* First Islamic Mausoleum (tomb) in India: Sultan Ghari, built in 1231 CE for Prince Nasir ud din Mahmud, eldest son of Iltumish.
* First true dome, Alai Darwaza, Qutb complex, Delhi, built in 1311 CE, by first Khilji Sultan of Delhi, Ala-ud-din Khilji.
* First true arch, Balban's tomb, Mehrauli Archeological Park, Delhi, built in ca 1287 CE, by Ghiyas ud din Balban of Mamluk dynasty.
* First garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, also the first with Persian double-dome: Humayun's Tomb, Delhi, built 1562-1571 CE.
Awards and Titles
* Miss World: Rita Faria in 1966
* Miss Universe: Sushmita Sen in 1994
* Booker Prize: Salman Rushdie for Midnight's Children in 1981
* Bharat Ratna: Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, C. Rajagopalachari, and Dr C.V. Raman in 1954
* Chevalier: Sivaji Ganesan
* Dadasaheb Phalke Award: Devika Rani in 1969
* Ashoka Chakra Award to a civilian : D.K. Jatar (posthumous) and M.C Dixit, captain and co-captain respectively, of the sabotaged plane Kashmir Princess, for "most conspicuous bravery, daring and self-sacrifice"
* Magsaysay Award: Vinoba Bhave, 1958
* Winner of a major literary award in the United States: Dhan Gopal Mukerji
* Ford Supermodel of the World (contest): Bipasha Basu, 1996 
* Nobel Prize winner: Rabindranath Tagore for the Nobel Prize in Literature, 1913. He was also the first Asian to get the prize.
* Nobel Prize in Physics: C. V. Raman in 1930.
* Nobel Prize in Medicine: Har Gobind Khorana in 1968. (India born US citizen)
* Nobel Peace Prize: Mother Teresa in 1979 (Albania born Indian citizen)
* Nobel Prize in Economics: Amartya Sen in 1998
* Commander-in-Chief of Free India: General Sir Roy Bucher
* Indian Commander-in-Chief of Free India: General Kodandera Madappa Cariappa, 1949
* Chief of Air Staff: Air Marshal Sir Thomas Elmhirst
* Indian Chief of Staff: General Kodandera Madappa Cariappa, 1947
* Commander-in-Chief, IAF: Air Marshal Subroto Mukerjee, 1954
* Chief of Naval Staff: Vice Admiral R D Katari
* Cosmonaut: Sqn Ldr Rakesh Sharma, 1984
* Field Marshal: Sam Manekshaw, 1973.
* Person to reach the South Pole: Col Jatinder Kumar Bajaj
* Woman to scale Mount Everest: Bachendri Pal on May 23, 1984. She was the 5th woman in the world to scale the peak.
Film and TV
* Sound film: Alam Ara, 1931
* Oscar winner: Bhanu Athaiya for Best Costume Design for Gandhi (film) in 1982
* Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film: Mother India in 1957
* first Indian music director who got two oscar-Mr. A. R. Rahman in 2009.
* National Film Award for cinema: Shyamchi Aai in 1954
* Colorized film: Mughal-e-Azam in 2004 (the original black-and-white version was released in 1960)
* Sponsored TV serial: Hum Log, started on July 7, 1984, was also the first soap opera of India, ran for 156 episodes
* Actor to enact 10 roles: Kamal Haasan
* 3D film: My Dear Kuttichathan, a Malayalam film, produced in 1984, dubbed in Hindi as Chhota Chetan.
* 70 mm film: Padayottam, a Malayalam film, produced in 1982
* Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (officer of the order of arts and letters): Shahrukh Khan in 2007
* Hindi film to be screened at the United Nations: Lage Raho Munna Bhai on 10 November 2006
* President: Rajendra Prasad (1950-1962)
* Vice-President: S. Radhakrishnan
* Prime Minister: Jawaharlal Nehru (1947-1964). The first term lasted till 1952 after which he was re-elected
* Deputy Prime Minister: Vallabhbhai Patel (1947-1950)
* Prime Minister to be voted out of office: Indira Gandhi (1977) when the Indian National Congress lost to the Janata Party
* Non-Congress government: by Janata Party with Morarji Desai as the Prime Minister (1977-1980)
* Prime Minister to lead a minority government for a full term (five years): P. V. Narasimha Rao, June 21, 1991 – May 16, 1996
* Person outside the Nehru-Gandhi family to serve as Prime Minister for a full term (five years): P. V. Narasimha Rao, June 21, 1991 – May 16, 1996
* Prime Minister from South India: P. V. Narasimha Rao, 1991
* Governor-General: Warren Hastings
* Governor General of Independent India: Lord Mountbatten, 1947
* Indian Governor-General of Indian Union: C Rajagopalachari, 1948
* Chief Justice of India: H. J. Kania (1947-1951)
* Indian ICS Officer: Satyendranath Tagore, 1863
* Speaker of Lok Sabha: G.V. Mavlankar (1952-1956)
* Finance Minister of Independent India: R.K. Shanmukhan Chetty (1947-1949)
* Presentation of First Budget after India's Independence : R.K. Shanmukhan Chetty on Nov 26, 1947
* Hydroelectric plant: On the Gaganachukki waterfall of the Sivasamudram Falls, Karnataka. Built in 1902.
