In this work, Perry4Law Organisation and Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB) are sharing the salient features of the national telecom policy of India 2012 (NTP 2012). We hope our readers would find this work useful.
Telecom policy of any nation plays an important role in the growth and development of telecom sector of that nation. The previous telecom policy of India suffered from numerous drawbacks and this prompted the Indian government to come up with a more appropriate and contemporary telecom policy. The national telecom policy of India 2012 (NTP 2012) is the result of this objective of Indian government.
The national telecom policy 2012 intends to create an investor friendly environment for attracting additional investments in the telecom sector of India. It also intends to create diverse employment opportunities in various segments of the sector. Another objective of the policy is to ensure availability of affordable and effective communications for the citizens, especially the rural community.
NTP 2012 also intends to boost telecom manufacturing activities in India and to encourage indigenous manufactures to produce cutting edge telecom products and services in India. NTP-2012 provides a roadmap for India to become a leader in cutting edge, state of the art technologies through research and development and creation and incorporation of Indian IPRs in global standards.
This will require measures for boosting entrepreneurship and creating a major global manufacturing hub for telecommunication equipment to achieve self-sufficiency while squarely addressing security and strategic concerns. At the same time establishment of processes and standards for protection of the environment will also be required.
The NTP-2012 must be supplemented with a national telecom network security policy of India. We have no telecom security policy in India and telecom equipments security framework in India. Even telecom security policy of India and encryption rules needs further clarification.
There is no mechanism in India through which telecom hardware and software can be analysed for backdoors and malware. In fact, Huawei and ZTE are in telecom security tangle of India. Now Indian government has declared that telecom equipments must be certified by TEC before use in India. A proposal to store call data records has also been given. The norms for import of telecom equipments in India would also be formulated very soon.
A national telecom network security coordination board (NTNSCB) of India has also been proposed by Indian government. The telecom equipments security framework of India must also be formulated by India. Telecom sector is a skill oriented sector and techno legal skills development in India and technical skills development in India are need of the hour.
The NTP-2012 also acknowledges the fact that technology has brought fresh challenges in network security, communication security and communication assistance to law enforcement agencies. However, intelligence agencies and law enforcement technology in India is not appropriate and adequate.
Law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies officials need techno legal trainings to manage ambitious projects like central monitoring system (CMS) project of India, national counter terrorism centre of India (NCTC), crime and criminal tracking network and system (CCTNS), national intelligence grid (Natgrid) project of India, etc.
NTP-2012 recognises the importance of creation of the robust and resilient telecom networks for adequately addressing the need for proactive support for mitigating disasters, natural and manmade. However, a crisis management plan for preventing cyber attacks on power utilities in India has still not been formulated and implemented.
The NTP-2012 has also accommodated the futuristic technologies and protocols like Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6). India is getting ready for Ipv6 framework just like other countries and the NTP 2012 understands this fact.
In short, as per media sources the policy seeks to provide a predictable and stable policy regime for a period of about ten years. Policy will be operationalised by bringing out detailed guidelines, as may be considered appropriate, from time to time. Implementation will enable smooth implementation of the policies for providing an efficient telecommunication infrastructure taking into account the primary objective of maximizing public good by empowering the people of India. The policy will further enable taking suitable facilitatory measures to encourage existing service providers to rapidly migrate to the new regime in a uniformly liberalised environment with a level playing field.