1 December 2014:
- World Aids Day - December 1, 2014.
- The 2014 theme for World AIDS Day is “Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation.”
- Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka account for 3.6 lakh HIV cases, about 50% of the patients in the country.
- Hundreds of floodlights along the border fencing and posts manned by BSF at the India-Pakistan border will soon get lighted with solar energy. Union home ministry as pilot project has approved to set up solar power house of five mega watt capacity at Tala area at Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.
- In a legal opinion to the Law Ministry, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi has recommended the repeal of an 18-year-old law on arbitration procedures in tune with the government’s larger push to provide a business-friendly environment for foreign investors.
- The country’s top law officer, whose opinion was sought by the Ministry on the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996, advised replacement of the present law with a new one stressing timely settlement of business disputes and fixing greater onus on arbitrators against delay.
- Toeing the UPA line, the NDA government has refused to make the files on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose public, saying the revelations would “prejudicially affect” relations with foreign countries. The Prime Minister’s Office has shared only a list of 41 such files.
- The PMO has shared a list of files created from 1953 to 2000, the last two “Top Secret” files being on Justice Mukherjee Commission of Inquiry report.
- The other two top secret papers are on correspondences with and about Netaji’s widow and daughter (last amended in 1971) and the transfer of his ashes to India (created in 1998).
2 December 2014:
- The launch of Agni-IV, India's strategic missile, from the Wheeler Island, off the Odisha coast was a success. This was the fourth success in a row for the Agni-IV missile, which has a range of more than 4,000 km.
- A high-powered committee comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Chief Justice of India H L Dattu will meet to select the new CBI director. This is the first time that the PM-led panel will be selecting the CBI director.
- The composition of the selection panel, which was earlier headed by the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), was revised when Lokpal & Lokayuktas Act was passed earlier this year, amending provisions the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act.
- A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi confirmed that his government will go ahead with the land boundary agreement with Bangladesh; the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs tabled its report, recommending a Constitution amendment Bill to enable the swapping of enclaves and end a 67-year-old dispute between the two countries.
- The swap will involve handing over 17,000 acres of land to Bangladesh in return for 7,000 acres in 111 enclaves in West Bengal, Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya, and was first decided under the 1974 Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) between India and Bangladesh, but never ratified by Parliament.
- The Supreme Court ruled that any person who has faced a criminal case cannot get a job in the police force, even if he or she is acquitted or reaches a settlement under the law.
- Victims of crimes and their families can look forward to a helping hand from the government to put the agonising memories behind them and be able to start life afresh. The Supreme Court has directed all states and Union Territories to implement without delay the scheme meant to compensate injured victims and families of those killed in crimes.
- The governments are obligated to disburse compensation under Section 357A of the Code of Criminal Procedure whereby a court can issue such orders to help victims of crime rehabilitate.
3 December 2014:
- India has marginally improved its ranking on the global Corruption Perception Index this year, on the back of prosecutions of high-level officials and hope that the new leadership will reduce corruption, according to Transparency International.
- India now ranks 85 among 178 countries, with countries like Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burkina Faso for company.
- Denmark ranks first, as it did in 2013, while Somalia and North Korea share the bottom spot.
- India is ranked better than all its South Asian neighbours except Bhutan.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Appointments Committee of Cabinet approved the appointment of Anil Sinha as the new Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief.
- The Union Cabinet cleared four bills that are likely to be introduced in Parliament during the current session, including a comprehensive legislation against high jacking, which provides for death in extreme cases, and amendments to the Companies Act to make life simpler for the corporate sector.
- In addition, bill to replace the ordinance for auction of coal mines following a Supreme Court order cancelling blocks and amendments to the Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) Act were approved by cabinet.
- The Punjab and Haryana high court has told the Punjab government that it cannot put the language criterion above all while selecting a good nurse.
- The maiden user trial of long range strategic missile Agni-IV was conducted successfully by the Army’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) for a shortened range of 3,000 km as against its full range of 4,000 km from the Wheeler Island, off the Odisha coast.
