Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring
|Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM)|
|Jurisdiction||Government of India|
|Minister responsible||Kapil Sibal, Minister of Communications and Information Technology|
|Parent department||Department of Telecommunications (DoT)|
Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM), formerly known as Vigilance Telecom Monitoring (VTM), is the vigilance and monitoring wing of the Indian Department of Telecommunications (DoT). TERM is made up of 34 Cells in India's 24 telecom circles and 10 large telecom districts, each headed by a Senior Administrative Grade (SAG) level officer, termed as Deputy Director General (DDG). The main functions of TERM Cells are vigilance, monitoring and security of the network. Apart from this, TERM Cells also operate the Central Monitoring System (CMS), a clandestine mass electronic surveillance program, and carry out other functions. The TERM Cells function as the subordinate offices of the DoT in the field. These Cells represent the Telegraph Authority and the Licensor.
Vigilance Telecom Monitoring Cells (VTM) were created by the Government to control illegal/clandestine telecom operations. Three VTM Cells were set up in October 2004 at Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad, and a fourth cell was created at Chennai the following month. Nine more Cells were created in August 2006 at Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh (East) and fifteen more were added in January 2007 at Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh (West), Andaman & Nicobar, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, North East-I, North East-II, Orissa and Uttaranchal (now Uttarakhand). Six additional Cells were added in March 2007 for Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Pune, Jaipur and Lucknow taking the total number of VTM Cells to 34.
VTM Cells were renamed to Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM) Cells, with effect from 5 August 2008. The change was due to the increase in the role and functions of VTM Cells since their formation, and the Government felt that the new name reflected "the entire gamut of functions assigned to the Cells" and "distinguished their role vis-vis staff-vigilance activities".
Vigilance functions of TERM cells include inspection of premises of telecom and Internet service providers, curbing illegal (not permitted under the Indian Telegraph Act) activities in telecom services, control over clandestine/illegal olieration of telecom networks by "vested interests" having no license, to file a First Information Report (FIR) against culprits, pursue the cases, issue notices indicating violation of conditions of various Acts in force from time to time, analysis of call/subscription/traffic data of various licensees, technical arrangement for the lawful interception/monitoring of all communications passing through the licensee's network, to ascertain that the licensee is providing the services within permitted area, and co-ordination with all service providers.
Monitoring functions of TERM cells include coordination with various network operators, monitoring of network parameters, checking of the compliance by the licensee in respect of the license conditions and any directions issued by the licensor in public interest, to ensure optimum call completion ratio of inter operator calls, matters related to national security, disaster management i.e. taking over of network in the events of natural calamities or the other emergency situations, grievance redressal of subscribers in respect of deficiency by various operators, customer document verification with the objective to ascertain whether the mobile service operators are following the DoT guidelines for customer verification before providing connections, and also to perform other functions that it may be entrusted with by the DoT.
TERM Cells analyze and resolve complaints received through the Public Grievance (PG) portal or from other sources. TERM Cells were given the task of checking the compliance of EMF radiation norms, as prescribed by Government, in 2010. TERM Cells collect a fee from operators for carrying out EMF testing. Other functions of TERM Cells are checking mobile spectrum utilization and investigation of complaints regarding telecom and Internet services.
Registration of OSPs
Due to the growth of the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in India, the DoT decided to decentralize the registration of Other Service Providers (OSPs), which was being done by the DoT, HQ. The job of registering OSPs and telemarketers was given to TERM Cells. The task of registering telemarketers was later given to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). OSP registrations are done using software developed with the help of the National Informatics Centre (NIC).
TERM Cells were given the task of service testing of licensed TSPs in the licensed service area and checking their roll-out obligations as per the license conditions. As per the license agreement, all the TSPs are required to roll out their services within prescribed time periods, which means they have to offer their services in the districts selected by them by a fixed date. This then crosschecked for quality, coverage and other parameters by the DoT which is termed as Service Testing. TERM Cells also issue Service Test Result Certificates (STRCs) against the cases tested by them. Apart from this TERM Cells also send compiled data pertaining to roll out obligation for imposing Liquidated Damage (LD) charges on the TSPs do not comply with roll-out obligation conditions. TERM Cells collect a fee from operators for carrying out testing.
