Saturday, November 9, 2019

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The Telecom Crisis Is An NPA Problem

After interim relief for telecom, structural reforms must follow.


Shyam Ponappa    |    November 7, 2019


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Shyam Ponappa on ResearchGate

Comprehensive, Integrated Strategy & Execution
India has been coasting along on a post-feudal-colonial mélange of currents and tides, with the brigandage of opportunistic politics fed by our (the voters’) greed for short-term benefits. The result is grotesque populism and corruption in lieu of the deferred gratification of pleasing cities and countryside with the appurtenances of proper governance: sidewalks and drains, toilets, transport, administration and order, hospitals and schools.

We have to organize and manage ourselves, “engineer” our way ahead, taking active steps to build and develop our solutions, building systems and processes, and not just wait for things to happen. We need a comprehensive and integrated, systemic, silo-busting, problem-solving approach.

This applies across the board in the broadest “spatial planning” sense that integrates housing and land use at all levels with commercial, industrial, cultural, scientific and educational activity, transportation, and all governance and infrastructure: water, sewerage, energy, communications, basic health and education. Infrastructure being the first level of enablement is
 the essential starting point.


The 2014 Election - National Democratic Alliance II (NDA II)

The Modi-led BJP-dominated NDA government swept away the previous Congress government decisively, and seems set on making development the centrepiece of this stint in governing India.

Previously, India’s leaders acknowledged repeatedly that infrastructure is India’s great need. Yet, they took no steps [exception: NTP-2011 in October, 2011] to marshal forces to draw up a credible strategy and execution plan. This is what needed doing. Only good intentions and/or money won’t do, because delivery systems and processes have to be developed, i.e., planned, and built from scratch.

It looks like the NDA II will seriously address the development of enabling infrastructure.  A beginning on a long way ahead.  The next few months will demonstrate the resolve of the NDA II to really break the mould and get the job done.

- July 2014


Nothing much going on other than statements...? - December 2014

And it gets worse for Digital India as another spectrum auction augers ill, with high bids (over $16 billion) expected in March, and the attendant deprivation of network rollout and service delivery. - February 2015


...And worse: yet another spectrum auction ends with Rs. 109,000 crore (~$17.6 billion). - April 2015


... And yet worse, as another auction sucks away investment capacity by over Rs. 65,000 crore (~$10 billion).  When will we ever learn... 
- October 2016

... And even worse, with a series of annual auctions threatened from 2017! - March 2017

Lack of integrated systems and controls has led to the worst bank fraud in India - PNB $2 billion - February 2018  And IL&FS - September 2018

The National Digital Communications Policy 2018 is an aspirational statement with no policy changes so far - October 4, 2018

Big bang changes for Wi-Fi!  5 GHz regulations similar to the US FCC. - October 2018