Warangal district, Andhra Pradesh.

11th Jun

The former Union Minister, Mr. Kalpnath Rai, is discharged in the hawala case. There is no material evidence to proceed against him.

12th Jun

Parliament approves a bill for establishment of electricity regulatory commissions at the Centre and in States.

13th Jun

India rejects G-8 prescriptions saying they are ``coercive and intrusive'' and intended to freeze the nuclear weapon capabilities of New Delhi and Islamabad.

The former Bihar Minister and MLA, Mr. Brij Bihar Prasad, is shot dead by unidentified persons.

14th Jun

The CPI(M) MLA, Mr. Ajit Sarkar, is shot near Purnea in Bihar.

16th Jun

The Bangladesh Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, meets Mr. Vajpayee, in New Delhi.

18th Jun

West Bengal's Left-coalition refuses to talk to the Central Home Ministry team which visited the State to assess the law and order situation and go into the allegations of crime against political workers.

In the biennial elections for 32 vacancies in the Rajya Sabha, the BJP and its allies, Shiv Sena, Jantantrik Bahujan Samaj Party and Loktantrik Congress win 13 seats.

19th Jun

Twentysix persons of a marriage party are gunned down by Pakistan-trained militants and foreign mercenaries at Champari village in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir.

21st Jun

India and Russia sign a $2.5-billion deal to set up a nuclear power station at Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu.

The country's longest Bailey suspension bridge at Wangtu across the Sutlej river in Himachal Pradesh has been completed.

24th Jun

The Samajwadi Party led by Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav joins the Rashtriya Janata Dal led by Mr. Laloo Prasad Yadav to launch a new ``secular front'', Rashtriya Loktantrik Morcha.

The United States Agency for International Development announces it will cut off economic assistance to India in the wake of its nuclear tests.

25th Jun

Sikh high priests exonerate the Akali Dal leader and chief of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Mr. Gurcharan Singh Tohra, of the charges of violating a ``Hukumnama'' (religious edict) issued by the Akal Takht, which prescribed a complete boycott of the members of the Nirankari missions for their ``blasphemous'' activities.

The World Bank clears a $543.50-million loan for Andhra Pradesh.

28th Jun

The U.S. Senators, Mr. Sam Brownback and Mr. Charles Robb meet the Prime Minister, Mr. A. B. Vajpayee, to do the groundwork, for future dialogue on nuclear non-proliferation.

29th Jun

The BJP-led Government decides to grant full statehood for Delhi and create the new States of Uttaranchal, Vananchal and Chattisgarh.

Mr. Vajpayee launches a national pilot project for integration of the mentally retarded into the mainstream.

2nd Jul

India and Sri Lanka sign an agreement on promoting agricultural research in New Delhi.

3rd Jul

The Hindi film lyricist, Kavi Pradeep, is selected for the 1997 Dada Saheb Phalke award.

Ms. Mariam Rasheeda, freed in the ISRO espionage case, returns to Maldives.

Mr. Lalit Mansingh is appointed envoy to the U.K. in the place of Mr. Salman Haider.

4th Jul

The Lok Sabha adopts a Bill banning single-digit lotteries nationwide.

5th Jul

The Centre announces a financial package for Jammu and Kashmir including an ``on account'' release of Rs. 250 crores and advance release of security-related expenses.

6th Jul

The Centre sets up the Eleventh Finance Commission under the chairmanship of Prof. A. M. Khusro.

Mr. Salman Khursheed is appointed the new UPCC(I) chief. While Mr. Tindivanam K. Ramamurthy is the new TNCC(I) chief, Mr. Sat Mahajan has been appointed HPCC(I) president.

A ministerial panel on information technology is formed.

7th Jul

Nag, indigenously developed anti-tank missile, is test-fired again.

8th Jul

The Government approves a plan to revive NTC mills.

9th Jul

Dr. Najma Heptullah is re-elected Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha.

A nationwide postal staff strike begins.

A no-trust move against the Gujarat Ministry fails.

The Atomic Energy Commission chief, Dr. R. Chidambaram, is the recipient of this year's Tilak award.

11th Jul

The Government reduces customs duty on edible oils under the Open General Licence from 20 to 10 per cent.

Indians bag a silver and a bronze at the International Physics Olympiad in Reykjavik.

12th Jul

India will not reverse the nuclear programme, declares Mr. Vajpayee.

Pakistan refuses to accept the Line of Control as the international border.

