Morning Brief:  22 Killed In Bhubaneswar Hospital Blaze; India Completes Nuclear Triad; GST Council Meeting Indian sailors on the deck of a submarine during a fleet review in Mumbai. Photo credit: PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/GettyImages

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

22 Killed In Bhubaneswar Hospital Fire

At least 22 people were killed after a major fire broke out in the Institute of Medical Sciences and Sum Hospital in Bhubaneswar on Monday. Several others were injured. The 22 were declared dead at the privately-owned AMRI hospital and govt-owned Capital Hospital, where they were admitted after evacuation from SUM Hospital.

An electrical short-circuit is said to have caused the fire in the intensive care unit of the hospital's dialysis unit at around 7pm.

India Nuclear Triad Success

India has quietly completed its nuclear triad by inducting the indigenously-built strategic nuclear submarine INS Arihant into service. INS Arihant was formally commissioned by Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba in August.

With this, India has joined the select group of countries that have the capability of delivering nuclear weapons by aircraft, ballistic missiles and submarine. Although the land-based ballistic missiles and fighter-bombers were available, the missing sea leg was a big operational gap till now.

Yemen Ceasefire

A 72-hour ceasefire in Yemen is due to start on Wednesday night, the UN envoy for the country informed after he received commitments from all of the warring factions. UN Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said that the ceasefire can be renewed after the initial three-day period.

A government official said that a fresh round of peace talks sponsored by the United Nations will probably start after the three-day truce.

GST Council Meeting

The three-day session of the GST council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, is set to start today. Other than taking a decision on tax, the council will sort out issues like compensation formula for rollout of the new indirect tax regime from 1 April 2017.

Today's meeting will also deliberate on the vexed issue of the Centre retaining power to assess 11 lakh service tax filers under the new dispensation.

BIMSTEC Backs India

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), which participated in the BRICS summit with India as the common link, has supported New Delhi's stand on cross-border terrorism. In an apparent reference to Nawaz Sharif calling slain Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani a “martyr”, BIMSTEC said there should not be glorification of terrorists as martyrs.

Unlike the BRICS' Goa Declaration, the outcome document of BIMSTEC was much more powerfully worded. The organisation is largely being seen as one that can take the place occupied by SAARC.


Hunger Solutions From The Soil: Healthy, living soil is the most essential element in ensuring food security. Yet it is often ignored by policy planners.

Spooked Clerics Cry Vendetta: Protests have been growing from within the Muslim community, especially among women, to scrap the practices of triple talaq and polygamy. This demand is not a conspiracy by ‘outsiders’, as the AIMPLB and its supporters are now alleging.

Treasury Gains Will Not Solve Banks’ Problem: The government will do well to take advantage of the present situation and redraw the plan to aggressively recapitalise public sector banks.


How Debt Forced Ruias To Downsize; Other Conglomerates Also In Tailspin: Conglomerates in India got created during the crony capitalist years of the licence-permit-raj, but it was in the post-liberalisation period after 1991 that they became unwieldy and bloated.

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

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