Morning Brief: 120 Die In Train Accident; Demonetisation Hurting Corrupt Politicians; Modi Launches Housing Scheme
Morning Brief: 120 Die In Train Accident; Demonetisation Hurting Corrupt Politicians; Modi Launches Housing Scheme Indian rescue workers search for survivors in the wreckage of Patna-Indore express train that derailed in the early hours of Sunday. Photo credit: SANJAY KANOJIA/AFP/GettyImages

Good Morning, Swarajya Readers! Here's What You Need To Know Today.

120 Killed As Indore-Patna Express Derails: As many as 120 people were killed and more than 200 injured when 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express train derailed in Kanpur Dehat district of Uttar Pradesh early Sunday — one of India’s worst train accidents in six years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the loss of lives in the accident.

Modi Says Corrupt Politicians Upset By Demonetisation: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday assured Indians that he would deliver on his 50-day promise on demonetisation, saying their efforts will not be in vain. Political leaders behind multi-crore chit fund scams were attacking him as they have been hit hard by demonetisation, he said added his government's demonetisation drive will push banks to cut lending rates significantly, triggering a revival in economic activity in the country.

Ambitious Housing Scheme Launched: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched his flagship housing scheme ‘Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojna’ in Agra, aiming to provide house to every Indian by the year 2022. The ambitious scheme aims to provide affordable houses to all those living below the poverty line. He said the demonetisation decision will favour the country’s poor and middle class.

Parrikar Says Indian Army Is Eager To Teach The Enemy A Lesson: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Sunday that the Indian Army is eager to teach a lesson to the enemy of the country and it is just waiting for permission from the government. “We want to tell our enemy that if they stare at us, we can stare with bigger eyes,” Parrikar said.

New Currency Transported To Banks In Record Time: The government has managed to cut down the transportation time of cash from printing to the main distribution centres from 21 days to six and is using all modes of transport, including helicopters and Indian Air Force planes, to move the cash quickly.

Rahul Gandhi Under Fire: BJP launched a scathing attack on the Congress and its vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday saying he could not see the developments under the Narendra Modi government because “he is wearing Italian glasses”. Party president Amit Shah also hit out at the Congress for following dynastic policies.

Pakistan Captures 43 Indian Fishermen: At least 43 Indian fishermen were on Sunday captured by Pakistan for allegedly entering its territorial waters. Meanwhile, Sri Lankan Navy detained 11 Indian fishermen along with their trawlers. They were from Tamil Nadu, and were arrested yesterday while fishing near Sri Lanka’s Neduntheevu island.

Four Jawans Hurt In Pakistani Firing: Four army jawans were injured as Pakistani army resorted to heavy cross-border firing in Rajouri sector of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday night, the third ceasefire violation since Saturday. The Indian Army was giving a befitting response to the Pakistani fire.

GST Talks Remain Inconclusive: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called in informal meeting with states on Sunday to find a political solution for the pending issue of dual control under the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST). But it remained inconclusive. States such as Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu have asked for exclusive control over small taxpayers below Rs 1.5 crore threshold.

Islamic Banking On Way? India may soon introduce Islamic banking. The Reserve Bank of India has proposed opening of ‘Islamic window’ in conventional banks for ‘gradual’ introduction of Sharia-compliant or interest-free banking in the country.


Demonetisation And The battle For The Minds And Hearts Of India: While the economists can slug it out on the impact on the Indian economy, it has undeniably left a feel-good moment with most Indians — precisely because, in popular perception, the corrupt and the elite are at the receiving end.

Demonetisation: The Money Trouble: There have also been rumours about a possible rationalisation of income tax rates and a banking transaction tax to replace income tax. With Modi in charge, anything is possible.

Bad Loans: Is The Worst Over For Indian Banks? Indian banks are not yet out of the woods, but the trend seems to be encouraging. The flood of low-cost deposits following demonetisation will help them bring down their loan rates and encourage them to lend. That will help both consumers as well as the banks.

Can The Disrupter-In-Chief Be Managed? Donald Trump has the ability “to entertain two completely contradictory thoughts at once”. Even if Trump were able to make up his mind and offer cogent and coherent policies, there are likely to be several constraints on implementing them.


Demonetisation: Technology Is The Way Forward, But The Architecture Needs To Be Improved: While it’s a significant change for many, payments don’t have to be made through cash. Technology can help facilitate everyday payments. All that we need now is the political will to come up with a unified technology solution that works for everybody.

The Prevalence Of Indic Ideas In The Graeco-Roman World: This article reviews some elements of Indian astronomy in Greece; also, a study of art has provided evidence of the Indic element in the Graeco-Roman world.

The Good Schadenfreude: For the citizen to retain his faith in the system, measures such as demonetisation go far as they provide him with a strong dose of The Good Schadenfreude.

Explained: Independent Directors On Company Boards And Their Role In The Organisation: Here’s all you need to know about who independent directors are and what they do in the organisation.

We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!

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