on 14 November 2018, India added another feat in its ambitious space program by successfully launching communications satellite GSat29.The satellite was carried by the rocket GSLV-Mk III which blasted from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota.
On 11 November 2018, the Telecom regulator TRAI issued a consultation paper on Over-The-Top (OTT) services. The regulator seeks stakeholders’ inputs on how to regulate platforms like Whatsapp and Skype. The consultation paper is titled, 'Regulatory Framework for Over The Top Communications Services'.
Broadband India Forum (BIF), held its Fourth International Annual Satcom Summit ‘India SatCom-2018’, in New Delhi on 20-21 November. The event was inaugurated by the Chief Guest, Ms. Aruna Sundararajan, Telecom Secretary and Chairman, Digital Communications Commission, Govt. of India. Senior officials from Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) also graced the occasion. The event was attended by other leading Industry experts from India and abroad and other members of Satcom and Broadband fraternity
On 25 October 2018, Pakistan’s Supreme Court constituted committee comprising 2 members from Customs and an additional director of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to probe and take necessary steps to check the menace of illegal sale of Indian Direct to Home (DTH) technology boxes in the country’s lucrative black market.
Union Minister Ananth Kumar passed away in Bengaluru in the early morning on 12 November. The 59-year-old BJP leader was suffering from cancer. Kumar was holding two portfolios of Parliamentary Affairs and Chemicals and Fertilizers in the Modi government.
The year 2018 appears to have passed very soon as nothing significant has happened for the cable and broadcast industry throughout the year. All hopes for a better future at the beginning of the year have belied and industry is in a state of gloom. TRAI’s Tariff Order and regulations are still stuck in the court, carrying forward the hopes of a regulated industry to the next year. Economic situation in the country is topsy turvy and hopes for stable economy are again being carried forward to 2019.
Some call it ‘offensive and derogatory’ and hence should be banned; some say it is a unifying force. This is the great saga of the word ‘Dalit’. On June 8, 2018, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court had asked the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) to consider issuing a direction to media to stop using the word ‘Dalit’. On August 7, 2018, the ministry issued a circular directing the media to refrain from using the word ‘Dalit’ and to instead use ‘scheduled caste’. Is the system becoming intolerant, heading for sensorship of the Media?
The bench noted that the Copyright Act is meant to protect the proprietary interest of the owner. The interest of the end user or consumer is not the focus of the Copyright Act at all.
The Telecom Committee of PHD Chamber organized an Interactive Session with Dr. R. S. SHARMA, Chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) along with TAIPA as the Co-organizer on 24 October 2018. Many eminent speakers from the industry took part in the discussion on framing a Policy on common duct for all telecom and utility services. Senior Officials of Vodafone Idea, Hinduja Media Group, Asianet Satellite Communications Ltd., Bluetown India Pvt. Ltd., BIF, COFI and URJA provided their inputs upon the requirement of their individual industries and how they will utilize a common duct if built. Cable operators, Cable manufacturers and RWA members had shown their active participation in the same.
With growth proving challenging in the pay-TV sector, operators need to be embracingnew strategies to both retain and attract customers. In the APAC region pay-TV operators should be looking to defend existing revenues while tapping into continued consumer demand for easy access to streamed video content with the right strategy.
The MeToo movement (#MeToo), which arrived in India in October 2018 with former Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta’s sexual harassment allegation against legendary actor Nana Patekar, had started in the US in October 2017. It is a movement against seeking sexual favour for work and sexual harassment at workplaces. The movement had started with the sexual misconduct allegations against a powerful Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein.
Prashant Butani, MEASAT Senior Sales Director – South Asia gives his perspective on how satellite operators can pave the way for DTH Operators in India’s fast-changing Pay TV landscape.
Petrol and diesel are blood and soul of Indian manufacturing sector and industries as well as common man’s life. Any fluctuation can have debilitating log-term effect on the entire supply chain and prices of basic commodities and goods. Like its value for ‘aam aadmi’, petrol and diesel also hold enormous value for any government as the taxes on these two items are the biggest contributor towards national exchequer which is used to offer subsidies and support many important projects of national importance to win general elections. Even Re 1 concession would mean thousands of crore in losses to the government exchequer; hence the government is always reluctant to bring down the prices of petrol and diesel.
The telecom regulator TRAI had issued a Consultation Paper on "Promoting Local Telecom Equipment Manufacturing" on 18 September, 2017 with the objective of realistically assessing India's true potential in equipment manufacturing and to arrive at the recommendations to the Government that would enable Indian telecom equipment manufacturing sector to transition from an import-dependent sector to a global hub of indigenous manufacturing.
On 19 September 2018, the Supreme Court once again adjourned the TRAI Tariff Order case involving Star India and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to 22 October 2018 as the bench could not take up the matter.
On 26 September 2018, the country’s top court delivered a landmark judgment on much awaited issue regarding Aadhaar. While the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhaar, it however restricted the scope of services for which Aadhaar can be made mandatory by the government. Nonetheless, the apex court added that the document helps in providing benefits to the marginalised sections of society, besides providing them an identity.
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