News18 Wrap brings you some of the biggest stories on News18.com today to help you stay updated at all times.
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Indian-German Ties: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is in India for a two-day visit, and PM Narendra Modi on Friday signed 17 agreements in the fields of agriculture, maritime technology, ayurveda and yoga among others, said the Ministry of External Affairs. Five joint declarations of intent were also exchanged between both countries. Mekel has set aside all of Saturday to meet the business community. She will also visit a German company based in Gurugram as well as the Dwarka sector 21 metro station, before leaving for Germany around midnight. Read more.
Poll Arena: The Election Commission (EC) on Friday announced that Assembly elections in Jharkhand will be held in five phases, beginning November 30, and the results will be announced on December 23. The announcement was made by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora at a press briefing here, adding that the Model Code of Conduct is now in force in the state. The five-year term of the state Assembly to set to expire on January 5, 2020. Read more.
No Relief: The Delhi High Court on Friday disposed of the plea of P Chidambaram, lodged in Tihar jail in the INX Media money laundering case, for interim bail on health grounds after an AIIMS medical board said the former finance minister need not be hospitalised. The court on Thursday had directed the AIIMS director to constitute a medical board to provide opinion on the health of Chidambaram, who is suffering from Crohn's disease. Read more.
Gasping for Breath: A Supreme Court-mandated panel on Friday declared a public health emergency in the Delhi-NCR region and banned construction activity till November 5 as the air quality dipped to “severe-plus” levels and left citizens gasping for breath. The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) also banned the bursting of crackers during the winter season. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced that all schools in the capital will remain closed till Tuesday. Read more.
Mumbai Tiff: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Friday served an ultimatum to Devendra Fadnavis over government formation in the state, which has taken a backseat following wrangling between the BJP and ally Shiv Sena over ’50-50’ power sharing. Speaking to CNN-News18, Pawar said the government should be formed before the Ayodhya verdict — hearings for which have concluded — as “everyone knows what happened in Mumbai last time over Ayodhya”. Read more.
President's Rule: Maharashtra may head for President's rule if the new government is not in place by November 7 in the state, Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar said on Friday. The minister's comments came as there appeared no headway in government formation even eight days after results of the October 21 Assembly elections. The BJP and Shiv Sena have been locked in a protracted battle in the state for over a week now. Read more.
Agree or disagree
Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, the worst-hit among the telcos, are making no bones about their displeasure with the Supreme Court interpretation of what constitutes adjusted gross revenue of the telecom companies. The Supreme Court vide its judgment of October 24 upset their applecart by ruling that apart from termination fee and roaming charges, all other revenue, including non-operational, was to be included in the AGR that forms the basis of revenue sharing with the government. Ironically, the industry, peeved with the one-time license fee regime that ruled the roost till 1999, is not satisfied with the strict implementation of the revenue sharing regime either. Read the piece by S Murlidharan, who argues that if the telcos are guilty of brushing the crushing, mounting liabilities under the carpet and keeping their shareholders in the dark, once again it is the auditors who have to be blamed more for abdicating their advisory and whistleblowing role.
Art of the Day
In a letter to the chief secretaries of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority chairperson Bhure Lal said the air quality in Delhi-NCR deteriorated further on Thursday night and is now at the “severe-plus” level.