Airtel boss Sunil Mittal, in a letter to Trai chairman R.S. Sharma, says ‘at a loss as to why Trai should be considering bill and keep model’ and break away from the global practice of interconnect user charges
By Amrit Raj – What surprises the most, he wrote in the 24 July letter, is no one has talked about abolishing IUC (interconnect usage charge) for international call settlement, which is prevalent across markets.
Neighboring countries such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal charge about 2-13 cents. Similarly, when the calls come into India, Trai has set an IUC to be paid to the mobile operators at 53 paisa and, in turn, the Indian international operator charges approximately 1 cent as IUC for the incoming calls on their network.
“The Trai not even debating this issue, therefore, confirms Authority’s acceptance to the principle that IUC is indeed a settled global practice built on fair and equitable settlements for work done by each operator for carrying each other’s calls,” Mittal said.
Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd is pressing for the bill-and-keep model, wherein IUC (paid by the telco from which a call originates to the telco which receives the call) will be effectively scrapped.
Rivals Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India Ltd and Idea Cellular Ltd, on the other hand, want these charges raised to at least 30 paise per call from 14 paise now. more> https://goo.gl/Ntz5Cd
Threats to privacy have snowballed in the digital era, SC must act
Times of India – The creation of a nine-judge Supreme Court bench to decide whether right to privacy is a fundamental right focuses attention on an issue of critical importance in a digital era.
The right to privacy is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution but Article 21 guaranteeing the protection of life and personal liberty does encompass various aspects of privacy.
Categorizing privacy as a fundamental right will grant it constitutional sanctity, and by implication, greater respect and compliance. But the government has opposed this classification citing two SC judgments, delivered in 1954 and 1962 that rejected a “fundamental right to privacy.”
Strong legal safeguards are needed against unauthorised access of databases and retention of data, data theft, and leak of private information.
The mushrooming of Aadhaar – initially pitched as a system to aid welfare transfers by eliminating impersonation and pilferage – into a Sisyphean identification system dictating every aspect of a citizen’s life is a valid cause for concern.
Government mustn’t fear privacy. Making it a fundamental right will give governments, businesses and courts a definitive framework to facilitate Digital India. more> https://goo.gl/ogZrii
We dream of leapfrogging to First World status, here’s how to do it in real life
By Sanjeev Sabhlok – What will it take for India to become a First World nation?
Such a question is about matters more important than mere economic growth.
It is about freedom, rule of law, justice, separation of religion and state. Such a question can reset our expectations and start a meaningful conversation about what we want to be as a nation.
It is time for us as a nation to step back and look at the big picture. The facts that face us are not pleasant.
Transparency International has ranked Indian governments as the most corrupt in the Asia-Pacific region. Our businesses, despite being one of the world’s best, continue to be let down by our governance system. We continue to rank close to the bottom on ease of doing business. We remain one of the least free countries in the world.
We do not protect private property. We do not have credible rule of law. The concept of justice is largely fictitious. There is very little infrastructure. Our school systems are dysfunctional. Vocational training is non-existent or of very low quality. And we continue to be one of the world’s poorest countries.
Second, we need to redesign our governance system. Today, neither ministers nor bureaucrats are accountable. They see themselves as rulers. We need to invert this mindset and hold our servant – the government – to account.
No First World country has India’s antediluvian, super-centralized IAS-type tenured service to govern everything. more> https://goo.gl/kjrftm
Vigilantes don’t expect to be punished, victims don’t expect to get justice
By Amish Tripathi – Mob violence and vigilantism happens because the criminals expect to get away with it. Many victims don’t complain because they don’t expect justice to be done. And this happens because our criminal justice system is horribly inefficient.
According to government data, there are more than three crore cases pending in our judicial system. Justice VV Rao of Andhra Pradesh high court had said that at the normal rate of dispersal, it will take 320 years to clear the backlog in our courts! India is amongst the 10 worst countries in the world in terms of the percentage of under-trials as a proportion of total prisoners.
Many unfortunate people, who can’t possibly be tracked by TV studios in Mumbai and Delhi, continue to suffer systemic apathy.
This situation has led to the corruption of our society.
Why do the dis-empowered vote for criminals and strongmen?
Because they know that they will not get justice in a gummed up judicial system. So, the practical thing to do is to elect a strongman from your community and expect him/her to use political power to protect you.
The only long-term solution is a clean-up of the criminal justice system.
Police reforms (as ordered by the Supreme Court in 2006) must be implemented to give the force autonomy from political interference, better-trained and more manpower, and modern weapons. more> https://goo.gl/xf5pi7
By Shobhaa De – What the hell are these netas doing? What horrible games are they playing?
What will they tell the young of the nation when confronted?
That the next President of India will be appointed based solely on that dreaded ‘C-word’ — caste — forget any other qualification?
Caste has been India’s curse for centuries. Yes, of course we can’t wish it away. But surely we don’t have to brazenly endorse it and shamelessly manipulate caste issues in order to score political victories? As Indians, we desperately crave the watching world’s respect. We want India to be seated at the high table.
We talk about being a superpower. We send rockets into space and launch hundreds of satellites. We expect the world to gasp and applaud.
At the same time, we indulge in caste machinations of the lowest kind when it comes to the appointment of a person to the highest office in the land. We don’t feel embarrassed to openly discuss the ‘advantages’ of having a Dalit President. Without the slightest self-consciousness, we interject a ‘but’ into the dialogue (“Ram Nath Kovind is a Dalit, but…”). What does that significant ‘but’ even mean? Why is it there?
Both individuals come with impressive educational and professional credentials. Why not focus on those? Why harp on their Dalit identity? As if there is nothing more to them than being born Dalit.
The time has come to seek a pan-India opinion poll on the vexing issue of continuing with this outdated and archaic ceremonial job.
Do we need a President at all? more> https://goo.gl/99WuPA