There was a small but high profile Government Transformation Forum organized in Kovalam, Kerala, Feb 5-6, 2012. The Kerala Chief Minister and the Minister in charge of IT made appearances and the high-profile MP of the area, Dr Shashi Tharoor, delivered the keynote address and showed deep engagement. I chaired the session on international and Indian best practices and made a presentation based primarily on the experiences of designing e Sri Lanka back in 2002-03 and LIRNEasia research. My key message was that there were no best practices that could be imported to Kerala. What were best were what fit the specific circumstances.
The Mullaperiyar Dam has been considered unsafe for many years. Nothing much has been done about it, partly because Tamilnadu and Kerala cannot agree on the remedial measures. Now Kerala is going hard, possibly energized by a feature film called Dam 999. Mr Joseph, quoted below, is a Minister: Mr. Joseph told reporters here on Friday that the Centre should intervene immediately to save the life of 30 lakh people who lived under the threat of a dam breach.
Tharoor recalled the infamous words of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s communications minister in the 1970s, C.M. Stephen. In response to questions decrying the rampant telephone breakdowns in the country, the minister declared in Parliament that telephones were a luxury, not a right. He added that ‘any Indian who was not satisfied with his telephone service could return his phone’ — since there was an eight-year waiting list of people seeking this supposedly inadequate product.
The government today allotted start-up GSM spectrum to new telecom players, including Datacom and Unitech, in four circles of Mumbai, Maharashtra, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh (East). Tata Teleservices, which has got GSM licence under dual technology policy, has also been allotted spectrum in the lucrative Mumbai circle while it is yet to get the radio frequency in other three circles. With this, new players can now roll out services in 10 circles as the government has already released spectrum in six circles of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh. In Punjab, only three players have been accommodated as only 15 MHz spectrum was available. HFCL, a CDMA player, has got GSM spectrum in Punjab under the dual technology policy.
Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel, which had announced its entry into the Sri Lankan mobile phone sector with much fanfare last year, is experiencing delays and may well be re-drawing its investment plans for the island country, says a Sri Lankan telecommunication expert. Rohan Samarajeewa, former head of Sri Lanka’s Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC), told IANS that while there was no doubt that Bharti Airtel was committed to operating in Sri Lanka, it had altered its timetable and could well be scaling down its original investment plans. The reasons for the delay in starting the operations were in the realm of speculation, Samarajeewa said. But he did point to a possibility of difficulties in getting frequencies from the TRC, as it is generally recognized that the allotment of frequencies tends to be “highly politicised” in Sri Lanka. The parent company in India could also be changing its priorities as regards capital allocations, in the context of the growing challenges in the more lucrative Indian domestic market, Samarajeewa said.
The Business Standard (Nokia focuses on rural markets) Sapna Agarwal / Pune July 16, 2007The rural markets account for around 5 per cent of the national GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) handset sales. The figure is expected to rise to 25-30 per cent, adding around 100 million new cellular subscribers by 2009, according to a recent study by LIRNEasia and AC Nielson.
In an empirical study conducted in fish markets along the coast of Kerala (South India), Robert Jensen found that the introduction of the mobile phone allowed improved flow of price information that resulted in a more efficient functioning of the market. Before mobile phone were introduced or coverage was available in Kerala, fishermen would generally return to their “home” markets with their catch. Oversupply meant that fish had to be routinely dumped into the sea to keep prices stable even if (unknown to the fishermen) there were markets 10kms away were fish were in greater demand. Mobile phones enabled price information from other markets to be available while the fishermen was still at sea. The fishermen would divert his boat to the market that offered the highest price for his catch.
Sujata: summary too lenghty Luxman: Since audience is EU needs to have language on ICT uplifting “masses” and “rural” access. Malathy: Process element of regulation is not there? Rohan: Study was originally for investor study and language taken from WTO language leaving out the independence of regulator. Process question will be in another study comparing different sectors. Malathy: why cant process be built into current study?