1) India's communication satellite GSAT-16 launched successfully: After its launch was deferred twice due to bad weather, India's latest communication satellite GSAT-16 was placed in orbit by Ariane 5 rocket in the early hours on 7 December 2014 from the space port of Kourou in French Guiana. The European launcher blasted off at 2.10am (IST) and hurled the GSAT-16, designed to augment the national space capacity to boost communication services, into space in a flawless flight. GSAT-16 was launched into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). Isro's master control facility at Hassan in Karnataka has taken over the command and control of GSAT-16. GSAT-16, with a designated on orbit operational life of 12 years, will boost public and private tv and radio services, large-scale Internet and telephone operations. India's rockets PSLV and the present GSLV do not have the capability to launch satellites of more than two tonne class, prompting Isro to opt for an outside launch. Isro is developing the next big launcher, GSLV-MkIII, which can put satellites of up to 4 tonnes in orbit.
2) Dineshwar Sharma tipped to become next IB Chief: Special Director Dineshwar Sharma is tipped to be the next chief of Intelligence Bureau. The name of Sharma, a 1979-batch IPS officer of Kerala cadre, has been sent to the Prime Minister's office for final clearance, official sources said. Sharma, who hails from Bihar, will succeed Syed Asif Ibrahim whose tenure ends on December 31.
3) India defeated Pakistan to win Blind Cricket World Cup: India defeated defending champions Pakistan to win the 4th Cricket World Cup for the Blind played at Cape Town, South Africa. In reply to Pakistan's 389, India scored 392 with two balls to spare. South Africa won the inaugural edition of the Blind Cricket World Cup in 1998, but the game has been in decline since then due to a lack of support from most national cricketing authorities, a fact lamented by Indian captain Shekar Naik.
4) India sets new World Record for largest human flag: India on 7 December 2014 set a new world record for the largest human flag, formed by over 50,000 volunteers, beating the previous record held by Pakistan. The event saw about 1.5 lakh volunteers, mainly youth, turn up for the event at YMCA Grounds in Chennai even as 50,000 of them formed the tricolour, Governor of Rotary 3230, organiser of the 'My Flag My India' campaign, ISAK Nazar, told reporters in Chennai. The Guinness World Record for the largest human flag was previously held by the Sports Club of Lahore with 28,957 people forming the flag.
5) First World Soil Day observed: First World Soil Day was observed by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on 5 December 2014. On eve of the first World Soil Day, UNFAO along with Global Soil Parternership (GSP) declared the year of 2015 as UN International Year of Soils.
6) Hafeez suspended for illegal bowling action: In a massive blow to Pakistan cricket, all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez was on 7 December 2014 suspended by the ICC after his bowling action was found to be illegal in bio-mechanic tests. It is a major embarrassment for Pakistan cricket given that one of its most celebrated spinners Saeed Ajmal is also under suspension for a similar reason and working to modify his action.
7) Most CMs favour restructuring of Planning Commission: There was no consensus among Chief Ministers at a meeting specially convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the nature of the body that should replace the Planning Commission. At Sunday’s meeting, Congress Chief Ministers questioned the Government’s approval to scrap the Planning Commission, which was announced by the Prime Minister on August 15. Instead, they demanded that the Centre reinvent the plan panel rather than scrapping it and replacing it with a new body.
8) Philippine typhoon weakened after landfall: Typhoon Hagupit knocked out power in entire coastal provinces of Philippines, mowed down trees and sent more than 650,000 people into shelters, but no major damage or casualties have been reported as the storm weakened on Sunday.
9) Roger Federer shows his magic on India debut at IPTL: Thousands of lucky tennis fans experienced a lifetime moment on 7 December 2014 when they watched global icon Roger Federer play on Indian soil for the first time at the Delhi leg of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL). The Federer-represented Indian Aces defeated Singapore Slammers 26-16. It was a perfect India debut for Federer, who along with Sania Mirza blanked Bruno Soares and Daniela Hantuchova 6-0 before winning his men's singles against Tomas Berdych and men's doubles with Rohan Bopanna.