The government has re-appointed RS Sharma as the chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India for two more years on the last day of his current term.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved Sharma’s re-appointment from August 10, 2018, to September 30, 2020, according to the Department of Personnel and training’s communication. His term was set to end tomorrow.
The bureaucrat from the 1978 batch of the Indian Administrative Service had served as the Secretary in the of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology prior to being appointed as the regulatory chief in the world’s second largest Telecom market.
Under him the regulator has taken key decisions like cutting down the fee operators earn on cross-network calls, overhauling the rules and regulations on pesky calls and spam messages, penalising Telecom firms for call drops and pushing for amendment of Telecom licenses to include net neutrality. The Telecom watchdog has also made crucial recommendations on privacy and ownership of user data.
Sharma, a vocal supporter of India’s biometric identification programme Aadhaar, had recently made the headlines when he shared in Aadhaar number on Twitter, challenging anyone to show how mere knowledge of the number can be misused to harm him.
This was at a time when debates raged about privacy concerns over the citizen identity database—the largest in the world. While the Unique Identification Authority of India issued an advisory against sharing of Aadhaar number publicly, Sharma claimed victory in the challenge saying no harm was caused.