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

Articles by T H ChowdarySubscribe to T H Chowdary

Limited Mobility Service Controversy

The disquiet and controversy over the proposal to have limited mobility service in short distance charging areas should be the occasion for a thorough and profound look into the information and telecommunications technology policies for the country.

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.

Telecom: Outdated Thinking

I refer to your editorial comment of August 26, ‘Telecom: Groping towards a Unified Market’. While generally appreciating the content, I find the comment that the licence fees are not too onerous at 12 per cent, 10 per cent and 8 per cent of gross revenues not very acceptable.

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.

Telecoms to the Villages

To make the telephone service affordable to ever larger sections of our people, our policies must encourage the adoption by competing providers of technologies they judge to be most cost effective. The licensors and the government must, further, not impose external costs unrelated to the business.

Domestic Long Distance Telephony

In addition to the powerful arguments your editorial (‘Stunting Telecom Development’, April 22) has given for unlimited competition in domestic long distance (DLD) telephony, the following facts are of great relevance.

For an Independent and Effective Telecom Regulator

The prime purpose of a regulator is to defend and promote consumer choice, welfare and quality of service. The Telecom Users Group of India has made recommendations for an independent and effective telecom regulator.

Telecom Demonopolisation

Nowhere in the world has a government telecom department and an incumbent telephone company submitted itself willingly to demonopolisation. Concerned government functionaries, employees and their unions and populist parties and politicians have opposed demonopolisation. But notwithstanding the cacophony, determined and clear-headed ministers acting in the public interest have been demonopolising telecom. They see telecom as electronic and photonic infrastructure for transportation of dematerialised, electronified information (voice, text, image and data). It should be ubiquitous, broad-band, high-speed and inexpensive. Only a multi-policy of competing companies can ensure this. India must put in peace such a policy, ignoring vested interests, and institute an objective sector regulator with enough teeth.


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