Centre playing with our order on 2G auction, Supreme Court

The apex court while pulling up the union government for restricting the sale of spectrum, sought an explanation for not putting on auction the entire radiowaves cancelled by it on 2nd February

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday took strong exception to Union Government's decision of not putting on auction the entire 2G spectrum cancelled by it saying the Centre is "playing" with its order, reports PTI.
The apex court pulled up the Centre for restricting the sale of spectrum and sought an explanation for not putting on auction the entire radiowaves cancelled by it on 2nd February.
"We can tell you clearly that you are not implementing our order but prima facie playing with our order," the bench of justices GS Singhvi and KS Radhakrishanan said while asking the government to explain on next date of hearing on 19th November when the court will reopen after Diwali.
"You are required to put spectrum of all 22 service areas cancelled by us on auction," the bench said, adding, "We are very clear that in terms of our direction you have to undertake the exercise for grant of licences for 2G spectrum in all the 22 circles".
The bench wanted to know why the Centre has not informed it during the last ten months after its order was passed on 2nd February since the case has been taken up for hearing many times.
"We always believed that you are implementing our order in letter and spirit," the bench said and remarked in a lighter vein, "We have not so far started forgetting things".
The bench, however, made it clear the auction process which is scheduled for 12th November will go on.
While the Addition Solicitor General AS Chandhiok was making submission on the issue of auction, the bench said it was only concerned with its direction that all spectrum which was cancelled by it on 2 February 2012 was put for auction.
The centre, however, tried to justify its decision saying that it was done on the recommendation of TRAI. However, the bench was not satisfied with the explanation and said "it is your decision" and wondered why it was never earlier told about the recommendation of the regulating body. 
The apex court was hearing a plea by an association of GSM mobile operators seeking inclusion of airwaves allocated to two Tata Group companies in the fresh auction of 122 cancelled 2G spectrum licenses.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has also sought a direction for auction 170 MHz more spectrum in the bidding.
COAI, an apex body of GSM operators, has sought the apex court's direction that all spectrum vacated by the cancellation of 122 telecom licences by the Feb 2 verdict should be put up for auction.
By "hoarding" scarce natural resources, the government is trying to "jack up" the price of spectrum, the COAI had said in the petition.
COAI has also sought apex court's direction to quash 83 MHz spectrum allotted to the Tata group under the dual-technology licence in 2008 and auction it.
According to COAI, 514 MHz of spectrum should be vacated following the cancellation of 122 licences and de-allocation of 83 MHz spectrum to Tatas.
Five companies - Bharti Airtel, Idea, Vodafone, Videocon and Telenor-promoted Telewings - are likely to participate in the fresh auction for 1800 MHz spectrum 
The COAI, which represents GSM operators Bharti Airtel, Idea and Vodafone has sought cancellation of licence and GSM spectrum of Tata group companies, Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL) and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Ltd (TTML) for inclusion in the fresh auction.
COAI has sought to include Tata's spectrum of 83.6 MHz allocated in 2008 along with the 122 2G licences in the fresh auction contending that TTSL and TTML received the radiowaves in pursuance of the same press releases through which the other 122 licences were granted.


Forged papers for mobile connection to attract police action

Under the new rules, the authorised person selling mobile SIM cards will have to give an undertaking that he has seen the applicant and matched the photograph attached on the application form

New Delhi: Taking new mobile phone connection from Friday will require physical verification of facts provided by subscribers and submission of forged documents will lead to police inquiry, reports PTI.
Tougher guidelines by the Department of Telecom (DoT), which took effect today, make operators responsible for inaccurate information provided by subscribers for taking new pre-paid and post-paid mobile connections.
Under the new rules, the authorised person selling SIM cards will have to give an undertaking that he has seen the applicant and matched the photograph attached on the application form.
Retailers and franchisees selling mobile SIM cards will have to register police complaint against subscribers if they submit forged documents to get the connections.
All the telecom operators across the country are required to comply with the new guidelines.
"By and large we are compliant with most of the norms though there are a few areas for which we have sought clarifications from DoT like verification of date of birth and age," GSM industry body COAI director general Rajan S Mathews told PTI.
He said the government has indicated that the operators have to verify certain documents which include date of birth and age of users.
"We have asked DoT what should we do in case if the user has no documents related to his date of birth," he said.
COAI is expecting a reply on the issues in the next few days.
According to the guidelines, "In cases where forged documents are submitted by the subscriber and originals are also forged, police complaint or FIR shall be lodged by the PoS (Point of Sale) or franchisee against the subscriber within 15 days of bringing it to the notice of licensee (telecom operator)."
The retailer will have to sign, authenticating that the documents submitted by the customer have been verified with original copies of proof of address and identity.
The guidelines also make it mandatory for the licensee to sign the form prior to the activation of SIM card, certifying that the information provided on the form is correct.
Telecom operators will also have to file First Information Report (FIR) against the franchisee or SIM seller if the SIM is sold against documents of any other subscriber or person without the owner of the document having any knowledge of it.
Further, legal action will be taken against telecom operators for failing to act against the errant sellers and subscribers.


