Ashwini Vaishnaw Opens Seminar on “25 Years of TRAI Law: The Way Forward for Stakeholders (Telecom, Broadcasting, IT, AERA and Aadhaar)” | Odisha News | Latest news from Odisha

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New Delhi: The Telecommunications Dispute Settlement and Appeals Tribunal (TDSAT) held a seminar on “25 Years of TRAI Act: The Way Forward for Stakeholders (Telecom, Broadcasting, IT, AERA and Aadhaar)” here today. The seminar was opened by Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister for Communications, Electronics and Information Technology and Railways, to commemorate the 25-year long journey of the Authority Act Telecommunications Regulator of India (TRAI). In 1997, the TRAI Act was enacted to regulate the telecommunications sector in India. It also provided for a dispute resolution mechanism between stakeholders in the telecommunications sector. It was amended in 2000, creating a Telecommunications Dispute Resolution and Appeals Tribunal (TDSAT) to take over TRAI’s dispute settlement and resolution functions.

Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw congratulated TDSAT for holding this seminar. The uniqueness of the telecommunications sector, the Minister said, is due to the nature of the spectrum which is indestructible and fully reusable. Other unique characteristics of the sector highlighted by Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw included its capital-intensive nature, its sensitivity to technological change and its strategic importance, which has become more relevant today compared to when the TRAI Act was formulated 25 years ago. . He said now all political discourse is defined by the post-COVID scenario where digital technology has become more prominent.

Elucidating the thought process with which the government is moving forward in terms of policies and initiatives, the minister said that “Antyodaya” and inclusive development are the first and main philosophy behind the decisions and initiatives of our government and with this thought , the government wants to reduce the digital divide in the country. “Aatmanirbhar Bharat,” he said, is the second dominant philosophy guiding the government’s strategy and approach. The 4G technology stack was developed by Indian masterminds in a record time of 14 months with a fraction of the cost compared to other systems that have been developed, he said. Furthermore, the minister highlighted the role of Indian institutions and scientists in the development of the 5-G core. Simultaneously, we started working on 6G technology so that we can take the lead in 6G and set the direction for the whole world, he said.

While concluding his remarks, Shri Vaishnaw, solicited suggestions from members of the Bars, Judiciary, industry, media etc. to make the telecommunications sector a nascent sector.

Supreme Court Justice Ms. Justice Indira Banerjee shared her experience of working in the justice system and the concurrent growth of technology over a period of time. Speaking about TRAI’s journey and the evolution of the telecommunications sector in India, she said that the National Telecommunications Policy of 1994 allowed the entry of private entities into the telecommunications sector and that with the entry of the sector private sector, the need was felt to have a regulator for this sector. This led to the establishment of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India in 1997 through the enactment of the TRAI Act. Initially, the TRAI played the role of regulator as well as arbiter. The TRAI Act was amended by an order, effective January 24, 2000, establishing a Telecommunications Dispute Settlement and Appeals Tribunal (TDSAT) to take over the functions of dispute resolution and TRAI Dispute Resolution.

Referring to the importance of regulation in the telecommunications sector, Madam Justice Indira Banerjee said that regulatory measures are important given the large number of people using telecommunications and internet services. However, she indicated that regulatory measures should not hinder the growth of this sector.

Addressing the event, Shri Justice Shiva Kirti Singh, President of TDSAT and former Justice of the Supreme Court of India, said that TDSAT deals with issues in very important sectors, many of which are regulated due to their sensitive nature. These sectors are set to become increasingly important in the modern technological age. He said TDSAT must avoid arrears beyond one year. This will have a favorable impact on the overall health and growth of all relevant sectors which are very important to our Nation.

Speaking on the need to increase the strength of TDSAT, Judge Shiva Kirti Singh, said that despite the impressive elimination figures, during the pre-covid years, the number of deposits as well as the wait did not stopped increasing. At the end of 2019 the expectation was 2068. After the Covid pandemic the expectation has now risen to 4019 cases. He said: “At least two more benches are needed. For this, in addition to the president, the number of members / judicial members must be increased to five. The number of ministerial and support staff must also be increased appropriately, he said.

Sharing his concern for the IT sector, Shri Shiva Kirti Singh said that unlike Telecom; it is not guided, controlled or regulated by a permanent body of experts like TRAI. It’s urgent. It would be in the wider public interest to extend the regulatory areas of the TRAI to all of digital communications and computing or to have another body of expertise suitable to meet the challenges related to the ‘computer science.

The objective of the seminar was to increase the awareness of stakeholders from the telecommunications, broadcasting, IT, airport infrastructure and Aadhaar sectors on regulatory mechanisms, including dispute resolution. The topic has been debated by dignitaries from government, the judiciary, representatives of various stakeholders, industry regulators, prominent lawyers, and more.

At the event, Shri Vaishnaw also released TDSAT Procedures 2005 and Updated TDSAT Rules, 2003 with Madam Justice Indira Banerjee, Supreme Court Justice and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh, TDSAT President and former Justice of the Supreme Court of India. Mr. Justice Navin Chawla and Mrs. Justice Prathiba M. Singh of Delhi High Court, Shri K. Rajaraman, Secretary of Department of Telecommunications as well as Secretary of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology as well as President and members of TRAI, President and Members of AERA attended the event.

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