This section contains an overview of the key government agencies involved in formulating the legal and regulatory framework governing technology, telecom, intellectual property and innovation in India.
Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology: MeitY is responsible for administrative decisions relating to information technology, electronics and the internet. Amongst other things, MeitY focuses on e-governance projects, online education and innovation in the IT and ITeS sectors. It has several sub-divisions, each with a specific role spanning cybersecurity, domain registration, economic policy and infrastructure development. MeitY was formerly known as the Department of Electronics and Information Technology.
(Website: http://deity.gov.in/ | Headquarters: New Delhi | Established: 2000)
Department of Telecommunications: DoT is the principal agency in charge of regulating telecommunications in India. It is vested with three main powers: (1) issuing licenses to telecom service provider, (2) enforcing the license conditions; and (3) formulating policy with respect to spectrum allocation, cybersecurity, e-governance, licensing, infrastructure etc. It is also involved with modernising networks, engaging in R&D, building a domestic manufacturing industry and promoting next-generation telecom services.
(Website: www.dot.gov.in | Headquarters: New Delhi | Established: 1985)
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India : TRAI is an independent regulatory agency that oversees all telecommunication services in India. Its objective is to promote growth and competition in the telecom sector. Its responsibilities include consumer protection, enforcing QoS standards and suggesting amendments to telecom licenses. TRAI’s powers are recommendatory in nature, but it has a wide mandate in relation to spectrum policy, entry of new operators, equipment standards, interconnection agreements etc. It also acts as the enforcement authority for certain subject. TRAI holds discussions with key stakeholders and publishes various consultation papers from time to time.
(Website: www.trai.gov.in | Established: 1997 | Headquarters: New Delhi)
Indian Computer Emergency Response Team: CERT-In) is the nodal agency with respect to cybersecurity in India. Internet companies are required to report cybersecurity incidents to CERT-In. CERT-In analyses and responds to such incidents. Over the years, CERT-In has issued advisories and guidelines in relation to various information security vulnerabilities.
(Website: http://www.cert-in.org.in/ | Established: 2004 | Headquarters: New Delhi)
Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring: TERM cell is generally involved with security, specifically vigilance and monitoring functions of the DoT. It has three main functions: (1) vigilance, monitoring and testing, (2) physical inspections and (3) reporting unauthorised activities. It also acts as an enforcement agency, supervising roll-out obligations, quality and coverage of services and EMF radiation levels.
(Website: www.dot.gov.in/term/term-security | Established: 2004 | Headquarters: Delhi)
Telecom Commission: The Telecom Commission is a supervisory board vested with important to telecom law and policy, including administrative functions. Its functions are similar to those of the DoT and TRAI, but with a clear separation between the day-to-day administrative and policy functions (carried out by the DoT) and crucial regulatory functions which it is vested with like preparing the DoT’s budget.
(Website: http://www.dot.gov.in/about-us/profile | Established: 1989 | Headquarters: Delhi)
Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing: WPC is responsible for spectrum management in the country. It issues licenses to establish and operate wireless stations. Telecom operators are required to seek clearance from the Standing Advisory Committee on Radio Frequency Allocation, WPC before commencing services. The WPC wing represents India at the International Telecommunication Union and its head, the Wireless Advisor to the Government of India, reports to the Telecom Commission.
(Website: www.wpc.gov.in | Headquarters: New Delhi | Established: 1952))
Telecommunication Engineering Centre: TEC is a nodal agency that functions under the Telecom Commission. It establishes technical specifications, standards and interface requirements for the provision of telecom services in India, and renders research and operational support to other agencies in need of its technical expertise. Like the WPC, it represents the government at multilateral agencies such as the International Telecommunications Union, Asia-Pacific Telecommunity and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute.
(Website: http://www.tec.gov.in/ | Headquarters: New Delhi))
Centre for Development of Telematics: C-DOT was established to design and develop digital exchanges in villages and urban areas. It is now involved with growing the domestic manufacturing industry, developing intelligent networks and software applications.
(Website: http://www.cdot.in/ | Established: 1984 | Headquarters: New Delhi)
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