- Surfing the internet is set to become faster and easier at the New Delhi railway station from Dec 4, 2014.
4 December 2014:
- Inter-faith prayer meetings and protest rallies marked the observance of the 30th anniversary of the Bhopal gas disaster that killed thousands.
- India has marginally improved its ranking on the global Corruption Perception Index this year, on the back of prosecutions of high-level officials and hope that the new leadership will reduce corruption, Transparency International said. With a score of 36, India now ranks 85 among 175 countries. Denmark ranks first, as it did in 2013, while Somalia and North Korea share the bottom spot.
- The Supreme Court set up a special Bench, called the Social Justice Bench, comprising two judges devoted to the delivery of speedy justice in a range of social issues related to the downtrodden and socially marginalised groups. Social Justice Bench will be headed by Justice Madan B. Lokur. It is the brainchild of Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu.
- Anil Kumar Sinha took charge as Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation.
- The Times Higher Education BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings 2015 covering 18 countries showed that India now has four universities in the top 40 – IISc, IIT Bombay, IIT Roorkee and Panjab University, Chandigarh – and seven more in the top 100. China tops the list with 27 universities in the top 100. The Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore) is India’s top ranked university but stands at 25th in a ranking of universities from BRICS and other emerging economies.
- Moti Darwaza door caves in. The once impregnable Golconda Fort suffered damage when one side of its huge door fell due to ‘rust and decay’.
5 December 2014:
- Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has scrapped the supply of subsidised kerosene through the Public Distribution System (PDS). The Centre plans to write to States asking them to provide subsidised kerosene only to un-electrified households.
- The legendary jurist V.R. Krishna Iyer, who took up the cause of the poor and the underprivileged in his capacities as a Minister in Kerala, a Supreme Court judge, and post-retirement, a human rights activist, is no more. He was 99.
- In its ‘Freedom on the Net 2014’ report of Freedom House, an independent US-based watchdog group, ranked the countries on 21 categories under three broad heads – obstacles to access, limits on content and violations of individuals’ rights. The improvement in India’s score, from 47 out of 100 in 2012-13 to 42 out of 100 in 2013-14, is the largest by any country.
6 December 2014:
- Government has approved dedicated air support for ITBP to help the force take on superior infrastructure capabilities of China on the Sino-Indian border.
- Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth has been given a further six-month extension in service.
- Frontline magazine of The Hindu Group has been selected as the ‘Most Promising Brand of the Year’ in the Media & Entertainment (English Magazines, India) category by the World Brands Review Corporation, a Noida-based branding organisation.
The award will be presented at the World Brands Summit 2014 to be held in Dubai.
- India refused to take a deadline for capping its carbon emissions unlike China, saying the ongoing climate meet in Lima was not to discuss peaking year and hoped the world would reach a deal to cut down carbon emissions. Nations are discussing steps for a new deal in Paris to replace the Kyoto Protocol on global warming.
- The Finance Ministry was planning to take forward the previous government’s policy of phasing out subsidised kerosene by withdrawing it from the public distribution system. The government may write to the States to provide subsidised kerosene only to households without electricity.
7 December 2014:
- Observing that Muslim girls who attain puberty or complete 15 years of age are eligible for marriage under the Muslim law, the Gujarat High Court has upheld the marriage of a minor girl from the community.
- The Second National Lok Adalat held across the country on 6th December amicably settled about 1.25 crore pending and pre-litigation cases and brought financial relief of over Rs. 3,000 crore to ordinary litigants in a single day.
- National Legal Service Authority (NALSA)
- In 2011, the Planning Commission selected the G.B. Pant Institute of Studies in Rural Development, for a study on child marriage in India.
- The 2005-06 National Family Health Survey had shown that 46 per cent of young women were married before the legal age of 18, and the Planning Commission sought to understand why this was occurring. The institute recently submitted its report to the govt.
