Odd-even scheme begins from today as Delhi chokes on toxic air, all schools to remain shut till Tuesday
Delhi was enveloped in heavy, toxic smog on Sunday as pollution levels peaked to a three-year high. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the national capital's 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) stood at 494 at 4 pm on Sunday, the highest since November 6, 2016 when it was 497. In the NCR, Faridabad with AQI 493, Noida (494), Ghaziabad (499) and Greater Noida (488), Gurugram (479), also breathed extremely polluted air.
Odd-even scheme: Meanwhile, in Delhi, the odd-even car rationing scheme will come into effect from today. Only vehicles with even-numbered plates ending with 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 will be allowed on November 4, 6, 8, 12 and 14. Vehicles with number plates ending with 1,3, 5, 7, 9 will be allowed on the road on November 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 and 15.
At last: The principal secretary to the prime minister and the cabinet secretary held a high-level meeting on Sunday evening to discuss the alarming situation. Besides Delhi officials, the meeting was attended by representatives of Punjab and Haryana governments via video-conference.
Playing with fire: The Board of Control for Cricket in India's decision to go ahead with the first India-Bangladesh T20 match at the Firoz Shah Kotla Grounds on a day Delhi saw its worst air quality in almost three years, drew the ire of several cricketing fans.
Priyanka Gandhi was also spied on with Israeli software, WhatsApp informed of hack, claims Congress
The phone of senior Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi was also hacked through WhatsApp with the use of the Israeli spyware Pegasus, party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged on Sunday. He said that Gandhi had received a message from the Facebook-owned messaging platform informing her that her phone could also have been targeted with the snooping software at the same time that other users in India were notified, but did not say exactly when Gandhi received the message. According to sources, she did not think much of the message and deleted it.
In Other News
Maharashtra impasse: Amid deadlock in Maharashtra government formation, Devendra Fadnavis and Sharad Pawar will head to Delhi today for respective meetings with union home minister Amit Shah, and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. Although the meeting between Fadnavis and Shah was called to discuss the drought relief measures for farmers, the two leaders are mainly going to discuss the stalemate in Maharashtra.
In no hurry: Worried about a potential flood of Chinese imports, India has put forward new demands that will likely force a delay in the signing of the world's largest trade pact to 2020. The 16-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) spans from India to New Zealand and includes 30 percent of global GDP and half of the world's people.
In defense: Defending the controversial National Register of Citizens (NRC) that was implemented in his home state of Assam, CJI Ranjan Gogoi said that the exercise will give a “base document for the future” and a solution “within framework”.
Violent turn: A bloody knife fight in Hong Kong left six people wounded, including a local pro-democracy politician who had his ear bitten off, capping another chaotic day of political unrest in the city. Flashmob rallies erupted inside multiple shopping centers across the city over Sunday afternoon, sparking frequent clashes with riot police.
On Our Specials
Fight for survival: Two more persons, including an infant, died allegedly of starvation at a relief camp for Bru refugees in Tripura on Sunday morning as the road blockade in areas bordering Mizoram continued for the fourth consecutive day to protest the suspension of essential supplies by the government. Karishma Hasnat reports that Bru leaders are unlikely to call off the blockade till the immediate resumption of ration and cash-dole.
Second coming: Former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan has been in the news again with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attacking him over the poor health of India’s economy and the condition of the banking sector. Kalyani Shankar writes that there are many who wonder whether Rajan could be the next Manmohan Singh of the grand old Party if the Congress needed such a credible face as the party has lost the economic narrative.
Curated and compiled by Chitwan Kaur