1. The BJP on Wednesday celebrated the 89th birthday of Atal Bihari Vajpayee as National Development Day and urged President Pranab Mukherjee to confer the former prime minister with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award.
2. People across the globe celebrated Christmas–the birth of Jesus Christ, with gaiety and religious fervour. The Christians congregated at the churches and the chapels that were tastefully decorated and illuminated on the occasion.
3. Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal will take oath as Delhi Chief Minister on Saturday at Ramlila Maidan. Kejriwal will take oath alongwith 6 ministers. The Aam Aadmi party has finalised names of six MLAs to be inducted in the Kejriwal cabinet.
4. M. Veerappa Moily appointed as the new Environment and Forests Minister. Marpadi Veerappa Moily , the petroleum and natural gas Minister on 24 December 2013 took an additional charge of the Environment and Forests Ministry after the exit of Jayanthi Natarajan.
5. HDFC Bank has elevated its current Executive Director, Paresh Sukthankar to the position of Deputy Managing Director in order to make the possible successor of MD Aditya Puri. Sukthankar has been with the bank since its inception in 1994.
6. Vodafone launches ‘Safe Drive Campaign’. Aiming to reduce drunken driving during the festive season, Vodafone India, one of India’s leading telecommunication service providers, today launched a unique initiative — ‘Safe Drive Campaign’.
7. President Pranab Mukherjee is to inaugurate the ’86th Nikhil Bharat Banga Sahitya Sammelan’, an annual convention of Bengali literary personalities of India, in Allahabad today.
8. The government of India puts a way ahead to launched Cash subsidy on kerosene after the successful implementation of cash subsidy on LPG for BPL (below poverty line) families. The scheme would be known as DTCK (direct transfer of cash subsidy on PDS kerosene).
9. President Barack Obama has named two Indian-Americans among 102 scientists as recipients of a presidential award. It is the highest honour bestowed by the US on young science and engineering professionals.
10. Nepal and India have agreed in principle to allow circulation of Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 denomination Indian bank notes within Nepalese territory, ending a ban in place for over a decade. Indian bank notes above Rs.100 were banned in Nepal as per India’s request to curb unauthorised trade between the two neighbours.
11. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood was declared a “terrorist organisation” yesterday, hours after a car bomb targeted a police building that left at least 14 people dead and over 100 injured.
12. India has retained its second position in the latest ICC Test rankings while South Africa retained the No 1 position and England at 3rd Position in the latest ICC ranking released in Dubai. South Africa’s A.B.Devilliers is the top batsman followed by fellow countryman Hashim Amla. India’s Cheteshwar Pujara is at 7th while Virat Kohli is at the 11th position in the list.
13. South Africa fast bowler Vernon Philander declared on the No. 1 position in the latest ICC Test rankings in bowling and batting. India’s off spinner R Ashwin is at number seven while Pragyan Ojha is at number eight in the latest ranking.
14. South Africa’s legendary all-rounder Jacques Kallis will retire from Test cricket after the second Test against India starting at Kingsmead here Thursday. Kallis, 38, however, will be available for the shorter formats of the game.