Is the affluent West a global threat to our health?

The debate about climatic dangers has shifted now from doubt to inevitability. It is time for the business community to have a serious look on all these issues and formulate a people friendly economy

“The common ingredients of health and long life are:

Great tem’rance, open air,

Easy labour, little care”—Sir P Sydney


The heading might raise a few eyebrows but the truth, however unpleasant, has to be told in this instance since the health of the future generations of this planet is in real danger. The danger might even come earlier if something is not done on a global scale. The major player is the US. They might or might not be aware of this. Twenty-five per cent of the global emission of carbon dioxide, the most dangerous global warming gas, is produced by the US alone. Human activities are the main cause of global warming according to the report of the United Nations Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


The main reasons for these changes are the burning of fossil fuels for energy at the present time and changing the earth’s surface constituents, mainly due to deforestation. The latter results in depletion of the necessary ingredients in the top soil that help to absorb or scatter the radiant energy which contributes to global warming. In addition, when air temperatures go up there could be vigorous cycles of both evaporation of water and precipitation producing more and more aberrations in weather.


While there has been some progress in this direction on a global scale, things have not moved at the necessary pace. The 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climatic Change (UNFCCC) has been ratified by more than 186 countries so far. Despite all this, if the US does not give the leadership in this direction there is no hope for mankind on this planet. I am an optimist and I hope something will come out but we have to wake up the sleeping giant before it is too late to see the writing on the wall. Unless we try and look for alternative energy sources that do not increase the greenhouse gases and alternative strategies to preserve and increase the forest land, there is no solution.


Health threats from all these are enormous, to say the least. If left alone the world will be the biggest mortuary in the next century. Large populations would be decimated by this threat of climatic change as well as by the therapeutic population control due to dangerous drugs and unwanted technology in medicine. The main threat to human health will be all over but more so in the poorer nations starved for resources. Water for drinking will be scarce and food for the hungry will dry up sooner than expected when the ambient temperatures go up. Vector-borne parasitic, viral, and bacterial diseases will go up exponentially as also the vascular killer diseases with the temperatures going up.


That apart, the threat to the very existence of many areas on the globe is very real. New York City might be under water. New Delhi will be snow covered. Many of the coastal belts in many countries and the island nations would be submerged. In an imaginative movie, Day After Tomorrow, the picture depicted looks very gloomy. Even if that does not become a reality the picture could be pathetic. Even a slow rise of earth’s temperature would result in abnormal evaporation and precipitation that might leave in its trail devastations due to droughts, floods and stormy heavy downpour at unusual times and places resulting in loss of lives and property.


The disease picture might again change. Europe became free of plague after the mid-eighteenth century because of the cooling of that continent by a degree centigrade. Rattus rattus, the black rat, that carries pasturella pestis, the germ that causes plague, disappeared in that lowered temperature. If the temperature goes up now the same species might reappear and plague might be a new pandemic there. The present rattus novegenous in Europe, the white rat, is not capable of harbouring the plague bacillus.


As in any calamity it is the poorest of the poor that get hit the hardest. The cyclones in Bangladesh in 1970 and in 1991 killed nearly 300,000 and 139,000 people respectively whereas Hurricane Andrew in the US in 1992, which was equally ferocious, killed a meager 55 people. The poor have less coping capacity and their governments have money for other luxuries but there is no money for these calamities. The estimated number of hungry people in the twenty-first century, if the climatic change is not controlled forthwith, is estimated to be around 80-90 million, mostly in the poorer countries.


