Editorial Team

National Institute of Communication Finance (NICF), Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Government of India and Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) are organizing a two-day Capacity Building and Skill Development Programme for Small Licensees on 7th and 8th July 2022.

The objective is to equip small entrepreneurs in telecom sector with latest technological developments and empower them with the management and skill development inputs to enable them to be the leaders in ‘Digital India’ program of the Government.

This zonal capacity-building programme has been organised by NICF in partnership with IIT Madras and with the participation of officers of DoT, NTIPRIT, ISRO, NSSC, CGCA, CCAs, LSAs and IIT students besides the licensees in categories UL ISP ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’; UL VNO ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, and Access B; ISP IT, etc. from Service Areas of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh and ISP Association of India. The program started with welcome address by Mr. Manish Kumar Gupta, Director NICF.

Addressing the Inaugural Session, Mr. K. Rajaraman, Chairman (Digital Communications Commission) and Secretary (Telecom), Department of Telecommunications, Government of India, said, “Today, we have the National Digital Communication Policy, which calls for ‘Broadband for All’ goal. The idea is that every citizen has a right to a broadband connection. Equitable access to information demands that everyone has access to the Internet. The other national goal which is relevant in this content is Digital, Social and Economic Inclusion. A just and fair society should ensure everyone is given equal opportunities in digital and communication space. This kind of events by NICF should be held in other zones. ”

Thanking IIT Madras for hosting this important program, Mr. K. Rajaraman said, “The Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and the Government of India have been driving Digital Inclusion. Therefore, this goal is what we are all striving to achieve. All our acts must be in coherence towards these goals and this workshop is an important step towards ensuring broadband for all and digital inclusion.”

Mr. K. Rajaraman added, “To succeed in business, technology choices have to be right. It must be affordable and provide sustainable business margins. IIT Madras is a good institution to look at if a deep-dive programs can be held for participants, most of whom are start-ups and new businesses, to empower them to make wise technology choices.”

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Srikanta Panda, Director-General, National Institute of Communication Finance (NICF), Department Of Telecommunications (DoT), said, “The NICF is the apex training institute of the DoT, mandated to train Government servants of various level. IIT Madras is one of the top most institutes in the country and prepares future leaders in technology and other fields. Today, both institutes have come together for this capacity building program, not for students or government servants but for licencees of DoT to give them a 360 degree training on networks, future technology, cybersecurity, skill development, entrepreneurship and other related fields. As per revenue statistics for FY 221-22, these ISP and VNO licensees contributed 361 crores out of total revenue of 6327 crores accounting for only 5.7% of the pie which indicates growth potential available to these licensees.”

During the inaugural session, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras remarked, “We are very happy to host the event. I am happy to note that everything is changing and with that, it is important to have such capacity building programs frequently where knowledge and ideas are shared. I hope this two-day event will be fruitful and will lead to continued interactions. We should be in continuous touch to share latest developments across the world.”

Prof. Kamakoti also on addressed a session on ‘Cybersecurity Assurance in Telecom Networks,’ later in the day and released a Digital Newsletter of the NICF.

Delivering a Special Address during the Inaugural Session, Mr. A K Tiwari, Member (Technology), Department of Telecommunications, said, “Capacity Building is very much required for small licensees who will play a key role in taking broadband to every corner of the country, as per the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. In DoT, we feel 98 per cent of the population is on 4G but at the same time, vast geographies are not covered especially the remote areas like the North East and Ladakh. Every citizen in remote corners of the country must have access to Fixed and Mobile Broadband and it is our duty to ensure it.”

Dr. Jane Prasad, Registrar, IIT Madras, delivered the opening address. Other eminent speakers during the two day event included Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, ZOHO Chair Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Madras, who is heading the 5G Testbed at IITM Research Park. He spoke on the topic of ‘Future of Telecom Technology.’

Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Head, IIT Madras Research Park, highlighted the ‘Entrepreneurship in Telecom Ecosystem.’

Mr. Rajesh Chharia, President, Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) & ISPs of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andra Pradesh, spoke on ‘Best practices and Experience sharing on various issues faced by ISPs’, among others,

Mr. Arvind Bali, CEO, TSSC appraised participants about skill sets and reskilling of Telecom licensees.

The day two of the programme will have panel discussions on:

Ø  Skill Development in Telecom: A panel discussion

Ø  Regulatory Compliance: A panel discussion on license terms and conditions

Ø  Impact of Satellite Communications on small licensees: A panel discussion

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