13th Jul

The Government is prevented from tabling the Women's Reservation Bill.

Parliament approves the Railway Budget 1998-99, wants the Railways to concentrate on safety and punctuality.

India and Germany sign an agreement on promoting and protecting investment in Bonn.

14th Jul

The AEC Chairman, Dr. R. Chidambaram, is denied a visa by the U.S. to attend a conference on crystallography in Alabama.

India is elected chairperson of the World Intellectual Property Organisation's standing panel on information technology in relation to Intellectual Property Rights.

Introduction of the women's quota Bill is deferred pending consensus among political parties.

15th Jul

The Finance Minister, Mr. Yashwant Sinha, announces tax relief for info-tech sector.

Padma Vibhushan is presented to the South African leader, Mr. Walter Sisulu, in Johannesburg.

Andhra Pradesh releases water meant for Chennai into the Telugu Ganga project.

16th Jul

Postal staff call off strike following the Government's assurance to consider their demands.

18th Jul

The Maharashtra Government bans the controversial Marathi play on Nathuram Godse, assassin of Mahatma Gandhi. It was produced by Mr. Udhay Dhurat.

19th Jul

Tremors measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale rock Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

The INSAT-2C satellite suffers ``disorientation'' - loss of earth lock - briefly.

20th Jul

The Prime Minister's special envoy, Mr. Jaswant Singh, and the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, Mr. Strobe Talbott, discuss nuclear non-proliferation and security-related issues in New Delhi.

Mumbai-based Surla relieved from the Chandralekha acid attack case.

21st Jul

Tamil Nadu members walk out of both Houses as the Cauvery issue rocks Parliament.

The Supreme Court refers the Alamatti dam issue to a five-judge Bench.

22nd Jul

The Delhi Chief Minister, Mr. Sahib Singh Verma, and the BJP vice-president, Mr. K. L. Sharma, are fined Rs. 100 each for riding a motorcycle without helmet in New Delhi.

23rd Jul

Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka MPs in the Rajya Sabha clash over the Alamatti dam issue.

The Union Government constitutes the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission under the chairmanship of Dr. S. L. Rao.

24th Jul

Krishna water, released into the Telugu Ganga project canal, reaches Tamil Nadu.

Fiftyone ULFA activists surrender at Thakurbari in Sonitpur district.

India signs a deal with Russia for purchasing the aircraft- carrier, Admiral Gorshkov.

27th Jul

Seventeen Hindus are gunned down in two Doda villages of Jammu and Kashmir.

Gian Singh, convicted for the murder of Sant Harchand Singh Longowal, is sentenced to death.

The Congress(I) splits in Goa as the Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Wilfred Desouza, breaks away and floats a new party.

The Calcutta High Court restrains the Maharashtra Government from deporting alleged Bangladesh nationals.

Mr. B. B. Lyngdoh is sworn in Meghalaya Chief Minister.

The Centre announces a hefty hike in the pay scales of university and college teachers.

28th Jul

The Centre forms a panel to suggest proposals on state- funding for candidates of recognised political parties.

29th Jul

The Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan meet in Colombo. The occasion was the SAARC summit.

The Pratapsingh Rane Ministry in Goa is dismissed. The Governor instals Dr. Wilfred Desouza as Chief Minister.

Twelve persons are killed in an explosion at Dhamdhama near Nalbari in Assam.

30th Jul

An Indian Airlines aircraft crashes while taking off from Kochi, killing all six persons on board and three others working inside a naval workshop onto which it nosedived.

1st Aug

The DMK condemns the BJP-led coalition Government's decision to set up a Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency and rejects the Action Taken Report on the final report of the Jain Commission with reference to Mr. M. Karunanidhi.

2nd Aug

The Congress Working Committee accepts the final report of the Jain Commission but rejects the Action Taken Report of the Vajpayee Government.

3rd Aug

The Lok Pal Bill, which will bring the Prime Minister within the purview of the Prevention of Corruption Act and also apply to all Ministers and MPs, is introduced in the Lok Sabha by the Prime Minister.

India's most sophisticated medium range surface-to-air missile, Akash, is test-fired from the interim test range at Chandipur-on- sea.

Two groups of suspected Jammu and Kashmir militants kill at least 35 and injure more than 10 persons in two separate incidents in Chamba district, Himachal Pradesh.

The Lyngdoh Ministry wins a vote of confidence in the Meghalaya Assembly after the entire opposition walks out.

Thirtyfive persons are killed as Govind Towers at Bandra in Mumbai collapses.

