1. A Consultation Paper for Extension of DTH License
In the year 2001, guidelines for obtaining license for providing
DTH services in India were issued. These guidelines provided for a
license period of ten years for DTH service provider however, it is
silent on the course of action for renewal of license beyond the
period of 10 years. TRAI is now seeking recommendations for terms
and conditions to extend this license beyond the license period of
10 years. The key issues for deliberation are entry fees, bank
guarantee and license period. The issue under consideration is
determination of the entry fee for the extended license period
either it should be maintained at Rs. 10 crores or should be a
modified fees. Further, TRAI is seeking opinion regarding the
optimum period for which the extension of license for DTH service
should be granted. Lastly, the question of bank guarantee cover for
the extended period of license, is also under contemplation.
For the benefit of the consumers, the Ministry of Information and
Broadcasting for time being have renewed the license for an interim
period subject to compliances to be done by the companies regarding
renewal of bank guarantee, honouring final policy and financial
obligations under the new policy.
PSA view - The entry fee is important aspect
for extension of DTH license whether it should be maintained or
modified would impact the serious players in the area of DTH
services. With regard to the period of renewal of license neither
it should be too short to deter investors including foreign
investors to enter the market of DTH services as well as prevent
growth of technology nor it should be too long from a perspective
of optimum policy period. The bank guarantee is a performance
guarantee from the companies and ideally it should ensure the cover
for entire license period. Since the deadline to receive
comments from interested parties is already closed down, the
companies now await the final guidelines to come out in this matter
to decide their course of action.
2. SC held that Aadhaar card not mandatory for social
The SC passed an order on September 23, 2013 that the government
should not restrict social benefits to those who are yet to receive
their Aadhaar card and not to issue the card to illegal migrants.
This order was the outcome of a PIL filed by Karnataka High
Court judge KS Puttaswamy. The PIL claimed that several
state governments have linked social benefits to Aadhaar which has
resulted in denial of benefits to several people. The UID was
violating Article 21, "Protection of life and personal
liberty: No person shall be deprived of his life or personal
liberty except according to procedure established by law." The
PIL further claimed that the Aadhaar card is being distributed to
everyone indiscriminately, including illegal migrants, posing a
security risk to the nation.
PSA view - The Aadhaar card proposes to
eliminate the prospect of receiving of subsidy benefit by
undeserving. However, as the number of people to whom cards have
been issued is still less, linking them with such policies is
against the very purpose of Aadhaar. Further, for making the card,
government is collecting finger prints and iris scan but has so far
provided no means to protect such crucial identification marks.
Government has not accepted any liability if this data is
compromised nor provided any solution to such problems if they
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