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Major News and Events of 24 December 2014

What Happened on 24 December 2014


Bharat Ratna to be Conferred to Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya

Highest civilian honour of India, Bharat Ratna, will be awarded to ex-Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee as well as renowned educationist Late Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (Posthumously). The announcement was done, through Rashtrapati Bhavan communique, a day before Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday on December 25. India PM Narendra Modi is expected to meet the would be nonagenarian Vajpayee at his residence before visiting his constituency, Varanasi, tomorrow.

Jharkhand all set to get its First Ever Non-Tribal CM

With some of the tribal leaders from the BJP-AJSU alliance including Arjun Munda, Sudesh Mahato, and JB Tubid losing this Assembly election, BJP is all set to choose a non-tribal leader as the next Chief Minister of Jharkhand. Sources reveal that Raghuvar Das, vice-president of Jharkhand BJP, is the front runner for the coveted CM’s chair. Raghuvar Das won from Jhamshedpur (East) constituency by defeating his nearest contender INC’s Anand Bihari Dubey by a margin of 70,157 votes.

Political Temperature Rises in J&K as Political Parties start Negotiations to form Next Government

With PDP emerging as the single largest party (28 seats) and BJP breathing over its neck with 25 seats in its kitty, political atmosphere has heated up in J&K. While PDP has hinted at formation of the next government within days, NC chief Omar Abdullah said his party (15 seats) may support PDP if receives a request from the latter. Though many are predicting a PDP-BJP alliance, it seems improbable due to huge differences in terms of their policies. CPIM has asked ‘secular’ parties to form the next government. BJP can easily rope in People Conference (2 seats) and 1 rebel MLA, but garnering 16 more seats seems improbable.

Ordinance on Insurance and Coal Sector Reforms gets a Go Ahead from Cabinet

After prolonged paralysis of the Winter Session, Cabinet approved ordinances for reforms in coal block allocation as well as raising FDI in insurance sector. This decision comes after the minority-government in Rajya Sabha was unable to table the concerned bills. Introduction of Insurance Laws Amendment Bill, 2008 will increase FDI and FPI limit in insurance sector to 49 per cent from 26 per cent. Coal Bill will help government auction the coal mines, cancelled by apex court sometimes back.

Bidding of UMPPs may be Scrapped due to lack of Bidders

Government may scrap bidding for Ultra Mega Power Project at Tamil Nadu’s Cheyyur because there is only one bidder for the project – government run NTPC. Analysts believe the same fate seems to be awaiting for another UMPP project in Odisha because of the same reason, lack of bidders. In case of Odisha project, there are only two bidders – NHPC and NTPC. A committee headed by Ex-CAG V K Shunglu is expected to send recommendation to power ministry on bid-evaluation. However, final call will be taken by the ministry.

Phillips all set to Explore Healthcare Business in India

Phillips India is gearing up to enter the expanding healthcare space in India, which is estimated to be $65 billion currently, among which the segment for health care equipment and hospital supplies is estimated to be around $4.5 to $5 million only. Per available reports, Phillips expects to garner 15 per cent of the total healthcare revenues in the coming 4 years from India alone. Some of the services it has planned to explore include advisory on hospital infrastructure, health care transformation, ICU remote monitoring, and manufacturing of health care equipment.

Railway Officials Vouch for Digitisation of Public Document for Efficient Work Process

Use of technological platforms have been vouched for by the Indian Railways officials for making the daily process smooth as well as effective. According to them dealing with loads of paper documents is difficult and accessing the older ones are strenuous. South Eastern Railways’ chief operations manager Suchito Das stressed on digitisation of public documents for more efficient access and use. He made this statement while participating in SoftAge’s Global Document Management Conclave in Goa.

BCCI maintains its Opposition to Decision Review System

BCCI seems to be steadfast on its earlier stand on Decision Review System even after turbanator Harbhajan Singh and some former Indian cricketers supported the concerned system publicly two days back. Sanjay Patel, Secretary of BCCI, said that Decision Review System in the existing form is unacceptable to them. BCCI is reportedly opposing two aspects. The first is regarding ball tracking technology and second is the manner in which the cricketers are required to take the call.

Yusuf Pathan Slaps a Foul Mouthed Spectator

Indian pacer Yusuf Pathan reportedly slapped a spectator during a Ranji Trophy Cricket match between J&K and Baroda. It is learnt that Yusuf lost his cool when a young spectator reportedly shouted ‘indecent comments’ at the Baroda all rounder, when he was batting. Baroda Cricket Association’s Secretary Snehal Parikh said that after getting out, Pathan called the foul mouthed spectator in the dressing room and slapped him.

Bodo Militants Strike in Assam, Death Toll rises to 50

Bodo militants struck in 5 locations in Assam’s Sonitpur district of Kokrajha. 50 lives are lost till now, ground reports reveal. Investigation of the massacre is going on currently. The administration told the press that the terror attack was carried out by militants belonging to National Democratic Front of Bodoland. For preventing further attacks, paramilitary forces have been deployed. Curfew has been announced in the entire Sonitpur district. Assam’s Chief Minister has asked security personnel to take action against the killers.

Indian Government Slashes Health Budget

Indian government has slashed budget allocation in healthcare to reign in burgeoning fiscal deficit. Official report from health ministry point out that budgetary allocation has been decreased by over Rs 60 billion from the total healthcare budget allocation of $5 billion in the ongoing fiscal, which will end on March 31. There has been furore in the political as well as social circles regarding this because India spends a megre amount (around 1 per cent of GDP) in healthcare, giving it a low rank in the list of countries making significant public expenditure in general healthcare.

Home Minister gives go ahead to set up Expert Committee for Tackling Cyber Crimes Successfully

Home Minister has given go ahead to set up expert committee to tackle cyber crimes in an efficient manner. This committee will have a group of experts – professionals as well as educationists - having repute in the concerned field.  The concerned panel will provide appropriate recommendations on different aspects of cyber crime, and at the same time give an effective road map for tackling cyber crimes.