Spectrum as ‘atma’

On September 21, the Department of Telecommunications issued a notice inviting public comments on the Telecommunications Bill, 2022. To facilitate consultations, DoT prepared an Explanatory Note to provide a brief overview of the Bill.

One para of the Note, however, created a flutter, which apparently gave a religious slant to the document by comparing spectrum with  atma, and went on to describe spectrum as  ajar and  amar as  Shrimad Bhagwat Gita describes  atma. The Note also went on to add: “Like  atma, spectrum too does not have any physical form, yet it is omnipresent.”

On the day of release of the Bill, this para grabbed all the attention and was trending on Twitter, and the Bill got sidelined!

“If spectrum is  ajar and  amar, then what was all the hype and hoopla surrounding 2G spectrum allocation and allegations of spectrum being ‘sold’ to alleged cronies,” said a political analyst.

Jagan, KTR bhai-bhai

TRS Working President and Telangana’s IT Minister KT Rama Rao showered praise on AP Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy the other day, saying he did wonderfully well despite the pandemic. When asked on the freebies being offered by his ‘cousin’ at the recent  businessline redesign event, KTR said that Jagan was not his cousin. “He is my brother and bravely handled the situation though the pandemic hit the State soon after he took over,” he observed.

His comments came in the wake of his tongue-in-cheek comment on the bad condition of roads in AP, which triggered a political row a few months ago. KTR seems to have used the occasion to iron out misunderstanding, if any.

Cut, or not to cut

Import duty cuts on some edible oils a few months ago did have an impact on the industry. Urging the officials concerned to listen to the stakeholders in the sector, Dorab Mistry, Director of Godrej International, said at the Globoil India meet recently that such import duty cuts help the producers in exporting countries more than Indian consumers.

When import duty goes down, producing countries increase the price immediately helping them earn extra profit. Import duty cuts should be the last resort, he said.

Credit race

Twenty-five years after the controversial Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway — to be built by NICE (Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises) — was stalled (due to land-acquisition and toll-related disputes), a seamless 119-km expressway is finally set to be inaugurated during Dusherra by Prime Minister Modi. The much-needed expressway under the Bharatmala Pariyojana, connecting the State capital to its cultural capital, has however run into two challenges.

First, the recent rains exposed some of the shortcomings when some lakes adjacent to the expressway burst their bunds and parts of the road were submerged under water. Second, all parties — Congress, BJP and the regional JDS — are rushing to take credit for the project.

Opposition parties are even contemplating their own inauguration if their contribution is not adequately acknowledged.

With polls six months away, the “credit” race is on to win brownie points.

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