4th Aug

The Opposition-sponsored no-confidence motion against the Congress(I) Government in Orissa, led by Mr. J. B. Patnaik, is defeated by voice vote in the Assembly.

Mr. Vajpayee unveils a policy of nuclear restraint that is built around the ideas of ``minimum deterrence'' and a ``no-first-use'' of weapons.

5th Aug

The Commerce Minister, Mr. Ramakrishna Hegde, announces in the Lok Sabha a special package of measures for boosting exports. The interest rate for pre-shipment and post-shipment credit is cut from 11 to 9 per cent.

6th Aug

The Maharashtra Government rejects the Srikrishna Commission findings on the 1992-93 communal riots and the serial blasts in Mumbai, but agrees to act on the panel's suggestions to refurbish the police force.

Lakhs attend an anti-war rally in Calcutta held in remembrance of Hiroshima, which was bombed 53 years ago.

7th Aug

The Chief Ministers of the four riparian States agree on a scheme for implementing the 1991 interim award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and for creating a River Valley Authority with the Prime Minister as its head.

The Government announces a banking and foreign exchange package for development of the information technology and software industry following the recommendations of the National Task Force.

9th Aug

India moves the World Trade Organisation against the European Union reimposing anti-dumping duties on unbleached cotton gray fabric imports.

10th Aug

The Prime Minister criticises the denial of a U.S. visa to the Atomic Energy Commission Chairman, Dr. R. Chidambaram, and the blacklisting of Indian scientific institutions.

11th Aug

The Centre notifies a scheme for implementation of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal's interim award.

A big fire breaks out in an IOC distribution depot at Thekeragiri in Nagaon district. The ULFA claims responsibility.

12th Aug

The rupee breaches the 43-level against the dollar to reach a historic low of 43.35.

The Government decides to accede to the Paris Convention on the protection of Industrial Property and the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

13th Aug

The Government announces the ``repatriation'' of the Enforcement Director, Mr. M. K. Bezbaruah, to the Delhi administration.

India signs two agreements with the World Bank for concessional credit through the International Development Association for $115.4 million.

14th Aug

The Government transfers the Revenue Secretary, Mr. N. K. Singh, and the Finance Secretary, Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

The Goa Speaker, Mr. Tomazinho Cardozo, disqualifies the Chief Minister, Dr. Wilfred Desouza, and nine MLAs of the breakaway group of the Congress(I).

17th Aug

The Rashtriya Janata Party leader, Mr. Shankarsinh Waghela, joins the Rashtriya Loktantrik Morcha.

The six-year-long litigation over the Cauvery between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka ends with the apex court disposing of Tamil Nadu's suit in view of the new scheme framed by the Centre.

The Government issues a notification banning the use of quinacrine, controversial female contraceptive and sterlisation agent.

The National Human Rights Commission recommends compulsory registration of marriages in a bid to check child marriages.

18th Aug

More than 200 persons, including Kailash-Mansarovar pilgrims, are killed in a landslip at Malpa in Uttar Pradesh. Among those killed is Protima Bedi, danseuse.

19th Aug

The AIADMK asks the Prime Minister to issue orders for the reinstatement of the ED Chief, Mr. M. K. Bezbaruah.

20th Aug

The Centre announces the delicensing of the sugar industry.

The Union Cabinet decides to accord a statutory status to the Central Vigilance Commission and the Vigilance Commissioners in accordance with a Supreme Court ruling.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court upholds the conviction of the former Punjab DGP, Mr. K.P.S. Gill, for outraging the modesty of Mrs. Rupan Deol Bajaj, IAS officer.

21st Aug

The CBI raids the houses of the former Bihar Chief Minister, Mr. Laloo Prasad Yadav, in a fresh case for allegedly owning assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

The Supreme Court directs a Chennai special court to go ahead with proceedings against Ms. Jayalalitha accused in a case of defrauding the Tamil Nadu Government of over Rs. 3 crores by purchasing TANSI land for a throwaway price during her Chief Ministership.

24th Aug

A no-confidence motion against the Tripura Government is defeated by voice vote.

25th Aug

An ordinance conferring statutory status on the Central Vigilance Commission is promulgated.

27th Aug

Stock broker Hiten Dalal and S. Mohan, former assistant vice- president of the Canara Bank Financial Services, are sentenced to 7 years RI for fraudulently siphoning off Rs. 33 crores from a Canara Bank subsidiary.

