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TRAI's new chairman RS Sharma to take charge from August 10

  • Published: August 7, 2015 3:20 PM IST
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The newly appointed Chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, Ram Sewak Sharma, will take charge on Monday following government’s approving his request for early retirement.

“He (Sharma) will join office from August 10,” a government official told PTI. His superannuation is due in October this year. A 1978 batch IAS officer of the Jharkhand cadre, Sharma is serving as Secretary of Department of Electronics and IT and has been selected as new chairman of the Trai for three years. He succeeds Rahul Khullar who retired on May 14. A tech-savvy official, Sharma has played key role in implementing Aadhaar project and designing the roadmap for government’s Digital India programme.

He is credited to have designed key digital services such as digital locker and for swift execution of schemes to push electronics manufacturing in the country. His appointment comes at a time when all eyes are on TRAI for its recommendation on net neutrality over which both the regulator and a panel appointed by the Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad have drawn flak from public.

The principle of net neutrality calls for equal treatment to be accorded to all Internet traffic, without discrimination or priority for any person, entity or company. While Trai has floated a discussion paper on this topic, a raging debate has broken out in the country following the launch of platforms like Airtel Zero and Facebook’s Internet.org. In response to its paper, for which public comments had been sought till April 24, Trai has already been flooded with over 1 million replies mostly against any attempt to throttle ‘net neutrality’ concept. TRAI has completed consultation process and Sharma in his new role will have to decide on future course of action.

Simultaneously, the government panel’s report has also been put out for public comment. Prasad has said that government will proceed after receiving public opinion and TRAI’s recommendations.

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  • Published Date: August 7, 2015 3:20 PM IST