The government has handed Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Secretary Apurva Chandra additional charge of the Department of Telecoms till an official is appointed as full-time secretary.
“The Competent Authority has approved the assignment of additional charge of the post of Secretary, Department of Telecommunications to Shri Apurva Chandra…Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting upon relinquishing the charge of the post by Shri K. Rajaraman…till the appointment of a regular incumbent or until further orders, whichever is earlier,” an official government communique stated.
Rajaraman is best known to have spearheaded the successful rounds of spectrum auctions and for helming the India Telecommunications Bill 2022, which aimed to upend the communications services by doing away with antiquated laws and bringing forth a new-age policy for the sector. It is another story that some sections of the industry, especially the broadcasters and OTT companies, have protested some of the draft provisions in the Bill.
The government recently announced that Rajaraman would be the next Chairperson of the International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA).
Chandra, meanwhile, is seen as an astute civil servant who has managed to pilot successfully at MIB some important policy decisions that would have a far-reaching impact on India’s approximately $ 30 billion media and entertainment industry.
Under him, MIB is credited to have successfully formulated, with inputs from the industry, policy guidelines for the AVGC sector, apart from gently, but effectively, handling other ticklish issues like the Code of Ethics for TV channels and OTT platforms as envisaged in the IT Rules and the highly debatable new guidelines for OTT platforms involving anti-tobacco messaging issued recently by the Health Ministry.