1) Atal Bihari Vajpayee & Madan Mohan Malviya to get Bharat Ratna award: Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and educationist Madan Mohan Malviya were on 24 December 2014 chosen for the country's highest civilian award Bharat Ratna. "The President has been pleased to award Bharat Ratna to Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya (posthumously) and to Atal Bihari Vajpayee," a press communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan said.
2) Govt to use ordinances to push coal auction, insurance reform: Government on 24 December 2014 got moving and recommended the promulgation of ordinances for auction of coal blocks and increasing the foreign investment ceiling for insurance from 26% to 49%, seeking to get around the determined resistance to its reforms agenda from the opposition which stalled the functioning of Rajya Sabha and passage of key bills during the winter session. “An Ordinance under Article 123 is issued when issues of extreme urgency arise and cannot await a forthcoming Parliament session. The matter must be of such urgency between the date of issuance of the ordinance and Parliament session that it is difficult to wait for that period".
3) Assam violence toll mounts to 75: Assam remained on the edge on 24 December 2014 as the death toll in attacks by the Songbijit faction of National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) reached 76. Heavily armed militants suspected to be associated with the Songbijit faction of NDFB went on a killing spree and killed the ‘adivasis’ mainly in Sonitpur and Kokrajhar districts as well as Chiang district and killed many people.
4) PM Modi to Inaugurate Indian Science Congress at Mumbai on January 3: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 102nd Indian Science Congress here on January 3. Preparations are in full swing at the University of Mumbai’s Kalina Campus to host the event from January 3 to January 7, 2015. Around 12,000 delegates, including seven Nobel laureates and four Nobel-equivalent prize winning scientists, are expected to attend the congress.
5) Bharti Airtel to charge customers for using VoIP services: Bharti Airtel customers will now have to pay extra if they are making calls on Skype, Viber or other apps using their mobile data packs as the operator has decided to charge standard data rates for making voice calls over Internet (VoIP). The VoIP data will be charged separately and would not be part of the existing data packs. This is the first time in the country that any mobile operator is charging separately for VoIP data.
6) S Bhattacharya appointed Chairman and Managing Director of Coal India Ltd: Senior IAS officer S Bhattacharya has been appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director of Coal India Ltd(CIL). The coal major was without a full time chief for the past six months. "The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet had a couple of days back cleared Bhattacharya for the top job," an official said adding that "the order for his appointment has been made." Bhattacharya takes over the charge from Additional Secretary (Coal) A K Dubey who was given the additional charge as CMD of CIL from June 26.
7) ISRO chairman Radhakrishnan in Nature journal's top ten list: Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is one of the 2014 top ten scientists chosen by the prestigious journal Nature. This is the first time in the recent past that the journal has chosen an Indian working in India. He is listed along with other people like Andrea Accomazzo, the Rosetta flight operations director, European Space Agency. He was listed for the success of Mangalyaan mission when India became the first and only nation to land sucessfull in Mars during maiden attempt.
8) Theme song of National Games 2015 released: The theme song of the 35th National Games, composed by famous singer and composer Hariharan, was formally released by Kerala Chief MinisterOommen Chandy, at a function held at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The promotional video starring the Games' Goodwill Ambassador and Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar was released by Sports Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan. Song was penned by Javed Akthar and composed by Hariharan. The song has been sung by K.J. Yesudas, Salim Merchant, Shreya Ghoshal, Benny Dayal, Shweta Mohan and Akshay Hariharan, besides the composer. Kerala is hosting the games to be held from January 31 to February 14.
9) National Consumers Right Day observed: 29th National Consumers Right Day was observed across India on 24 December 2014. The day provides an opportunity to highlight the importance of the consumer movement and the need to make every consumer more aware of their rights and responsibilities.
10) Food Ministry to have all official work on e-files in 3 months: In observance of ‘Good Governance Day’ on December 25, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs & Food has decided to have all official work on e-files within three months. Initiative in this regard has been taken and within next three months all proposals will be put up and approvals will be taken on e- files only, said an official release.
11) Government allowed 100 per cent FDI in medical devices sector: The government has allowed 100% foreign investment in the medical devices sector under the automatic route to encourage domestic manufacturing and also potentially opened the existing Indian companies in the sector to foreign acquisition.