- A majority of parents who get their children married before the legal age do not even seek their consent, and among those who do, the child not consenting does not stop the marriage, new data has shown.
- The decline in vulture populations in West Bengal and Assam has been arrested thanks to the efforts of the Vulture Conservation and Breeding Centre (VCBC) set up in these States.
- The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) had set up these centres in 2005 and 2007 respectively when use of the painkiller, diclofenac, in cattle turned fatal for the scavenging birds resulting in an alarming decline in vulture population.
8 December 2014:
- Acclaimed Carnatic vocalist Nedunuri Krishnamurthy passed away. He was 87.
- The format for declaration of assets and liabilities by government employees under the Lokpal rules may be simplified, following concerns raised by several departments.
- The rules notified under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act say all public servants should declare their assets and liabilities, along with those of their spouses and dependent children. However, several Ministries and departments and other stakeholders have raised concerns about the complexity involved in furnishing the desired details in the form prescribed under the rules.
- A law degree obtained by a homoeopathic doctor after obtaining licentiate course in homoeopathy will not entitle him/her to practise as an advocate, the Supreme Court has held.
- One can pursue law, but for obtaining licence to practise, he or she must fulfil all the conditions prescribed by the Bar Council.
- The government formally moved to bury the Planning Commission before January 26 with strong support from regional parties.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who discussed the role of the Planning Commission with chief ministers, had announced the government's intent to replace the plan panel with a new entity in his Independence Day address.
- He made it clear that there was a need to replace the top down approach in planning with a "bottom to top" approach with states given a key role. He argued for cooperative federalism and strengthening "Team India".
9 December 2014:
- In the aftermath of the scrapping of the Planning Commission, the Modi government is mulling whether the role of allocating plan funds across States can be given to the Finance Commission.
- It would like the new body that will replace the Plan panel to be a ‘think-tank in the era of liberalisation’ that could possibly be merged with the National Development Council (NDC).
- The NDC is the highest development policy planning body, comprising the Prime Minister, Union Cabinet Ministers, State Chief Ministers and State Finance Ministers.
- The Lok Sabha cleared The Repealing and Amending (Second) Bill, 2014, to remove 90 redundant Amendment Acts from the statute book despite a demand from the Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) to refer the draft legislation to a Parliamentary Standing Committee.
- The Supreme Court said false complaints under Section 498A of Indian Penal Code against innocent in-laws alleging cruelty and harassment at matrimonial homes were increasingly making the husbands adamant not to take back their wives.
- The Rajya Sabha Select Committee finalised its draft report on the Insurance Bill. The Bill seeks to raise foreign direct investment in insurance joint ventures from 26 to 49 per cent.
- Vice President Hamid Ansari conferred on former Supreme Court judge and a member of the International Court of Justice, Dalveer Bhandari, the first Justice Nagendra Singh International Peace Award.
- The award was instituted by the International Goodwill Society of India (IGSI), a non-political, cultural and academic organization, which claims its objective is to float a global movement and awakening for a total nuclear ban and revival of ancient Indian cultural heritage.
- Bhandari cited a few judgements he had sat upon at the ICJ, to which he was elected member in 2012. These include a pending 200 year-old boundary dispute, a temple dispute between Thailand and Cambodia, a maritime dispute between Peru and Chile and a recent settlement between Australia and Japan on the issue of whaling.
- Such is the role of the ICJ in building and maintaining peace and justice in the world. The threat to peace is so imminent that UN agencies alone cannot ensure peace and security.
10 December 2014:
- BJP government has earmarked Rs 5,000 crore for the north-eastern region and Rs. 3,500 crore for the Left Wing extremism-affected states to improve the communication network.
- Giving relief to the steel industry, the WTO has ruled against the US which had imposed high duty on imports of certain steel products from India. The Appellate Body of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has ruled that the duty imposed by the US on the Indian steel products is "inconsistent".