* City to have electricity: Bangalore, in 1906 (it was in fact the first city in Asia to have electricity)
* Man in space: Rakesh Sharma aboard Salyut 7, on April 3, 1984. He was the 138th man in space worldwide.
* Woman in space: Kalpana Chawla aboard Space Shuttle Columbia flight STS-87, on November 19, 1997. She was a naturalized United States citizen, and represented the US during the event.
* Test-tube baby: Durga Agarwal, born 1978
* Scientific Expedition to Antarctica: 1981
* Nuclear Reactor: CIRUS, Mumbai, Maharashtra
* First Genetically Modified Food Product in India : Bt. Egg plant Hybrid (Bt. -- Bacilius thuringiensis)
* Satellite : Aryabhatta, launched on April 19, 1975
* Satellite dedicated exclusively for educational services : EDUSET
* Successfully indigenous launch vehicle : SLV-3
* Prospective space tourist: Santhosh George Kulangara, proposed in 2009 aboard Virgin Galactic
* Person to swim across the English Channel: Mihir Sen, 1958
* Woman to swim across the English Channel: Arati Saha, 1959
* Formula One race driver: Narain Karthikeyan
* Formula One team: Force India F1
* A1 GP race victory: Narain Karthikeyan, Zhuhai, China, 2007
* Olympic team medal: Gold for Hockey at the 1928 Summer Olympics Amsterdam, beating the Netherlands.
* Olympic individual medal (in British India): Silver by Norman Pritchard for 200 metres races at the 1900 Summer Olympics, Paris. (This is disputed however. The IOC claims he participated for India. The IAAF records him as participant for Great Britain.)
* Olympic individual medal: Bronze by K. D. Jadhav for wrestling at the 1952 Summer Olympics Helsinki.
* Olympic individual medal by a woman: Bronze by Karnam Malleswari for weightlifting 54 kg class, at the 2000 Summer Olympics Sydney.
* Olympic silver medal: Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore for Men's Double Trap at the 2004 Summer Olympics Athens.
* Olympic individual gold medal: Abhinav Bindra for 10 m Air Rifle at the 2008 Summer Olympics Beijing.
* Olympic medal in Boxing: Vijender Kumar at the 2008 Summer Olympics Beijing.
* Chess Grandmaster: Viswanathan Anand in 1988, at the age of 18.
* FIDE World Chess Champion: Viswanathan Anand in December 2000.
* Undisputed World Chess Champion: Viswanathan Anand in September 2007.
* Woman Chess Grandmaster: Koneru Humpy, 2002. She was also the youngest woman to become a grandmaster at 15 years old.
* Grand Slam title: Mahesh Bhupathi (partnering with Japanese Rika Hiraki) in the Mixed Doubles category of the 1997 French Open.
* Woman to win a match in a Grand Slam event: Nirupama Vaidyanathan beat Italian Gloria Pizzichini in the first round of the 1998 Australian Open
* Woman to reach 4th round (highest as of 2009) of a Grand Slam singles event: Sania Mirza in the Singles category of the 2005 US Open.
* Woman to win a Grand Slam title: Sania Mirza (partnering with Mahesh Bhupathi) in the Mixed Doubles category of the 2009 Australian Open.
* Grand Slam junior title: Leander Paes in the Singles category of the 1990 Wimbledon Championship.
* Grand Slam junior title by a woman: Sania Mirza (partnering with Russian Alisa Kleybanova) in the Doubles category of the 2003 Wimbledon Championships.
* Cricket tournament: The Bombay Triangular (1905-1911) which later became the Bombay Quadrangular (1912-1936)
* Cricket test match: Against England at Lord's, June 25, 1932
* First One day Cricket captain: (S.Venkataraghavan)
* First Test Cricket captain: C. K. Nayudu for the 1932 tour of England
* First Indian to score ODI century was (Kapil Dev)
* Cricketer to score a century: Lala Amarnath 118 against England in December 1933 at Bombay Gymkhana grounds
* Cricketer to score a double century: Polly Umrigar, 223 against New Zealand at Hyderabad in 1955-56
* Cricketer to score a triple century: Virender Sehwag, 309 against Pakistan in Multan in 2004.
* ODI cricket hat-trick: Chetan Sharma in Reliance World Cup against New Zealand in 1987.
