Senior IAS Officer PD Vaghela appointed TRAI Chairman
On September 28, 2020, senior IAS Officer PD Vaghela was appointed as the TRAI (Telecom Regulatory of India) Chairman. HE has succeeded RS Sharma.
About PD Vaghela
He is a Gujarat-Cadre IAS Officer. He is currently in the Department of Pharmaceuticals that operates under Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. Prior to this, he was the commissioner of commercial tax in Gujarat. He played a key role in the roll out of GST, 2017.
About RS Sharma
Usually, the TRAI chairman is appointed for a term of three years. However, RS Sharma was provided a rare two-year extension till 30th September, 2020 though he turned 65 in 2018 and attained the age of retirement. Prior to chairman of TRAI, Sharma led the creation of Aadhar. He was the director of UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) between 2009 and 2013.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
It was set up under the TRAI Act of 1997. It was set up to have a suitable environment for the growth of telecommunications industry in India.
It is led by a chairman, two full-time members and not more than two part-time members. All these members are appointed by the Central Government. The members should have professional experience in telecom industry, accountancy, finance, law, management and consumer affairs.
The Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal adjudicates disputes, protects interests of service providers, protects interests of consumers. It joins the TRAI in regulating the telecom services.
Telecom Sector in India
India is currently the world’s largest telecommunication market with 1.2 billion registered subscribers. It is the second highest revenue earner for the GoI after income tax. Thus, the chairman of TRAI has a major role towards the revenue of the government.
In order to boost the telecom sector, the GoI has launched the following plans
- National Digital Communication Policy, 2018
- The FDI cap in telecom sector was increased to 100% from 74%.
- Digital India programme was launched under which all the sectors are to be connected through internet.