ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By T H Chowdary

Competition in International Long Distance Telecom Services

The recommendation of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to permit entry of private companies into international long distance (ILD) telecom services is to be welcomed, all the more because no limit is proposed on the number of licensees providing ILD services. However, many of the conditions it is seeking to impose on the licensees do not meet the cardinal test which should be: is the consumer going to be disadvantaged if this condition is not imposed?

Do We Need the AICTE?

The article by J V Deshpande (EPW, December 2, 2000) exposed the nexus between the AICTE and politicians, not a day too soon. If at all, his account of the AICTE’s working is mild. Fifteen years ago, when the AICTE was legislated, there could have been some justification for it. There were less than about 500 engineering colleges then. It is only after India gave up the bureaucrat-dictated, politicianpostulated, socialistic centralised control of every human endeavour that there has been a growing demand for engineering, business management and computer applications education. Governments and universities are in no position to undertake the massive expansion that is required in our university education, especially in the professions of engineering, medicine, business management and computers. 

Opening Basic Telephone Service to Competition

The primary objective of deregulating telecommunications is to attract investment so that there is an abundance of telecommunications and they become more and more affordable to an ever larger section of the people. Enhancement of consumer choice is another objective. If a consumer is not satisfied with one service-provider, he has the option to go to another.

Domestic Long Distance Telecommunications

While the policy of opening up domestic long distance telecom services deserves to be lauded without reservation, some of the specifics of the policy continue to betray a monopolistic mindset on the part of the department of telecommunications (DoT). This will surely require another bail-out and correction exercise like the migration of private telephone companies from a licence fee regime to revenue sharing.