28th Aug

The President gives his assent to a Bill which enables the Government to take over for the second time the main palace in Mysore, Ambavilas or the Mysore Palace, and the royal paraphernalia.

The Centre directs the States and Union Territories to raise the daily minimum wages from Rs. 35 to 40.

India and Pakistan clash in the Security Council after New Delhi has denounced the running of terrorist training camps in the Pakistan- occupied Kashmir and Afghanistan.

29th Aug

The President gives his assent to the ordinance on the Prasar Bharati Act.

31st Aug

Mr. Vajpayee announces a gift of 10,000 litres of edible oil and five tonnes of milk powder to Namibia to help it fight a severe drought.

The Government announces the features of the one-time amnesty scheme for certain category of taxpayers.

Fourteen Rajasthan MLAs, including two from the BJP, join the Congress(I).

The Government decides to raise the retirement age of the three services chiefs of the armed forces, officers and personnel across the board to 62 years.

1st Sep

Mr. N. Vittal is appointed the Central Vigilance Commissioner.

Akash, multi-target surface-to-air missile developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, is test-fired from the interim test range at Chandipur, near Balasore.

Tatas withdraw their Rs. 1,475-crore proposal to operate an airline with foreign equity participation in the domestic sector.

Dropsy claims more lives in New Delhi, taking the toll to 37.

2nd Sep

Nishant, pilotless training aircraft developed by the DRDO, is successfully test-flown.

Four more dropsy deaths reported in the national capital.

The National Liberation Front of Tripura ultras release eight hostages held since August 16.

3rd Sep

The Bodo People's Action Committee convener Sushil Brahma, is shot dead by Bodo militants in Assam's Kokrajhar district.

4th Sep

A Mumbai Metropolitan court acquits the Union Minister for Environment and Forests, Mr. Suresh Prabhu, in a case of cheque bouncing.

5th Sep

University and college teachers affiliated to the All-India Federation of University and College Teachers Organisations call off their nationwide strike.

Short range surface-to-air missiles, Trishul and Akash, are test- fired.

6th Sep

The AICC(I) Pachmarhi (M.P.) session ends with the Congress(I) asserting that it will consider forming coalitions only as a last resort.

The President, Mr. K. R. Narayanan, is in Germany on an official trip.

At least 13 persons are killed and 36 injured as a bus falls into a gorge at Gallu near Shimla.

7th Sep

The Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court quashes the Speaker's order disqualifying 10 MLAs, including the Chief Minister, Dr. Wilfred Desouza, from Assembly membership.

Flood situation in parts of the country continues to be grim. The toll rises to 137 in Assam, while 300 have died in Bihar and 139 in West Bengal.

Swami Ranganathananda is elected the 13th president of the Ramakrishna Order.

8th Sep

Dr. Wilfred Desouza wins a trust vote in the Goa Assembly.

The President, Mr. K. R. Narayanan, meets the German Chancellor, Mr. Helmut Kohl, in Bonn.

9th Sep

The Supreme Court orders reinstatement of Mr. M. K. Bezbaruah as Chief of the Enforcement Directorate.

10th Sep

The Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson, Dr. Najma Heptullah, is elected vice-president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, in session in Moscow.

11th Sep

Mild tremors hit Siliguri in West Bengal and Gangtok in Sikkim.

The President, Mr. K. R. Narayanan, meets his Portugese counterpart, Mr. Jorge Sampaio, in Lisbon.

12th Sep

India, Malaysia sign an agreement on cooperation in science and technology in Kuala Lumpur.

Bihar flood toll mounts to 320.

13th Sep

Dr. Justice Adarsh Sein Anand is appointed Chief Justice of India.

14th Sep

The Army foils an intrusion bid by Pakistan-trained terrorists in the Bembhi Gali sector of Rajouri district, Jammu, killing four of the militants.

15th Sep

At least 26 persons are killed and 13 injured in ethnic strife in some villages of Assam's Kokrajhar district.

17th Sep

The Bihar Chief Minister, Mrs. Rabri Devi, expands the Cabinet inducting nine Ministers, even as the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (Soren) group formally withdraws support to her Ministry.

18th Sep

Mr. Vajpayee outlines a seven-point programme to revive economy. It seeks to ensure a seven per cent GDP growth, 10 per cent rise in industrial production and a 15 to 20-point rise in exports.

Fifteen persons are drowned in a boat capsize in the Balan river near Banwaripur village in Bihar.

