News18 Daybreak | Govt Orders Telcos to Clear Dues by Friday Midnight and Other Stories You Need to Watch Out For

Today's Top Stories

Rapped by SC, Govt Orders Telcos to Clear Dues by 11:59pm; Airtel Offers to Pay Rs 10,000 Crore by Feb 20

Hours after getting an earful from the Supreme Court for putting on hold recovery of dues from telecom companies, the government ordered firms such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to clear their adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues by 11:59pm on Friday. While in all, 15 entities owe the government Rs 1.47 lakh crore, it is not immediately clear just how much of that has been sought by the government by midnight. After the DoT order, Airtel has offered to pay Rs 10,000 crore by February 20 and the rest before March 17, the next date of hearing in the Supreme Court.

AAP Spells Out Expansion Plans After Encore in Delhi, Will Contest Local Body Polls Across India

Buoyed by its massive victory in the Delhi assembly polls, the Aam Aadmi Party has decided to contest all elections to local bodies across the country as part of an ambitious plan to expand its footprint beyond the national capital. Senior AAP leader Gopal Rai said the party has convened a meeting of its national executive on Sunday to deliberate on expanding the party by projecting its "positive nationalism". Rai, a confidante of AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, said the party has set its sight on contesting assembly elections in a number of states including Punjab in the first phase.

In Other News

Trouble in paradise: In his first criticism of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray after their government in Maharashtra came to office in November, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar said the Shiv Sena chief was wrong in letting the NIA take over the probe into the Elgar Parishad case from the state police.

EU rap: A day after a group of 25 foreign envoys concluded a two-day visit to Jammu & Kashmir, the European Union sought swift lifting of existing restrictions in the region but at the same time noted the "positive steps" initiated by the union government to restore normalcy in the region.

Shameful: In a shocking incident, students of a girls' college in Gujarat were made to parade through the institute to the washroom where they were checked for menstruation after complaints that menstruating girls had entered the kitchen and temple. Students claimed college authorities often harassed women for menstruating.

Taking a stand: Notwithstanding India's objection, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan once again raked up the Kashmir issue while addressing a joint session of Pakistan’s Parliament, vowing that Ankara will support Pakistan's stand as it is a matter of concern to both the countries.

On Our Specials

Outrunning the lightning Bolt: Covering 142.50 meters in just 13.62 seconds, 28-year-old Srinivasa Gowda became the fastest runner in the history of Kambala, a traditional of the coastal region, breaking a 30-year-old record. It also led to comparisons with Bolt’s world record sprint of 100 meters in just 9.58 seconds. DP Satish reports that as Gowda ran 142.50 meters in 13.62 seconds, people simply calculated what his speed would have been for 100 metres. It turned out to be just 9.55 seconds, .03 seconds faster than Bolt’s record.

Hoping for justice: Around 400 Dalits from Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu have converted to Islam, claimed a Dalit outfit named Tamil Puligal Katchi, saying that since January 5 around 40 families have converted and that the process is still going on. Poornima Murali reports that the sudden spate of conversions of Dalits to Islam has been attributed to the wall collapse incident, where 17 people lost their lives. The structure, which was also referred to as the 'caste wall', was seen as a barrier between the Dalit community and the others. The Dalits villagers have claimed that the wall was built to decimate the people of their community.

On Reel:

Sushma Swaraj has been a trailblazer in Indian politics. While the BJP leader’s early career was marked by her exemplary oratory skills, she will be remembered for the humanitarian touch she brought to politics. On her 68th birth anniversary, here’s a look at the Padma Vibhushan awardee’s stellar career through a series of rare interviews. Watch to know more.