The Hindu Newspaper Analysis – 22-10-2020

The core of Digital India

  • The articles answers that the humans are the core of the digital India idea. These humans play a crucial role and act as an intermediary between the Govt and the citizens. The humans are referred to as ‘intermediaries’ and they will play an important role in last mile governance aspect.
  • The role of the intermediaries are as follows:
    • They will help the people to overcome barriers be it physical or social or economic, through awareness campaigns and help the people get access to their rights and services.
    • It will help them to get their grievances redressed in a proper manner.
    • They will act as offline architects to make sure the government is working better.
  •  These people can be both political or apolitical in nature and can range political party workers, community based, NGO Volunteers and so on.
  • Better design and better recognition will help this system progress in a better manner with the system more concise and accurate.
  • Here, people from various avenues and sectors must be roped in and the one size fits all approach shall not work in this regard. The strengths of the people have to be leveraged and incentives should be provided which will be a key link to get better governance outcomes also as a natural extension of the Govt and its services.
  • Intermediaries are already present in avenues like stock markets and mutual funds and they provide a better interface to those who are new or are laymen in his regard. This is possible through ways of:
    • Capacity building
    • Awareness campaigns and
    • Process of continuous re-engineering
  • All this have to be taken into consideration and natural solutions can be provided which will be further powered by citizen feedback. Through this we can provide better digital governance by filling the loopholes and have a responsible and a data driven Govt.

Spectrum Auction

  • From this article’s perspective we need to understand the basics of spectrum auction.
  • We all know that energy travels in the form of waves which we call as electromagnetic waves. These waves vary from each other in terms of vacancies and this varying range of frequencies is called as a spectrum.
  • In the arena of telecom, electromagnetic waves are used depending on the bands or the frequencies.
  • In the spectrum auction, the Govt auctions the rights or sells the licenses to transmit signals over specific bands of the electromagnetic spectrum and to assign scarce the spectrum resources. These auctions make use of natural resources for revenue raising revenue and thereby ensuring economic development.
  • Now the union cabinet has approved the proposal of the Dept. of Telecommunications for the auction of the spectrum for provision of commercial mobile services.
  • The auction will be for the spectrum ranging from 700 Mhz to 2500 Mhz and will be valid for a period of 20 years.
  • The successful bidders should pay the entire bid amount and in addition to this they also have to pay the AGR or the Adjusted Gross Revenue.

International Branch Campuses

  • The National Education Policy 2020 recommended the setting up of International Branch Campuses of various universities in Indian universities. For the same, various models exist, but the one mostly followed in India is the self-funded model where the foreign university funds itself.
  • Others in this regard can be those that are party or fully funded by the Govt of the nation or even the home university. Indian universities are also existent in various countries like
    • Australia, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Singapore among others
  •  The author quotes that an example of Monash University that opened its international branch campus in the Johannesburg region of South Africa and in the later stages, the university got into acquisitions and mergers that defeated the purpose of the same and the credibility of the same.
  • There are some ground realities that we need to accept in this regard
    • The branch might not be public in nature throughout
    • It might turn into a private local institution though mergers and acquisitions
    • The quality of the branch could be reducing and questionable
    • The domestic factors will influence the same like staff, circumstances among others.
  • These various delivery models need to be considered and reviewed and proper policy measures have to be adopted.
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    Dr. RS Aggarwal
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