Government notifies vacancy for Trai chairperson’s post

New Delhi: The Department of Telecommunications notified a gap for the chairperson of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, signalling the tip of incumbent RS Sharma’s tenure in about 4 months.

“The post of chairperson, Trai will be falling vacant on October 1, 2020. The tenure of the post is for a term not exceeding three years or till the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier,” the telecom division stated in a notification on Friday.

Applicants for the highest Trai job can be screened by a government-constituted search-cum-selection committee.

Sharma, a 1978 batch Indian Administrative Service officer, was appointed in August 2015 and his time period was prolonged by two years in 2018, a day earlier than he was to demit workplace. It was the primary time {that a} Trai chairman was given a second time period because the inception of the regulator in 1997.

During Sharma’s tenure as Trai chairman, Reliance Jio Infocomm began providers in September 2016 and disrupted the markets, making voice calls nearly free and sending information charges crashing to all-time lows. The competitors led telcos to merge or exit the market, and at the moment there are three personal operators from eight or 9 earlier.

Trai was on the centre of bitter battles on points similar to pricing of providers and interconnection utilization expenses, most of which went to court docket. There was additionally the dispute over factors of interconnection between newcomer Jio and older gamers Bharti Airtel, and the then-separate Vodafone India and Idea Cellular. Vodafone India and Idea finally merged in August 2018 to kind Vodafone Idea.

Under Sharma, Trai got here up with suggestions on web neutrality, underlining free and non-discriminatory entry to the online, which have since been included in telecom licence circumstances. In 2016, Trai successfully banned Facebook’s Free Basics service, which provided customers free and restricted entry to the web, saying it violated the rules of web neutrality.

Trai additionally tightened norms for high quality of providers and reining in undesirable calls and textual content messages.

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