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Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

Context:

Recently, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) floated a consultation paper seeking comments about the potential introduction of a Calling Name Presentation (CNAP) feature.

Relevance:

GS II: Government Policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Details
  2. What is its purpose?
  3. About Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

Details:

  • The feature would provide an individual with information about the calling party (similar to ‘Truecaller’ and ‘Bharat Caller ID & Anti-Spam’).
  • The idea is to ensure that telephone subscribers are able to make an informed choice about incoming calls and curb harassment by unknown or spam callers.

What is its purpose?

  • Existing technologies present the number of the calling entity on the potential receiver’s handset.
  • Since subscribers are not given the name and identity of the caller, they sometimes choose not to answer them believing it could be unsolicited commercial communication from unregistered telemarketers.
  • This could lead to even genuine calls being unanswered.
  • Additionally, there have been rising concerns about robocalls (calls made automatically using IT-enabled systems with a pre-recorded voice), spam calls and fraudulent calls.
  • Truecaller’s ‘2021 Global Spam and Scam Report’ revealed that the average number of spam calls per user each month in India, stood at 16.8 while total spam volumes received by its users were in excess of 3.8 billion calls in October alone.
  • Smartphone users, at present, rely on in-built features or third-party apps to mark and tackle spam calls. However, as per the regulator, their reliance on crowd-sourced data may not be reliable.

About TRAI:

  • In 1997, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997, created the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
  • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has its headquarters in New Delhi.
  • Two full-time members, two part-time members, and the chairperson of the TRAI are all chosen by the Indian government.

Functions of TRAI:

  • The function of the TRAI is to make recommendations to the central government on matters related to service providers, Revocation of license for non-compliance , Measures to facilitate competition and promote efficiency in the operation of telecommunication services to facilitate their growth etc.
  • Laying down the standards of quality of service to be provided by the service providers.
  • Timely and officially notifying the rates at which the telecommunication services within India and outside India shall be provided under the TRAI Act, 1997.
  • The recommendations of the TRAI are not binding upon the Central Government.

Powers of TRAI:

  • It can call upon any service provider to furnish in writing the information or explanation relating to its affairs as the Authority may require.
  • The Authority may appoint one or more persons to make an inquiry in relation to the affairs of any service provider.
  • It is empowered to direct any of its officers or employees to inspect the books of accounts or other documents of any service provider.
  • The Authority shall have the power to issue such directions to service providers as it may consider necessary for proper functioning by service providers.

-Source: The Hindu


 

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