20th Sep

Mr. A. B. Bardhan is re-elected CPI general secretary.

21st Sep

The Rabri Devi Ministry in Bihar wins a trust vote in the Assembly.

The Bihar Assembly withdraws a resolution favouring a separate Jharkhand State and rejects the draft Bihar Reorganisation Bill, 1998, which seeks to create Vananchal.

22nd Sep

The Centre recommends imposition of Presidents's Rule in Bihar.

Four Christian missionary nuns have been allegedly raped at Nawapara-Bhandaria village in Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh.

24th Sep

Jamnalal Bajaj Awards go to Dr. Devendra Kumar, Director, Science for Villages, Wardha; Acharya Ramamurthy of Shramabharathi, Bhagalpur; Dr. (Mrs.) Rajammal P. Devadass, Chancellor, Avanashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Studies for Women, Coimbatore, and Ms. Jharnathana Choudhary, Secretary, Gandhi Ashram, Noahkali, Bangladesh.

25th Sep

The President, Mr. K. R. Narayanan, returns for reconsideration the Cabinet's recommendation for President's Rule in Bihar.

Twenty persons, including 14 school-children, are killed and 33 others injured when a train engine rams a bus at an unmanned level-crossing in Nalgonda district, Andhra Pradesh.

Fourteen persons are drowned as a private bus plunges into the Beas river at Saatmeel, 10 k.m. from Mandi, Himachal Pradesh.

28th Sep

The Ramakrishna Mission has been chosen for the Gandhi Peace Prize, 1998.

1st Oct

Forty persons drown as a boat capsizes in the Hargauli river in Bihar's West Champaran district.

Kuki and Paite tribals of Manipur sign a peace deal to end their nine-month-long armed conflicts.

2nd Oct

The HUDCO sanctions Rs. 100 crores in aid for rehabilitation of the flood affected in West Bengal.

Ms. Santanu Deb Barma of Tripura is chosen for this year's Kabir Puraskar for her role in preventing violence and riots in some areas of the State in 1997.

6th Oct

Serial killers, Kummari Gundla Gopal, 38, and his brother, Subrahmanyam (33), responsible for 40 murders in the Andhra Pradesh-Tamil Nadu border districts, are killed when they try to escape from police custody.

Eleven persons, including three women and four children of a family, are killed in a bomb blast in a south Kashmir village.

7th Oct

An IAF pilot is killed as his MiG 21 crashes near the tourist resort of Sonamarg, 80 km from Srinagar.

8th Oct

Sixteen policemen are killed when their vehicle is blown up by PWG naxalites on the Basaguda-Jagargunda road in Madhya Pradesh's Bastar division.

Eleven persons are killed and 23 injured when nine coaches of the Hyderabad-Narsapur Express derail between Sattenpalli and Guntur.

The Centre bans export of onion and decides to import 13,000 tonnes to check the rising price.

Bodo Liberation Tiger Force militants kill 13 persons in three different incidents in Assam's Darrang district.

10th Oct

Dr. Justice Adarsh Sein Anand is sworn in Chief Justice of India.

11th Oct

Twelve persons are killed in a blast in the Bharanipuram area in Vijayawada. The dead include six children and three women.

12th Oct

Mrs. Sushma Swaraj is sworn in Delhi Chief Minister in place of Mr. Sahib Singh Verma.

Seven Pakistan soldiers are killed in fighting in the Siachen glacier.

13th Oct

Filmstar Salman Khan, arrested on charges of killing protected wild animals near Jodhpur, is remanded to the custody of the Forest department.

India, Mauritius sign an agreement on civil aviation in New Delhi in the presence of the two Prime Ministers.

14th Oct

Five PWG naxalites are killed in an encounter with the police in a forest near Sangojipet village in Andhra Pradesh's Nizamabad district.

The founder-chairman of the National Dairy Development Board, Dr. Verghese Kurien, resigns after 33 years of yeoman service.

NSCN militants kill six persons, including five policemen, and take away Rs. 10 lakhs from them in Meghalaya's East Gharo Hills district.

16th Oct

Kuki militants ambush two buses and kill nine Naga tribals, one non-tribal Manipuri and one Kom tribal in Manipur's Tamenglong district.

17th Oct

About 28 lakh eggs, meant for distribution under the noon meal scheme in Tamil Nadu, are destroyed by being dumped in a large pit in Salem. The eggs were stored in a private cold storage facility near Salem and were suspected to have been responsible for food poisoning caused in the past three months.

