Indian government may shut down DCC, media outlets suggest

Indian government may shut down DCC, media outlets suggest

Widely reported Indian government plans (though they have not been officially confirmed) suggest winding up the Digital Communications Commission (DCC), described as the highest decision-making body of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

The DCC, set up as the Telecom Commission in April 1989 with administrative and financial powers to deal with various aspects of telecommunications, is chaired by the telecom secretary but is apparently losing any relevance as most of the critical matters are now taken to Cabinet for approval.

As the Economic Times points out, when the rulings are important – such as law-making related to telecoms, there are usually inter-ministerial consultations. Thus, it seems the DoT will finalise most of the issues and take the results directly to Cabinet. In any case the Finance Ministry’s approval is usually required on major projects. So why should another body get involved?

Thus, removing the DCC could increase efficiencies (notably by avoiding duplication) and speed up decision making, something that can be delayed when some DCC  members are absent from important meetings.

The DCC is responsible for formulating the policy of DoT for approval of the Government, preparing the budget for DoT for each financial year and getting it approved and for implementation of government's policy in all matters concerning telecommunication.

Among DCC’s important decisions reported here are approval for backhaul satellite connectivity via VSAT for telecom services but it has also courted controversy with proposed 5G spectrum pricing that operators, among others, thought too high.

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