PM Modi visits Vajpayee's residence on his 90th birthday

New Delhi, Dec 25 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday visited Atal Bihari Vajpayee's residence and greeted the former PM on his 90th birthday. Modi said there is no bigger tribute to Vajpayee than celebrating his birthday as "Good Governance Day". Modi visited Vajpayee along with BJP President Amit Shah and other union leaders. Vajpayee, along with late freedom fighter-educationist Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, was on Wednesday named for Bharat Ratna. Both of them share their birthday on Dec 25. Dec 25, 2014

Maoist attack kills one cop, injures four in Jharkhand

Chatra, Dec 25 (ANI): Maoists attacked a police team in Chatra district of Jharkhand state on December 24 night killing one cop and injuring four others. A policeman who witnessed the incident said it took place late evening in Itkhori region of the district. The injured were admitted to a hospital in Hazaribagh city. Meanwhile, police have cordoned off the area and begun combing operations. The rebels have operated for decades across a wide swath of central and eastern India, and grew in strength during recent times in areas where poor, tribal villagers came into conflict with mining companies seeking resources for industrialization. Dec 25, 2014

Nawaz Sharif sends bouquet to Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his birthday

New Delhi, Dec 25 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday sent a bouquet to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 90th birthday. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also visited Atal Bihari Vajpayee's residence and greeted the former PM on his birthday. Modi visited Vajpayee along with BJP President Amit Shah and other union leaders. Dec 25, 2014

Opposition parties pull up NDA for choosing ordinance route for coal, insurance reforms; Govt defend

New Delhi, Dec 25 (ANI): The Congress and the Communist Party of India (CPI) on Thursday criticized the BJP-led government at the Centre for bypassing the Parliament and choosing the ordinance route to bring reforms in the coal and insurance sectors. The BJP, however, defended itself. Congress leader Rashid Alvi condemned the government's step. CPI leader D Raja said that attempts to rule through ordinance is not good governance. However, BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh said that Modi government is committed for reforms and economic development. The Centre on Wednesday approved the promulgation of an ordinance to raise the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) cap in the insurance sector to 49 percent from 26 percent as the legislation could not be passed in the Parliament. Dec 25, 2014

WHO urges for disaster preparedness ahead of 10th Indian Ocean tsunami anniversary

New Delhi/Nagapattinam, Dec 25 (ANI): The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday called for strong response and preparedness ahead of 10th anniversary of Indian Ocean tsunami. More than 16,279 people in India were killed on the morning of December 26, 2004. A total of 730,000 people in India were displaced and 157,393 buildings and homes damaged or destroyed a decade ago when the enormous waves smashed into the coast. According to government records, India's worst affected district was Nagapattinam, where 6,065 people were killed; more than 200 children were orphaned, while nearly 900 were left with only one parent. Dec 25, 2014

Three Railway Protection Force personnel killed in brawl among themselves

Howrah, Dec 25 (ANI): Three Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel were killed after they clashed with each other in West Bengal. Other personnel on duty informed that they heard rounds of firing but were unaware of the reason behind the clash. RPF Inspector General (IG), Binod Kumar Daka, said the matter was under investigation. The three deceased personnel have been identified as Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) J Yadav, two head constables Bhagwat Chowdhury and DK Singh. The RPF is an Indian Central Armed Police Force charged with protecting railways. Dec 25, 2014

Northern India continues to shiver under extreme cold wave

Kanpur, Allahabad / Amritsar, Dec 25 (ANI): Northern India continued to shiver under intense cold wave as mercury dipped below normal on Thursday. The cold wave has added troubles to lives of daily wage labourers and vagabond as they have no alternative to fight the chill. One vagabond died due to extreme cold in Kanpur on Wednesday. Meanwhile, devotees took holy dip in River Ganges in Allahabad. Several trains and flights were delayed and rescheduled due to low visibility as thick blanket of fog enveloped several northern cities. A thick blanket of fog enveloped Amritsar, affecting air, rail and road traffic. The minimum temperature hovered around five degrees Celsius. Dec 25, 2014

Swachh Bharat campaign: Modi nominates more names in Varanasi

Varanasi, Dec 25 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday visited his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi as part of nation-wide Good Governance Day celebrations being held by his government. Modi extended his greetings to people of Kashi and nominated few more people for cleanliness drive. Modi nominated India Today Group Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Aroon Purie and India Today Group and several other personalities for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.The other nominees include the Nagaland Governor Padmanabha Acharya, Eenadu Group chief Ramoji Rao, former cricketer Sourav Ganguly, comedian Kapil Sharma, danseuse Sonal Mansingh, former IPS officer and activist Kiran Bedi, Indian Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and Mumbai's dabbawallas. Dec 25, 2014