* Test cricket hat-trick: Harbhajan Singh against Australia in March 2001
* Cricket World Cup championship win: At the 1983 Cricket World Cup, England beating West Indies.
* Batsman to complete 10,000 runs in Test cricket: Sunil Gavaskar (he was first in the world to achieve this feat)
* Batsman to complete 10,000 runs in ODI cricket: Sachin Tendulkar (he was first in the world to achieve this feat)
* Cricket Twenty20 world cup winner: India in 2007.
* Cricketer to score 85 centuries in Test and ODIs combined: Sachin Tendulkar
* First bowler to take all 10 wickets in a test match: Anil Kumble
* First Sikh Prime Minister : Manmohan Singh
* First Muslim President : Zakir Hussain (1967-1969)
* First Sikh President : Giani Zail Singh
* First Parsi Army Chief: Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw
* First Christian Army Chief: General Sunith Francis Rodrigues
* First Sikh Army Chief: General Joginder Jaswant Singh
* First Parsi Air Force Chief: Air Marshal Aspy Engineer
* First Sikh Air Force Chief: Air Marshal Arjan Singh
* First Muslim Air Force Chief: Air Marshal Idris Hasan Latif
* First Parsi Navy Chief: Admiral J L Cursetji
* First Christian Navy Chief: Admiral R L Pereira
* Graduates: Kadambini Ganguly and Chandramukhi Basu, 1883
* Head of an Undergraduate Academic Institution: Chandramukhi Basu, 1888
* Honours Graduate: Kamini Roy (1886)
* Lawyer: Cornelia Sorabjee (1892)
* Doctorate of Science: Asima Chatterjee (1944)
* Chief Justice of a High Court (Himachal Pradesh): Leila Seth, 1991
* Supreme Court Judge (also the first in the world): Anna Chandy
* Physician: Kadambini Ganguly, 1886
* Airline Pilot: Durga Banerjee
* In space: Kalpana Chawla aboard Space Shuttle Columbia flight STS-87, on November 19, 1997. She was a naturalized United States citizen, and represented the US during the event.
* Nobel Prize winner: Mother Teresa in 1979 (Albanian born Indian citizen)
* Asian Games gold medal winner: Kamlijit Sandhu
* To swim across the English Channel: Arati Saha, 1959
* The first Indian woman to climb Mount Everest : Bachendri Pal , 1984
* Chess Grandmaster: Koneru Humpy, 2002. She was also the youngest woman in the world to become a grandmaster at 15 years old.
* To win 1st round match in a Grand Slam event: Nirupama Vaidyanathan beat Italian Gloria Pizzichini in the first round of the 1998 Australian Open
* To reach 4th round (highest as of 2008) of a Grand Slam event: Sania Mirza in the Singles category of the 2005 US Open.
* Grand Slam junior title: Sania Mirza (partnering with Russian Alisa Kleybanova) in the Doubles category of the 2003 Wimbledon Championships.
Administration and Politics
* First & Last female monarch of Delhi Sultanate: Razia Sultan (1205-1240) of Mamluk dynasty
* Prime Minister: Indira Gandhi, 1966
* Minister in a government: Rajkumari Amrit Kaur in the Ministry of Health
* Chief Minister of a State: Sucheta Kripalani, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, 1963-1967
* Governor: Sarojini Naidu, Governor of Uttar Pradesh, 1947-1949
* Central Minister (in pre-independent India): Vijayalakshmi Pandit, minister of local self-government and public health, 1937
* Speaker of the Lok Sabha: Meira Kumar
* Indian National Congress President: Annie Besant
* President: Pratibha Patil, 2007
* IPS Officer: Kiran Bedi
* City to have electricity: Bangalore, in 1906 (it was in fact the first city in Asia to have electricity)
* District to achieve 100% literacy rate: Ernakulam district, Kerala , 1990
* City/town to achieve 100% literacy rate: Kottayam, Kerala, 1989
* District to achieve 100% literacy rate and lowest population growth rate: Pathanamthitta district, Kerala
* District to be polio-free: Pathanamthitta district, Kerala
* District to achieve tobacco free: Kottayam district, Kerala, 27 September 2008
* First Passenger Train: between Mumbai and Thane on 16th April 1853
* First suburban railway line: Mumbai Suburban Railway in 1857
* First rapid transit (Metro) rail: Kolkata Metro in 1984
* First expressway: Mumbai-Pune Expressway in 2000
* Wax statue of a living Indian: Mahatma Gandhi at Madame Tussaud's in 1939
* Exclusive internet magazine: Bharat Samachar
* Miss India to participate in Miss Universe: Indrani Rahman in the Miss Universe 1952 Pageant at Long Beach, California
* President of the Indian National Congress: W C Bonnerjee, 1885
* Graduate in Medicine: Soorjo Coomar Goodeve Chuckerbutty