Nine women are buried alive as the roof of the 200-year-old Balaji temple in Varanasi's Ramghat area caves in.

20th Oct

Security forces unearth 770 kg of RDX and plastic explosives in the Tangmay area of Baramulla district in Jammu and Kashmir.

26th Oct

The Army repulses a fresh Pakistan bid to capture a military post in the Siachen glacier. Five Pakistani soldiers were killed.

28th Oct

The 1997 B.C. Roy National Award is presented to 18 medical experts.

The 1998 Swarna Jayanti Fellowship Award is presented to 11 young scientists.

39 Pakistanis are picked up by the Indian Coast Guard off the Jhakhau Port in Gujarat's Kutch district.

1st Nov

The President, Mr. K. R. Narayanan, presents the lifetime achievement award to Prof. G. P. Talwar, developer of birth control and vaccination, at the 10th International Congress of Immunology in New Delhi.

2nd Nov

The Government decides to accord export house status to tourism industry.

3rd Nov

The Trinamul Congress leader, Ms. Mamata Banerjee, resigns from the Central Coordination Committee of the BJP and its allies to highlight the issue of spiralling prices.

The AIADMK disbands the front headed by it in Tamil Nadu, thus cutting off its political links with the PMK, the MDMK and the TRC.

The first geo-scientific data centre of the country is inaugurated at the Geological Survey of India.

5th Nov

India and Pakistan agree to continue their talks on the Tulbul navigator project on the Jhelum in Kashmir, despite differences over various provisions of the Indus Water Treaty of 1960.

6th Nov

Pakistan rejects India's Siachen ceasefire plan, insisting instead that the two sides at once address troop disengagement in the area.

The Supreme Court, through its interim order, directs that the trial of ``corruption cases'' against the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms. Jayalalitha, go on before the special courts.

7th Nov

The Kalidas Samman awards, instituted by the Madhya Pradesh Government, are presented to Tapas Sen, Akbar Padamsee, Shriram Lagoo, Pandit Jasraj and Kalyani Kutti Amma.

9th Nov

India rejects Pakistan's bid to internalise the Sir Creek issue at the bilaternal talks in New Delhi.

11th Nov

India objects to Washington's discrimination in easing sanctions against New Delhi and Islamabad, clamped in the wake of the nuclear tests by the two countries.

12th Nov

Mr. Vajpayee announces a scheme for issuing `Person of Indian Origin' (PIO) cards to Indians living abroad and having foreign passports at the Global Indian Entrepreneurs Conference in New Delhi.

India rejects Pakistan's demand for third party supervision to ascertain whether the latter is sponsoring terrorism on its soil, and seeks Pakistan's compliance with a four-point agenda to curb this menace.

13th Nov

The International organisation for newspaper technology, IFRA, appoints Mr. N. Murali, Joint Managing Director of TheHindu, its first board member from South Asia.

Fossils of a three-billion-year old algae, the oldest biological fossil in the country, are discovered in the Kashia region of Orissa.

14th Nov

The year's Ministry of Health National Award is presented to Ms. Rekha Agarwal, Assistant Editor, NCERT, and Dr.Yatish Agarwal, health columnist, for their book Nari Vigyan.

Prominent Indian Government and private entities are targeted in the Clinton Administration Entities List. American Companies are barred from trading with the listed companies.

16th Nov

The Tamil Nadu Government decides to give recognition only to those nursery and primary schools which teach Tamil as a subject.

17th Nov

A shower of sparkling meteor storms the planet Earth, producing a grand cosmic show. Tiny meteorites, left behind by comet Temple - Tuttle, streak past at 71 km per second, putting up a display of spectacular fireworks in the sky.

18th Nov

Indo-U.S. talks on nuclear issues begin in Rome.

The crisis in the Biju Janata Dal in Orissa intensifies as the party president, Mr. Naveen Patnaik, decides to suspend senior leader and MLA, Mr. Bijoy Mahapatra and two MPs, Mr. Prabhat Samantaray and Mr. Tathagat Satpathy, from the party for anti- party activities.

19th Nov

Mr. Vajpayee approves formation of the National Security Council, a new high-power hub to give policy directions to safeguard the country's security.

The Indira Gandhi memorial award is presented to Ms. Mirta Saavedra Polo, Ambassador of Panama, for her contributions to strengthening bilateral relations between India and Pakistan.

20th Nov

Dr. Mohammed Yunus, Chairman of the Grameen Bank of Dhaka, is selected for the 1998 Indira Gandhi prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development.

