1) R K Srivastava appointed new chairman of AAI: R K Srivastava, a 1984-batch Jharkhand-cadre IAS officer, was on 19 December 2014 appointed as the Chairman of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for a five-year period. Civil Aviation Ministry issued an order to this effect. The selection board had interviewed 10 senior officials for the post of AAI chairman on September 25. The post of chairman was lying vacant after the superannuation of the then incumbent V P Agrawal.
2) Miss World swimsuit round cancelled after 63 years: The Miss World contest will no longer feature a swimsuit round, Julia Morley, chairwoman of the organisers, has said. Miss World was founded in 1951 by her late husband, Eric, and since then, the swimwear round had been a regular feature. But recently, she has come to feel that the round is unnecessary. Hence, the pageant has not been broadcasting it for some years. Rolene Strauss of South Africa was crowned the 64th Miss World in London on December 14 and the pageant was the last to include the swimwear round.
3) Ashley Westwood to take over as Indian football coach in June: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is heavily backing Ashley Westwood to take over as India's youngest football coach. The 38-year-old English coach who guided Bengaluru FC to an amazing I-League triumph on debut, and that too with a team of rejects, has won the vote of confidence from the AIFF and his appointment only needs to be stamped by the technical committee which meets in Mumbai on Sunday.
4) Vistara opened bookings: Vistara, the airline joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, has announced the launch of its operation in India from January 9 onwards. With Delhi as its hub, Vistara will initially offer flights to Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The fares are substantially higher than those of its full-service carrier rivals, Jet Airways and government-owned Air India (AI). It, however, will be the first in India to offer premium economy seating and a value-based frequent flyer programme, where bonus points would be given not on miles flown but on what you pay.
5) Pakistan beats India in race to become CERN associate member: Pakistan on 19 December 2014 beat India in the race to become an associate member of Cern (European Organization for Nuclear Research), the world's largest particle physics laboratory that recently found some evidence of "God particle". Being an associate member will allow Pakistan to participate in the governance of Cern, through attending the meetings of the Cern council. Moreover, it will allow Pakistani scientists to become members of the Cern staff, and to participate in CERN's training and career-development programmes.
6) DRDO successfully tested an indigenous 1000 kg glide bomb: India on 19 December 2014 tested an indigenously developed 1,000-kg glide bomb, with a top official saying the country can now launch heavy bombs for delivery up to 100 km away with high precision. The bomb designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was dropped by an Indian Air force aircraft in the Bay of Bengal off Odisha, an official statement said.
7) Refugiado won best film award in 19th IFFK: Argentinean film Refugiado directed by Diego Lerman, a drama on a mother and her young son fleeing from domestic violence, won the Suvarna Chakoram for the Best Feature Film at the 19th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK). Japanese director Hiroshi Toda won the Rajatha Chakoram for the Best Director for the film Summer, Kyoto and Iranian director Hossein Shahabi won the Rajatha Chakoram for the best debut film for The Bright Day. Kerala Governor P. Sathasivam presented the awards at the closing ceremony of the festival held at the Nishagandhi Auditorium on 19 December 2014.
8) Government approved 8.75% interest rate on provident fund deposits for 2014-15: Over five crore subscribers of the EPFO will get 8.75 per cent interest this fiscal on their provident fund deposits - the same rate as the previous year. "Finance ministry has ratified the decision of the EPFO's central board of trustees (CBT) to retain 8.75 per cent rate of interest for the current fiscal," said a source. The rate was same in the previous year, 2013-14, when it was raised from 8.5 per cent in the 2012-13 fiscal.
9) Haryanvi twins hit record by conquering Seven Summits: Two mountaineer sisters from Haryana achieved a unique world record on Tuesday. Nungshi and Tashi Singh Mallik became the first twins to climb Mt Vinson, the highest peak of Antarctica. In doing so, they created history by becoming the first siblings—and twins—to scale the tallest mountain peaks in all seven continents. They have also entered the hall of fame for mountaineers, the Seven Summit Club.