Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
||This article possibly contains original research. (March 2012)|
|Legal status||Created by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997|
|Headquarters||New Delhi, India|
|Key people||Rahul Khullar IAS (Chairman)
R. K. Arnold ITS (Member)
Sudheer Gupta ITS (Secretary)
The entry of private service providers brought with it the inevitable need for independent regulation. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was, thus, established with effect from 20 February 1997 by an Act of Parliament, called the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997, to regulate telecom services, including fixation/revision of tariffs for telecom services which were earlier vested in the Central Government.
TRAI's mission is to create and nurture conditions for growth of telecommunications in the country in a manner and at a pace which will enable India to play a leading role in emerging global information society. One of the main objectives of TRAI is to provide a fair and transparent policy environment which promotes a level playing field and facilitates fair competition.
In pursuance of above objective TRAI has issued from time to time a large number of regulations, orders and directives to deal with issues coming before it and provided the required direction to the evolution of Indian telecom market from a Government owned monopoly to a multi operator multi service open competitive market. The directions, orders and regulations issued cover a wide range of subjects including tariff, interconnection and quality of service as well as governance of the Authority.
The TRAI Act was amended by an ordinance, effective from 24 January 2000, establishing a Telecommunications Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to take over the adjudicatory and disputes functions from TRAI. TDSAT was set up to adjudicate any dispute between a licensor and a licensee, between two or more service providers, between a service provider and a group of consumers, and to hear and dispose of appeals against any direction, decision or order of TRAI. The mission of TRAI is to create and nurture an environment which will enable the quick growth of the telecommunication sector in the country. One of the major objectives of TRAI is to provide a transparent policy environment. TRAI has regularly issued orders and directions on various subjects like tariff, interconnections, Direct To Home (DTH) services and mobile number portability.
In 2000, the Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) was constituted through an amendment of the 1997 act, through an ordinance. The primary objective of TDSAT's establishment was to release TRAI from adjudicatory and dispute settlement functions in order to strengthen the regulatory framework. Any dispute involving parties like licensor, licensee, service provider and consumers are resolved by TDSAT. Also, any direction, order or decision of TRAI can be challenged by appealing in TDSAT.
Per the "Telecom regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Act, 2000", the authority shall have no more than two whole-time members as well as two part-time members.
|Dr. Rahul Khullar||Chairman|
|R.K.Arnold||Whole time member|
|Vijayalakshmy K. Gupta||Whole time member|
|H.S. Jamadagni||Part-time member|
|Pankaj Chandra||Part-time member|
|S. S. Sodhi||1997-2000|
|M. S. Verma||2000-2003|
|A. K. Sahney||March–May 2009 (Interim)|
TRAI functions through a Secretariat headed by a Secretary. All proposals for considerations are processed via Secretary, which organizes the agenda for Authority meetings (consulting with the Chairman), organizes preparation of minutes and issues regulations etc. in accordance to the meetings. The secretary is assisted by Advisors, namely Mobile Network, Interconnection & Fixed Network, BroadBand and Policy Analysis, Quality of Service, Broadcasting & Cable Services, Economic Regulation, Financial Analysis & IFA, Legal, Consumer Affairs & International Relation and RE & Administration & Personnel.Officers are selected from the premier Indian Administrative Service and also from the Indian Telecom Service.