Telecom panel interviews a person from private sector for TRAI chairman post

Telecom Lead India: Around 9 senior professionals from
government services and one person from private sector have given final
interviews today for the post of TRAI chairman. In the history of telecom
industry, this is for the first time that a person from private sector — Rakesh
Mehrotra, chief corporate regulatory officer of Tata Teleservices — has been
invited for the final interview.

Government professionals include Indu Liberhan, Secretary
(Defense Finance); Ajay Bhattacharya, administrator, Universal Service
Obligation (USO) Fund; Subodh Kumar, Additional Secretary, DoT; Vijaya Lakshmi
Gupta, Member (Finance), DoT; Chandra Prakash, Member (T), DoT; SC Misra, Member
(Services), Telecom Commission and Rajinder Pal Singh, former secretary in the
Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), and others.

During the appointment of current BSNL chairman, the
selection committee had invited several candidates from the private sector.

Current TRAI chairman JS Sarma is expected to retire on
May 14. The new TRAI chairman will oversee the implementation of the new
telecom policy and auctions for 2G and 4G spectrum.

These shortlisted 10 professionals, according to industry
sources, today met a search-cum-selection committee comprising of Cabinet
Secretary Ajit Seth, Principal Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office Pulok
Chatterjee, Secretary (Presonnel) P K Mishra, Telecom Secretary R
Chandrashekhar and Advisor to Prime Minister Sam Pitroda.

Recently, Telecom Commission cleared a proposal to grant
more powers to TRAI and enable the watchdog to act like a Civil Court. This
puts TRAI on par with the Securities and Exchange Board of India and the
Competition Commission of India and permits the telecom regulator to summon
persons, examine them on oath, demand documents and evidence on affidavits and,
in appropriate cases, call for expert assistance in conducting inquiries.


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