Blackberry service in India may be interrupted from next year

In a letter sent to mobile operators, the DoT said, failing to successfully demonstrate, a service/ services for interception as per norms, the Blackberry service may be restrained to be offered to subscribers from 1st January

New Delhi: Public sector undertakings -- Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) have not yet given any time frame for testing of services for interception of Blackberry services notwithstanding the 31st December Government deadline for operators to comply with it or shut their services, reports PTI.
In a letter, the Government conveyed to telecom service providers (TSPs) that "Blackberry interception solution is in the final stages of development and testing by Research-In-Motion (RIM) and the telecom service providers in conjunction with an legal intercepting (LI) vendor.
"The developed solution should be deployed in coordination with RIM and offered for testing to the respective TERM cells on or before 31-12-12.
"Failing to successfully demonstrate, a service/ services for interception as per norms laid by Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the Blackberry service may be restrained to be offered to subscribers from 1-1-13 through your network," the letter sent by the DoT said.
This letter follows the responses of the TSPs in which they had given a time frame ranging from two to four months.
Apart from Vodafone which is ready to demonstrate the testing to the DoT, Airtel, Aircel sought 12 to 16 weeks, Loop Telecom four months and Tata by February 2013.
The responses have been received from all the TSPs except MTNL while BSNL which have not given any time frame, an official note said.
The DoT, in its communication recently, asked telecom operators about their readiness for deployment of interception solution in case of blackberry services offered by RIM through their network. 
In a note, the DoT said discussions have taken place on intercepting the services provided by Canada-based Research-In-Motion (RIM), manufacturers of the smart phones, but the TSPs have not been implementing the interception solution in respect of Blackberry services offered by them.
The Blackberry services, which were termed as security threat at one point of time by security agencies, had been asked to provide resolution and web-browsing requirements in respect of Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) in consultation with the TSPs and their lawful interception vendors.
RIM agreed to place a server in Mumbai in this connection, it added.
Blackberry claimed to have complied with the requirements of the probe agencies after their services were red-flagged on the security issues as the interception was not in the readable format.
However, the final testing of the solution provided by the RIM along with the TSPs was yet another hurdle which needed to be crossed before getting the nod of security agencies.


PSUs spending more money in contesting cases: NCDRC

According to the national consumer forum, PSUs spend more money on contesting cases than the amount they might have to pay to the claimant despite having large number of legal personnel under their employment

New Delhi: Public sector undertakings (PSUs) are behaving "penny-wise, pound-foolish" and spending more money in fighting cases than they might have to pay to the claimants, the apex consumer forum has said, reports PTI.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) made the observation while pulling up Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) for "gross negligence, deliberate inaction and lack of bonafides" in delaying by 204 days filing of a plea against a state consumer commission's order.
The NCDRC also imposed a fine of Rs50,000 on HUDA while blaming the legal staff of the PSUs for not examining cases properly and forcing litigants to approach courts, resulting in a rise in frivolous litigation.
"It is a well-known fact that courts across the country are saddled with large number of cases. PSUs' indulgences further burden them. PSUs spend more money on contesting cases than the amount they might have to pay to the claimant. In addition thereto, precious time, efforts and other resources go down the drain in vain.
"PSUs are possibly an apt example of being penny wise, pound-foolish. Rise in frivolous litigation is also due to the fact that PSUs though having large number of legal personnel under their employment, do not examine the cases properly and force poor litigants to approach the court," it said.
The HUDA had challenged an order of Haryana State Consumer Commission directing it to pay 12% per annum interest on the amount paid by an allottee for a plot of land alloted to her in 1995 but possession of which was not given to her.
The apex consumer body came down heavily on HUDA for its inordinate delay in filing its revision petition saying "no sufficient grounds are made out for condoning the long delay of 204 days in filing the present revision petition." 
"...present revision petition being barred by limitation is hereby dismissed with cost of Rs50,000," the bench headed by Justice VB Gupta said adding that the amount be deposited in the 'Consumer Legal Aid Account'.




5 years ago

PSUs are in the august company of organisations in the private sector which sometimes fight on prestige and are less concerned about ‘justice’ or costs involved. The immediate measures from the side of government and judiciary to improve the position could include:

• Segregating cases which need to be decided within a year and taking them on a priority basis by the courts now in position.
• Leaving the remaining cases to new Special Courts to be put in place at all levels depending on the number of pending cases.
• Ensuring vacancies of judges are filled in time
• Making it compulsory for government and public sector organizations to expedite procedures where they are on either side of matters before courts. This is necessary as there is laxity on their side as cost and delay seldom affects the individuals who handle cases in government and public sector. This position is slowly creeping into big corporates also.
• Come to some ‘out of court’ amicable settlement where the cases involve senior citizens, their entitlements like pension or salary arrears for periods they served organisations and cases are in courts on disputes of interpretation of rules/regulations or missing records.
• Making necessary legislative changes to reduce procedural delays
• Simultaneous efforts to encourage concerned parties to settle issues out of court. This method would bear fruit where party on one side of the dispute is government or quasi-government organizations.

New Railway Minister hints at possible fare hike

To ensure that the vast infrastructure of the railways does not collapse and stop functioning, we have to increase fares and assure the public that we are going to improve the services, says Pawan Kumar Bansal

New Delhi: New Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Monday gave ample hint of a possible passenger fare hike to improve services in the railways, reports PTI.


"Fare will not be increased for the sake of increasing fare. If fare will be increased, then it will be for providing better services to the passengers," Bansal said when asked whether passenger fares will be hiked in the near future.


"The improvement in services will have to be commensurate with the increase in fare," he said after assuming charge at Rail Bhawan.


At present, the railways are facing financial crunch and funds earmarked for many of the ongoing projects are being curtailed.


Justifying the need for a such step, the Railway Minister said, "We have to ensure that the vast infrastructure of the railways does not collapse and stop functioning... So we have to increase fares and assure the public that if there will be any hike, the public will also appreciate it because we are going to improve the services."


However, he did not go into the nitty-gritty of a possible passenger fare hike. "I have just assumed charge...I will discuss the issue threadbare."


The new Minister of State for Railways Adheer Kumar Choudhury, who also assumed charge, favoured a hike in passenger fares.


"Prices have increased in every area...so why not in the railways. Common people will not oppose it (fare hike) if services will be proper," said the West Bengal Congress leader and a known critic of TMC chief Mamata Banerjee.


Choudhury said, "Rail services have fallen in the last few years. There are increasing number of complaints with regard to the services. Safety and security is a big concern for the railways and I think these areas need attention."


On the issue of Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), Bansal said, "We have to expeditiously work on DFC as it will benefit the people. All the regions of the country will get their due from the railways."


He also promised to improve the ticket reservation system to ensure genuine passengers get confirmed tickets.


"We will try to improve the ticket reservation process with the help of technology so that there is less problem in getting tickets," he said.


Emphasising on the need safety and security, Bansal said, "We are aware of the fact that the primary concern is the safety of passengers. We have to do our best to ensure security of the passengers. Cleanliness is also important besides punctuality. We have to give a clean environment in the trains."


Bansal said, "It is our endeavour to strengthen the physical and financial position of the railways. We have to move with the times."


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