The subdued debate about climatic dangers by a few extremist environmentalists has shifted now from doubt to inevitability. David King, the chief scientist of the UK government, had recently stated that “climatic change is the most severe problem we are facing today—more serious than the threat of terrorism.”  But nobody seems to talk about it, least of all our holy media. The media seems to be obsessed with terrorism all the time and have no time to tell the people that a greater threat is looming large. In a very lucid book edited by McMichael, published by the World Health Organization (WHO), the real threat is exposed threadbare. The book is titled “Climate Change and Human Health”. One could get the details from the following email address: [email protected] from the WHO’s office.


The big names in business are also slowly waking up from their deep slumber. Recently James Wolfesohn, the World Bank president, alerted an important audience of world business leaders and other civil society groups about the real danger of the threat of climatic change. I hope that it would stir their conscience if they have one in the first place. Their greed has been the cause of all these problems for mankind. He lamented that the most important environmental debate was on the backburner of international deliberations on development. Any development that does not address this serious issue will only be destroying this world in the long run.


It is not that the medical profession has not been informed about it, but we in the profession have not raised any voice in this important area. Doctors are not trained just to make money. They are basically trained to keep the health of the public. The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, did warn us adequately: “physicians should have due regard to the seasons of the year, the diseases which they produce, and to the state of the wind peculiar to each country and the qualities of its waters.” In the great Indian system of Ayurveda—the mother of all medical wisdoms—weather and climatic changes with seasonal variations are stressed as a vital part of the study of any disease as also in disease management. Lost in the jungle of the pseudo-science of modern medicine and its technology, we have lost sight of this important aspect. This is never taught in the medical school and, consequently, doctors do not take any interest in the environment.


No drug or technology company will be interested in funding any post-graduate activity in this area. Since medical education is mostly under the influence of drug company money even in the US doctors are oblivious to this.


In a hard-hitting editorial in the leading medical journal The Lancet captioned Medical Education is run with drug company money in the USA the journal warns of the grave threat to doctors’ integrity. Similar sentiments are expressed in another editorial in the leading American medical journal New England Journal of Medicine titled Is Academic Medicine for Sale?  The writer laments at the present business atmosphere in medical establishment. Medical humanism demands that doctors become more human and humane. Earlier we act to stop the monetary economy’s madness to make profit at any cost-mostly at the cost of the poor man, the better for mankind.


Western drug companies also see that the drug prices go up all over the globe in the name of globalization and the poorer nations pay for their poverty with their poor people’s lives as a consequence. Life saving drugs have already become prohibitively expensive and are beyond the reach of even the middle-class these days. May I appeal to the business community to have a serious debate on all these issues and formulate a people friendly economy—call it what you will? It is also an urgent matter that alternative sources of energy are researched fast to prevent greenhouse gasses destroying our biosphere and the global ecosystem. There is plenty of hope in solar energy for a warm country like ours. Cold-fusion, where there is no radiation fallout, is our best bet. Natural bio-gas, as is done in an Indian village by a sarpanch, will go a long way in reducing fossil fuel burning. The prototype of domestic table-top cold fusion boxes is already ready for sale. The big business of nuclear fission aided and abetted by our ‘great’ scientists trying to scuttle its development with their usual weapon of saying that it is pseudo science even though it is researched by great scientific minds.

      "God made the country and man made the town;
      What wonder then, that health and virtue, gifts
      That can alone make sweet the bitter draught
      That life holds out to all, should most abound,
      And least be threaten'd in the fields and groves?"-Cowper.


(Professor Dr BM Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee in 2010, is an MD, PhD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Dublin), FACC and FAMS. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the Science of Healing Outcomes, Chairman of the State Health Society's Expert Committee, Govt of Bihar, Patna. He is former Vice Chancellor of Manipal University at Mangalore and former professor for Cardiology of the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, University of London. Prof Dr Hegde can be contacted at [email protected].)



nagesh kini

4 years ago

Noone other than Dr.Hegde could have put across the seriousness of the impending doom.
It looks like every one from top to bottom have been taking things for granted, as if there is no tomorrow -
"Khao,Piyo, Majaa aur Aish Karo - Kal Dekhi jayagee".
Why blame only the affluent west?
Hurricane Sandy hitting the entire US East Coast is enough proof of how Nature hits back. We've had Neelam on our S-E coast too.
Let us not forget that we have inherited this Earth from our forefathers and hold it in trust for our children and it is our sacred duty to preserve and protect it.

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