1) 132 School children massacred by Taliban at Army Public School in Peshawar: Six militants of the Tehreek-e-Taliban stormed the premises of the Army Public School in Peshawar and shot dead about 141 people, 132 of them students, going from classroom to classroom seeking their prey. Claiming responsibility for the attack, TTP spokesman Muhammad Khorasani said in a statement sent to the media, that the Taliban were forced to attack the school because of Operation Zarb-e-Azb and Operation Khyber-I . “We claim responsibility. We have sent in six attackers, [however by late evening nine militants were taken out], including target killers and suicide attackers. They have been ordered to shoot the older students, but not the children. We are giving them direct instructions to not harm minors. We want them [the army] to feel our pain because they target our families,” Khorasani boasted.
2) India banned Islamic State: The dreaded IS terror group has been banned in India, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh disclosed on 16 December 2014, days after a Bangalore techie was allegedly found tweeting in support of the terrorist organisation. “We have banned this organisation [IS] as a first step. I will like to inform [the House] that the group has been banned under the Unlawful Activities [Prevention] Act,” he said during Question Hour.
3) IRCTC is the most searched website in India this year: Lok Sabha elections this year, which saw extensive use of various digital platforms for political campaigns, has topped the list of trending topics this year in India, search engine giant Google said. According to Google India's annual 'Year in Search' (YIS), other top trends on the website included FIFA 2014, iPhone 6, GATE 2015 and Narendra Modi. Prime Minister Modi was also the most searched politician this year, coming ahead of Bollywood biggies like Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif. This is for the first time a politician has gained more search popularity than entertainment celebrities, Google said. In terms of top searches across categories, IRCTC topped the list, followed by Flipkart, SBI Online, Snapdeal and PNR Status.
4) HDFC Bank launched 'Bank Aap Ki Muththi Mein' initiative: HDFC Bank on 16 December 2014 launched 'Bank Aap Ki Muththi Mein,' an offering that literally turns a mobile phone into a bank branch. "A bank branch the size of your palm that is with you round-the-clock, wherever you are," HDFC Bank said. With over 75 transactions -- all a touch away -- it offers the customer the widest range of transactions conceivable, the bank said.
5) Govt launched National Health Portal to create awareness about health issues: The union ministry of health and family welfare has launched a National Health Portal (www.nhp.gov.in) to provide healthcare information to the citizens of the country. “This portal will serve as a single point of access for consolidated and authentic information and resources on the health sector to a wide spectrum of users such as academicians, citizens, students, healthcare professionals and researchers,” Union Health Minister J P Nadda said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on 16 December 2014.
6) 14th Finance Commission submitted its report to President: The 14th Finance Commission headed by former RBI Governor YV Reddy submitted its report to the President of India on 15 December 2014. The report was submitted by A N Jha, Secretary of the Finance Commission to Omita Paul, Secretary to the President of India.
7) INS Arihant, first made-in-India nuclear submarine began sea trials: In a major boost to indigenisation of defence manufacturing, India's first nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed submarine INS Arihant was on 16 December 2014 flagged off by the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar from Vizag for sea trials. India is the only nation in the Indian Ocean region to have a nuclear submarine and the sixth in the world to have the capability to design and construct a nuclear submarine.
8) Vivek Murthy is USA's new surgeon general: Thirty seven-year-old Indian-American physician Vivek Hallegere Murthy has been confirmed as the 19th Surgeon General of America by U.S. Senate. He is youngest person and first person of Indian-origin to hold the post. The upper house of US Congress confirmed Mr. Murthy’s nomination by 51 votes to 43 more than year after President Barack Obama had nominated him to this top administration post on public health issues in November 2013 which saw a strong opposition from the powerful pro-gun lobby National Rifle Association (NRA).
9) Vijay Diwas observed across the country: Vijay Diwas was observed across the country on 16 December 2014. On this day, nation remembers martyrs, who laid down their lives during Indo-Pak War of 1971.
10) Government launched Rashtriya Gokul Mission for indigenous cattle: To conserve and develop indigenous bovine breeds, government has launched 'Rashtriya Gokul Mission' under the National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development (NPBBD). Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh told Lok Sabha that the NPBBD was launched earlier this year with an integrated, holistic and scientific approach to improve and upgrade the genetic makeup of bovines.
11) RTGS business hours increased to 12 hours on weekdays: To promote electronic payments, the Reserve Bank on 16 December 2014 increased RTGS business hours to 12 hours from 8 am to 8 pm on weekdays, effective December 29. On Saturdays, the RTGS (real time gross settlement) system of online fund transfer will be open from 8 am to 3.30 pm, the RBI said in a circular. The existing business hours are 9 am to 4.30 pm on weekdays and till 2pm on Saturdays. The current minimum amount that can be transferred through this channel is Rs 2 lakh. The circular did not mention whether the this amount has been revised or not.