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Lack of spectrum, tower radiation fears behind call drops: Prasad

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Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology of India at the World Economic Forum - India Economic Summit 2014 in New Delhi, Copyright by World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell

New Delhi: Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, referring to telecom operators citing both shutting down mobile towers due to radiation fears, and the lack of spectrum as major reasons for call drops, on Thursday, said diverse complaints could not be linked together.

Ravi_Shankar_Prasad_At_Office“The complaint against call drops and that against tower radiation cannot go together,” Prasad said answering questions at an event here organised by the Ficci-supported International Chamber of Commerce.

Telecom operators said that about 7,000 to 10,000 tower sites were locked or shut down across major urban centres and urged a national policy for installation of mobile towers.

The minister spoke of “a sinister campaign” of the ill-effects of mobile tower radiation.

“There is an exhaustive World Health Organisation report on the matter that this radiation is not injurious to health. One should only think of the radiation that one is normally exposed to in doing X-rays or MRI’s,” he said.

On the other hand, the minister had a stern word for telecom operators on the issue of infrastructure and asked them to deliver “good services”.

“Spectrum has been given (with clearing of spectrum sharing and trading). Now, don’t give the impression that you only want to collect customers and give no thought to good services. Operators should optimise their network, synchronise the network and also invest in the network,” he added.

(IANS)

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“Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Discussed on Data Sovereignty, Digital India”, Says Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

Data sovereignty and localisation have been a matter of concern and major technology companies which are mostly based out of India and store data outside the country

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Ravi Shankar prasad
"We talked on issue of data sovereignty which is a work in progress," Prasad said, adding that Digital India was also discussed among several issues in the IT segment. Wikimedia Commons

 Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Wednesday discussed on a range of issues including data sovereignty and Digital India with Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Speaking to reporters here after his meeting with Nadella, IT Minister Prasad said that it was a courtesy meeting which went “very good”.

“We talked on issue of data sovereignty which is a work in progress,” he said, adding that Digital India was also discussed among several issues in the IT segment.

Data sovereignty and data localisation have been major subjects of debate with the government having introduced the Personal Data Protection Bill in the Parliament last year.

Although the bill allows the transfer of personal data outside India, while transferring “sensitive” personal data outside the country a copy will have to be kept in the country. Data processing or collecting entities will, however, be barred from transferring “critical” personal data outside the country.

Satya Nadella
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Wednesday discussed on a range of issues including data sovereignty and Digital India with Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Wikimedia Commons

Data sovereignty and localisation have been a matter of concern and major technology companies which are mostly based out of India and store data outside the country.

The minister also told the media that he has offered the Microsoft Corporation CEO to adopt few villages in the country and transform them into digital villages in line with the government’s target of establishing one lakh digital villages.

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“We discussed a whole range of issues on IT, particularly i have offered to him… We have to establish one lakh digital villages. He can consider adopting some of these digital villages and mentoring it to become a beacon for others to follow,” he said. (IANS)