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Only secretary to govt or officials with equivalent rank eligible for TRAI chairman: Govt

The government has made certain sections of the Act operational from June 26 and some of the rules of those sections have come into effect from July 5, including the criteria for appointment as Chairperson and Members of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), according to an official statement issued on Friday

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New Delhi: The government has notified rules under the Telecommunication Act which makes only secretary to the government or officials with equivalent rank eligible for the position of sector regulator Trai chairman.

The government has made certain sections of the Act operational from June 26 and some of the rules of those sections have come into effect from July 5, including the criteria for appointment as Chairperson and Members of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), according to an official statement issued on Friday.

"Criteria for appointment as Chairperson and Members of TRAI: Section 59(b) of the Act will amend section 4 of the TRAI Act 1997 and prescribes criteria for appointment of Chairperson and Members of TRAI," the statement said.

The new section restricts sector experts with professional experience in the field of telecommunication, industry, finance, accountancy, law etc. from becoming Trai chairperson.

"Provided that a person who is, or has been, in the service of Government shall not be appointed...as a Chairperson unless such person has held the post of Secretary to the Government of India or any equivalent post in the central government or the state government," the new act stated. 

The rule effective from July 5, also includes prohibition of use of equipment which blocks telecommunications.

"The Acts prescribes, with immediate effect, the use of any equipment which blocks telecommunication, unless permitted by the central government," the statement said.

The rule for optimal utilisation of spectrum has also become effective from July 5.

"The Act provides a legal framework for efficient utilisation of scarce spectrum through processes such as secondary assignment, sharing, trading, leasing and surrender of spectrum.”

"It also enables the utilisation of spectrum in a flexible, liberalised and technologically neutral manner. It also empowers the central government to establish an enforcement and monitoring mechanism for the purpose," the statement said. 

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