Polity > Institutions/Bodies > Government agencies
Why in news?
- Recently, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) decided to amend the new tariff order (NTO) 2.0 to restore the price cap for a television channel to Rs 19 from Rs 12 earlier.
- The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is a statutory body set up by the Government of India under TRAI ACT, 1997.
- Powers and functions:
- TRAI aims to regulate telecom services, including fixation/revision of tariffs for telecom services.
- Making recommendations on issue of license to telecom service provider.
- TRAI also has the power to fix the rates at which telecommunication services are being provided in and outside India.
- The recommendations made by the TRAI are not binding on the Central Government.
- However, the Central Government has to mandatorily ask for recommendations from TRAI with respect to need and timing of new service provider and terms and conditions of the license to be granted to the service provider.
Government control over TRA:
- Government has the power to issue directions which are binding on TRAI.
- The TRAI is funded by the Central Government.
- The chairperson and the members of TRAI are appointed by the Central Government.
About Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal:
- The TRAI Act was amended in 2000 to establish Telecommunications Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).
- It aims to take over the adjudicatory and disputes functions from TRAI.
- It is the sole dispute resolution body in the communication sector.
- Also hear and dispose of appeals against any direction, decision or order of TRAI.
- However, the Tribunal does not have any jurisdiction to try any matter which deals with anti-competitive trade practices or any consumer complaint.
Composition of the tribunal:
- The Tribunal consists of a chairperson and two other members, appointed by the Central Government.
- Selection of chairperson and the two members is done in consultation with Chief Justice of India.
- The minimum qualification for a Chairperson is that he is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court or a Chief Justice of a High Court.
- The Tribunal is not bound by the procedure laid down by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
- It has the power to regulate its own procedure.
- It is to be guided by the principles of natural justice.
Consider the following statements regarding Telecom Regulatory Authority of India:
1. It is a non-statutory body
2. It has the power to fix the rates at which telecommunication services are being provided in and outside India.
3. Members of the authority appointed by the Central Government.
Which among the above statements is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 3 only