JP Nadda inspects Safdarjung Hospital; participates in cleanliness drive

New Delhi, Dec 25 (ANI): Health Minister JP Nadda on Thursday along with BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi paid a surprise visit at Safdarjung Hospital and inspected the cleanliness maintained by the hospital staff. Nadda even wielded the broom in the outer premises of the hospitals. He said that in order to expedite PM Modi's Swachhata Abhiyan, he will inspect hospitals for cleanliness and also clean them himself. He added that he will be making such surprise visit to ensure cleanliness in the hospitals. Dec 25, 2014

Meenakshi Lekhi wields broom at Delhi Cantonment Railway Station

New Delhi, Dec 25 (ANI): BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi on Thursday along with Railway DRM Ashwani Sachan wielded broom at the Delhi Cantonment Railway Station. Meenakshi Lekhi said that there is extreme lack of civic sense among the public. She added that people should ensure that they don't litter the public places. Dec 25, 2014

Govt launches portal to enable e auction of 24 coal mines

New Delhi, Dec 25 (ANI): The government on Thursday launched a portal to enable the e-auction of 24 coal mines to commence. Paving the way for start of an auction process, the government on Wednesday had approved re-promulgation of the coal ordinance and necessary guidelines for mine allocations and said the coal-rich states stand to earn Rs 7 lakh crore over the next 30 years. Dec 25, 2014

PM Modi greets Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his birthday

New Delhi, Dec 25 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday greeted the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 90th birthday. Prime Minister Modi took to twitter for extending his greetings. "Warm birthday wishes to our one and only Atal ji," tweeted Prime Minister Modi. "There is no bigger tribute to Atal ji than celebrating his birthday as 'Good Governance Day' and pledging to devote ourselves to this cause," he added. "Development and good governance are the only ways ahead. Together, let us make a positive impact in people's lives and create a developed India," he said in a series of tweets. Atal Bihari Vajpayee served as the eleventh Prime Minister, first for 13 days in 1996 and then from 1998 to 2004. Dec 25, 2014

PM Modi pays tribute to Pt. Malaviya on his birth anniversary

New Delhi, Dec 25 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday paid tribute to Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya on his 153th birth anniversary. Prime Minister Modi took to twitter for extending his wishes. "Tributes to Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya on his birth anniversary. A man ahead of his time, he devoted himself to nationalism and education," tweeted Prime Minister Modi. Respectfully addressed as 'Mahamana', he was an educationist and politician notable for his role in the independence movement and his espousal of Hindu nationalism. Malaviya is most remembered as the founder of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) at Varanasi in 1916, the largest residential university in Asia and one of the largest in the world. He also served as the Vice Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University from 1919-1938. Malaviya had held the position of President of the Indian National Congress on four occasions, 1909, 1913, 1919 and 1932. He left congress in 1934. Yesterday, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and educationist Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya were conferred with the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna. Dec 25, 2014

Decorated churches, carol singing usher in warmth of Christmas across India

New Delhi/Chennai/ Bengaluru/Kolkata, Dec 25 (ANI): Christians across different cities of India soaked in festive spirit as they sang carols in decked up churches while attending special midnight mass prayers on the Christmas Eve. Marking the annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas is celebrated across the world on December 25. The midnight mass precedes the Christmas day and the church resounds with joyful singing of Christmas carols and thanksgiving. The people of Bengaluru in Karnataka also soaked themselves in the festive spirit as Christmas brings with it goodwill and festivity, which seemed to overwhelm people as they make merry. Dec 25, 2014

Neighbouring areas put on high alert after attack in Assam

Siliguri /Guwahati, Dec 25 (ANI): In the backdrop of the militant attack in Assam, security was tightened in neighbouring city of Siliguri in West Bengal. Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) of Alipurduar district, Akash Megharia, said extra personnel have been deployed at various check points as part of beefed up security. Meanwhile, Home Minister Rajnath Singh held a high level meeting with Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in Guwahati. Tribal Affairs Minister, Joel Oram and MoS for Home affairs Kiren Rijiju also attended the meeting. Dec 25, 2014