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Pitroda favours transparent e-auction of spectrum

Last updated on: October 3, 2011 12:14 IST

Pitroda favours transparent e-auction of spectrum

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on Monday, Sam Pitroda, advisor to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, favoured an open and transparent e-auction system for all government auctions and tenders, including the sale of spectrum bandwidth to telecom providers, to avoid any legal hassle and bad name to the government.

Talking to PTI on Sunday on his way to Chicago after a visit to New York to address the two-day Pan-IIT Conference, Pitroda, a tech guru considered the architect of India's modern telecom revolution, said: "We have to learn from the past actions and happenings.

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Image: Sam Pitroda.

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"The government and the industry will get the best out of it. We need to use electronics and open transparent process and have e-procurement. Why should we indulge in old methods of auction when we have modern technology at our disposal?" he queried.

In this regard, Pitroda noted the 3G auction in the country last year was transparent and there were no complications whatsoever in the bidding process.

Steps should be taken to implement e-auction and modern technology in all government auctions and tenders, he emphasised.

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Image: People speak on wireless phones outside the PCO at a wholesale grocery market in Kolkata.
Photographs: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters
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"The 3G spectrum auction last year has shown that auction of spectrum is the best way forward. E-auction helps all parties and public to know what had really happened and why should we not use it in all the government process," he said.

"When technology is available and India is on top it, what prevents us from going ahead with the e-auctions and dispense with the old and antiquated system of tenders and procurements?" he asked.

Pitroda had last year submitted a report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on measures to revive state-run telecom major Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, but so far, the department of telecommunications has not commented on or implemented the recommendations in the report.

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Image: A basket maker speaks on a mobile phone as he waits for customers at a bamboo and cane baskets shop in Hyderabad.
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The DoT has kept mum on proposals such as implementing a hire-and-fire policy for inefficient staff and reduction of excess employees in a bid to revamp the ailing BSNL and gear it up to meet the competition of private sector telecom companies.

However, he refused to comment on the ongoing 2G controversy.

Sam Pitroda is an internationally renowned development thinker, telecom inventor and entrepreneur who has 44 years of experience in the information and communications technology arena and related human and national developments.

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Credited with laying the foundations and ushering in India's technology and telecommunications revolution in the 1980s, Pitroda has been a leading campaigner for bridging the global digital divide.

During his tenure as advisor to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the 1980s, Pitroda headed six technology missions related to telecommunications, water, literacy, immunisation, dairy farming and oil seeds.

He was also the founder and first chairman of India'svTelecom Commission.

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Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters
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Pitroda is also the Chairman of India's National Knowledge Commission, an advisory body to the Prime Minister of India, set up to provide a blueprint of reforms in knowledge-related institutions and infrastructure in the country.

The commission has offered a series of recommendations on various aspects of the knowledge paradigm to help India meet the challenges of the 21st century.

He is currently Advisor to the Prime Minister of India on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations.

He holds close to 100 worldwide patents and has published papers and delivered lectures in the US, Europe, Latin America and Asia.


Image: A woman speaks on a mobile phone at a refugee camp in Bhubaneswar.
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