Central Monitoring System
The Central Monitoring System (CMS) is a clandestine mass electronic surveillance program installed by the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT), an Indian Government owned telecommunications technology development centre, and operated by TERM Cells. The CMS gives India's security agencies and income tax officials centralized access to India's telecommunications network and the ability to listen in on and record mobile, landline and satellite calls and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and read private emails, SMS and MMS and track the geographical location of individuals, all in real time. It can also be used to monitor posts shared on social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, and to track users' search histories on Google, without any oversight by courts or Parliament.
List of TERM Cells
There are currently 34 TERM Cells in India's 24 telecom circles and 10 large telecom districts. Each cell is headed by a Senior Administrative Grade (SAG) level officer, termed as Deputy Director General (DDG).
|S. No.||TERM Cell||Location||Area of Jurisdiction||Created|
|1||Ahmedabad||Khanpur, Ahmedabad||Ahmedabad Telecom District||March 2007|
|2||Andaman & Nicobar||Port Blair, Andaman district||Andaman and Nicobar Islands||January 2007|
|3||Andhra Pradesh||Mogalrajpuram, Vijayawada||Andhra Pradesh (Telecom Circle), excluding Hyderabad Telecom District||January 2007|
|4||Assam||Pan Bazar, Guwahati||Assam (Telecom Circle)||January 2007|
|5||Bangalore||Palace Road, Bangalore||Bangalore Telecom District||March 2007|
|7||Chennai||Kellys Road, Chennai||Chennai (Metro district), Pondicherry (Telecom Districts)||November 2004|
|8||Chhattisgarh||Jaistambh Chowk, Raipur||Chattisgarh||January 2007|
|9||Delhi||Nehru Place, New Delhi||Delhi, including Ghaziabad, Noida, Faridabad and Gurgaon||October 2004|
|10||Gujarat||Khanpur, Ahmedabad||Gujarat, excluding Ahmedabad Telecom District||August 2006|
|11||Haryana||Ambala||Haryana, excluding Faridabad and Gurgaon||January 2007|
|12||Himachal Pradesh||Shimla||Himachal Pradesh||January 2007|
|13||Hyderabad||Hyderabad||Hyderabad (Telecom District)||October 2004|
|14||Jaipur||Jhalana Institutional Area, Jaipur||Jaipur Telecom District||March 2007|
|15||Jammu & Kashmir||Trikuta Nagar, Jammu||Jammu and Kashmir||January 2007|
|16||Jharkhand||Neori, Ranchi||Jharkhand||January 2007|
|17||Karnataka||Jayanagar, Bangalore||Karnataka, excluding Bangalore Telecom District||August 2006|
|18||Kerala||Gandhi Nagar, Kochi||Kerala and Lakshadweep||August 2006|
|19||Kolkata||Salt Lake City, Kolkata||Kolkata Telecom District||March 2007|
|20||Lucknow||Gomti Nagar, Lucknow||Lucknow Telecom District||March 2007|
|21||Madhya Pradesh||Hoshangabad Road, Bhopal||Madhya Pradesh||January 2007|
|22||Maharashtra||Nagpur||Maharashtra, excluding Pune Telecom District||August 2006|
|23||Mumbai||Andheri (East), Mumbai||Mumbai (Metro District)||October 2004|
|24||North East-I||Shillong||North East-I (Telecom Circle)||January 2007|
|25||North East-II||Dimapur||North East-II (Telecom Circle)||January 2007|
|27||Pune||Church Road, Pune Camp, Pune||Pune Telecom District||March 2007|
|28||Punjab||Mohali, Chandigarh||Punjab, including Chandigarh||August 2006|
|29||Rajasthan||Jhalana Institutional Area, Jaipur||Rajasthan, excluding Jaipur Telecom District||August 2006|
|30||Tamil Nadu||Bharthi Park Road-II, Coimbatore||Tamil Nadu||August 2006|
|31||Uttar Pradesh (East)||Gomti Nagar, Lucknow||UP(E) (Telecom Circle) excluding Lucknow Telecom District||August 2006|
|32||Uttar Pradesh (West)||Meerut||UP(W) (Circle) excluding Ghaziabad and Noida||January 2007|
|33||Uttaranchal||Rajpur Road, Dehradun||Uttarakhand||January 2007|
|34||West Bengal||Kolkata||West Bengal, excluding Kolkata (Telecom Circle), and Sikkim||August 2006|
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