Regulation must facilitate tech, not kill it: TRAI chief

NEW DELHI: The chief regulator of India's telecom and broadcast carriage sectors has said regulation should not kill a technology, fledgling or otherwise, and that consumer interest and a level playing field for all players should be the basis for tech-related regulations.

“Technology must be facilitated by regulation, not throttled by it, “Telecoms and Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman RS Sharma said on Tuesday while speaking at the opening session of Technology Summit 2016, organised by Carnegie India.

The TRAI chief, criticised by many for catering to populist measures and bringing in regulations that impede new technology and innovation, said that “consumer protection and creating a level playing field for all are our guidelines for regulating technology.”

The tech summit was organised with an aim to bring together technologists, entrepreneurs, academics and policy makers to reflect on rapid technological changes and recommend policy measures to harness this transformation for India’s development.

Pointing out that India the `Digital India’ initiative --- one of the pet schemes of PM Modi --- is about digital infrastructure, software innovation and empowering citizens to use technology, Sharma said, “ India can lead the world in technology and share the architecture of regulatory principles that has been created.”

Highlighting the digital innovations introduced by the present government in New Delhi, Sharma said e-signature, for example, was one such move and costs “Rs.1 thanks to #Aadhar, a paperless, robust, digital identity that protects (individual) privacy.” He also stressed that focus of digitisation was to provide digital “identity infrastructure to all the citizens of India”. was not present at the Carnegie India tech summit in Bengaluru held on December 6 and 7, 2016 and this news report has been drafted based on a series of tweets by the organisers and re-tweeted by Sharma via his Twitter handle @rssharma3.

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