The 4G telecom technology, known as ultra-broadband, offers downloads at much faster speeds and high definition video on demand, among other services
Close on the heels of a highly successful third generation (3G) spectrum auction, telecom regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Thursday said it plans to bring out the recommendations on the fourth generation (4G) technology or ultra-broadband by the end of the year, reports PTI.
Chairman JS Sarma also said that TRAI plans to bring out a consultation paper on the 4G in the next two-three months.
"Before the year-end we should be ready with recommendations on 4G," he added.
The fourth-generation telecom technology, known as ultra-broadband, offers download at much faster speeds and high definition video on demand, among other services.
The 4G services are a successor to 3G and 2G standards, with the aim to provide a wide range of data rates up to ultra-broadband (gigabit-speed) Internet access to mobile as well as stationary users.
Concerned over the slow offtake of broadband services, the telecom regulator also plans to bring the consolation paper on pan-India broadband soon. "We want to give the recommendations on the National Broadband Plan by July," he said.
On 4G, TRAI would look into the various aspects, including spectrum band to be allotted and the quantum and mode of allotment to operators. A number of foreign players like US-based Motorola and Ericsson have already started testing the 4G technology in various parts of the world.
Under the Indian banking rules, depositors have to be paid interest for their money in banks, which is not permitted under Islamic banking principles
The Reserve Bank India (RBI) on Thursday said it is considering the possibility of allowing Islamic financial institutions to function as non banking financial companies (NBFCs) since Islamic banks are not permitted under the present laws, reports PTI.
Under the Indian banking rules, depositors have to be paid interest for their money in banks, which is not permitted by Islamic banking principles, RBI Governor D Subbarao told reporters after the central bank's board meeting in Thiruvananthapuram.
RBI, however, was examining the possibility of allowing Islamic financial institutions to function as non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), he said.
Sharia (Islamic law) does not allow charging or paying interest rates.
In India, there are two types of NBFCs—those who accept deposits and others which do not.
Mr Subbarao said the Centre will have to enact a separate legislation in case Islamic banking is to be allowed in the country.
The question on Islamic banking came up in the backdrop of Kerala government taking the initiative to set up a joint venture financial institution based on Islamic banking principles.
The proposal was stayed by the Kerala High Court, while admitting a petition filed by Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy on the Constitutional validity of the proposal a few months ago.
The boards of ‘Maharatna’ PSUs will have powers to make equity investment up to Rs5,000 crore to set up financial joint ventures and wholly-owned subsidiaries in India or abroad without government approval
The government has approved the ‘Maharatna’ status for NTPC, IOC, ONGC and SAIL but only the power major can enjoy the autonomy that goes with the coveted status for the PSUs, reports PTI.
"The competent authority has approved the grant of ‘Maharatna’ status for IOC, NTPC, ONGC and SAIL," the Department of Public Enterprises said in an inter-ministerial communication.
While the four blue-chip public sector undertakings (PSUs) have been given the new status, only NTPC "has the requisite number of non-official directors on its board and is therefore eligible to exercise the Maharatna powers", it said.
Though the other three companies also met the norms set by the Cabinet on 24th December, their boards do not have the adequate number of independent directors, the DPE said.
"The ministry of petroleum and natural gas and the ministry of steel may take necessary steps to induct the requisite number of non-official directors on the boards of IOC, ONGC and SAIL so that they could also exercise delegated ‘Maharatna’ powers," it said.
The boards of ‘Maharatna’ PSUs will have powers to make equity investment up to Rs5,000 crore to set up financial joint ventures and wholly-owned subsidiaries in India or abroad without government approval.
According to sources, the SAIL board is short of five non-official directors. The steel-maker has started the process of filling the vacancies.
The four firms fulfil the other criteria of a three-year track record of annual net profit of over Rs5,000 crore, net worth of more than Rs15,000 crore and turnover of more than Rs25,000 crore, besides listing on the stock exchanges.
Of the 158 profit-making PSUs, 18 enjoy the ‘Navratna’ status while 62 are ‘mini-Navratnas’. In all, there are 246 PSUs in the Central sector.
"SAIL is poised to play a significant role in the nation\'s development in the years to come. This welcome decision of the government will greatly strengthen our resolve and enhance SAIL\'s capability in the global context," SAIL chairman S K Roongta said.