The Prime Minister's Special Envoy, Mr. Jaswant Singh, and the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, Mr. Strobe Talbott, complete the seventh round of discussions in Rome, officially described as ``constructive.''

Mr. V. K. Sharma, chairman and managing director of JVG Group of Companies, who allegedly swindled Rs. 600 crores from investors, is arrested in Mumbai.

23rd Nov

The Union Cabinet decides to allow 26 per cent foreign equity in the insurance sector and an additional 14 per cent investment by non-resident Indians (NRIs), foreign institutional investors and overseas corporate bodies.

24th Nov

Polling is held in 626 Assembly constituencies spread over four States - Delhi, Madhya Prades, Mizoram and Rajasthan.

25th Nov

The Railway Minister, Mr. Nitish Kumar, lays the foundation stone for the Chengalpattu-Arakkonam gauge conversion in Kancheepuram. The Kanchi Sankaracharyas stay away from the function following a controversy triggered over the invitation extended to them by the Railways.

26th Nov

The Howrah-bound Sealdah Express rams some derailed bogies of the Amristar-bound Frontier Golden Temple Mail near Kauri village, 70 km from Chandigarh. 211 passengers are killed.

Mr. Luizinho Falerio of the Congress takes over as new Chief Minister of Goa.

Mr. Vajpayee, presents the first Nachiketa Award to journalist, Mr. Cho Ramaswamy, in New Delhi. The award was instituted by the periodical Panchajanya.

The Vice-President, Mr. Krishan Kant, presents the ``Honest Man of the Year'' award to Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, in New Delhi. The award was instituted by the International Social Service Organisation.

Mr. S. K. Jain, an accused in the Rs. 65-crore hawala case, is discharged in a FERA violation case.

27th Nov

The Chief Ministers' Conference, headed by Mr. A. B.

Vajpayee, adopts a 11-point resolution on measures to check price rise.

The Supreme Court orders end of special treatment to Mr. Laloo Prasad Yadav and Dr. Jagannath Mishra, former Bihar Chief Ministers, and directs that they be shifted to the Beur Adarsh Central Jail from a guest house. They have been arrested in the fodder scam case.

28th Nov

The Congress(I) wins the Assembly elections in Delhi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

30th Nov

Mrs. Sonia Gandhi names Mr. Ashok Ghelot and Mrs. Sheila Dixit Chief Ministers of Rajasthan and Delhi.

1st Dec

Mr. Digvijay Singh and Mr. Ashok Gehlot take over as Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

3rd Dec

Mrs. Sheila Dixit and Mr. Zoramthanga take over as Chief Ministers of Delhi and Mizoram.

India and Portugal sign an agreement in New Delhi for setting up a joint committee to enhance cooperation in science and technology.

4th Dec

Mrs. Sonia Gandhi says the Congress(I) is prepared to meet the challenge of contesting a mid-term poll if it is forced on the country. But it would not take any initiative to pull down the BJP-led coalition.

Christians across the country observe a protest day against the recent attacks on the community and its institutions.

Shehnai player Ustad Bismillah Khan bags the year's Swati Puraskaram, instituted by the Kerala Government in memory of Swati Tirunal.

Music composer Ilayaraja selected for the Lata Mangeshkar award instituted by the Madhya Pradesh Government.

5th Dec

Mr. Jaswant Singh and Mr. Pramod Mahajan take over as the new Foreign Minister and Minister for Information and Broadcasting. Mr. Jagmohan takes over as Minister for Communications.

7th Dec

Mr. Vajpayee questions Pakistan's decision to hand over part of occupied Kashmir to China and says the area belongs to India.

8th Dec

The BJP not only gives its final approval to the entry of foreign capital into the insurance business but virtually signals the end of the ``Swadeshi'' economics.

The Indian film, The Terrorist wins all top awards including the Golden Pyramid award for the best film at the 23rd Cairo International Film Festival. Santosh Sivan gets the best director award, while its heroine, Ayesha Dharker, bags the best actress award.

10th Dec

Prof. Amartya Sen receives the 1998 Nobel Prize for Economics.

Dr. Gurudev S. Khush, rice breeder at the International Rice Research Institute, Philippines, and Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram, wheat breeder at the International Wheat and Maize Improvement Centre, Mexico, share the Rank Prize announced in London.

11th Dec

A nation-wide general strike called by the National Platform of Mass Organisations evokes a ``very good response'' in most southern and eastern states, but has a partial impact in the rest of the country.

The Trinamul Congress leader, Ms. Mamata Banerjee, holds a Samajwadi Party member, Mr. Daroga Prasad Saroj, by the collar and drags him out of the ``well'' of the Lok Sabha to prevent him from protesting against the Women's Reservation bill.

12th Dec

Bodo ultras kill 19 in Assam.

The Tamizhaga Rajiv Congress quits the AIADMK front.

14th Dec

The Government introduces the controversial Women's Reservation Bill in the Lok Sabha.

The Supreme Court allows Karnataka to begin skeletal work on erection of 26 crest gates at the Almatti dam on the Krishna at ``its own risk and cost'', but directs it not to raise the dam height beyond the present 509 metres.

15th Dec

The Government introduces a Bill in the Lok Sabha to open up the insurance sector to private investors, both domestic and foreign.

16th Dec

Mr. Vajpayee assures the Rajya Sabha that India will continue the nuclear dialogue with the U.S. without yielding on core national security interests.

The Government introduces in the Rajya Sabha the Patents (Amendments) Bill 1998 amid Left protests.

17th Dec

Mr. P. M. Sayeed of the Congress(I) is unanimously elected Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

18th Dec

Mr. Vajpayee sets a March 31, 1999 deadline for at least 10 power projects to complete all formalities (financial closure) and get off the ground.

Mrs. Sonia Gandhi hints that the Congress(I) is not keen on forming Government at the Centre with the help of other parties and that it would prefer to return to power on its own strength.

The Supreme Court orders release of the former Bihar Chief Minister, Dr. Jagannath Mishra, after granting him bail in the fodder scam conspiracy case.

19th Dec

The Russian Prime Minister, Mr. Yevgeny Primakov, arrives in India for a two-day official visit. The visit assumes significance in the context of the U.S. and British strikes against Iraq.

21st Dec

The Viswabharati University, Calcutta, presents the `Deshikottama' award to the Nobel laureate, Prof. Amartya Sen.

22nd Dec

Russia plans to give an additional content to its relationship with India in the form of strategic partnership - denoting expanded cooperation and understanding of each other's concerns and interests in various fields.

The Patents Bill gets Rajya Sabha approval.

Unruly scenes, including a scuffle between RJD and BJP members, forces the Government to defer the introduction in the Lok Sabha of the Bill to create Vananchal.

Janata Dal's Mr. S. Jaipal Reddy is selected for the ``best parliamentarian award'' for 1998.

The National Award for the Best Technological Invention is conferred on Prof. J. R. Isaac, computer scientist.

23rd Dec

Lok Sabha session ends abruptly amid noisy scenes soon after the Government has rushed through the introduction of the Bill to create Vananchal, despite strong protests by the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Samajwadi Party.

Jayaprakash Narayan posthumously awarded Bharat Ratna, the country's biggest honour.

The Central Vigilance Commission finalises guidelines for conducting CBI probes into irregularities and corruption in banks and also a time-frame for the investigations.

The Government fails to get the Patents Amendment Bill considered and passed in the Lok Sabha, raising a big question mark on its intention and pointing to unresolved issues within the BJP and the larger Sangh Parivar.

24th Dec

The Rashtrapati Bhavan denies that the Patents Amendment Bill was sent to the President for approval and the Government charges the Congress(I) with adopting ``double standards'' and ``suddenly changing its stand''.

25th Dec

The Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Mr. Madan Lal Khurana, apologises to the President, Mr.K.R. Narayanan for the confusion over why the Patents Bill was not brought to the Lok Sabha after it was passed by the Rajya Sabha.

27th Dec

The Sri Lankan President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga arrives here to add a new dimension to the economic ties between India and Sri Lanka and discuss ways to boost regional economic integration in South Asia.

Churches and missionary schools come under attack and many are injured in a fresh outbreak of communal violence in Surat and Dangs district of Gujarat even as the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad announce the stepping up of their stir against the alleged conversion of Hindus.

The Nobel laureate, Prof. Amartya Sen, unveils his plans to set up a charity trust with the award money for development of education and health in India and Bangladesh.

28th Dec

India and Sri Lanka sign an agreement, to establish a bilateral free trade area, after the visiting Sri Lankan President, Mrs. Chandrika Kumaratunga, and the Prime Minister, Mr. A. B. Vajpayee, have sorted out the differences that held up the negotiations on it in the past.

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