The Cabinet’s appointment committee has appointed Aruna Sundararajan as the department of telecom’s (DoT) secretary. Sundararajan, who till now was serving as the secretary of IT and electronics, was recently given the additional charge of telecom secretary after power secretary PK Pujari’s tenure got over.
The post of the telecom secretary was lying vacant following the posting of former telecom secretary JS Deepak to the WTO as India representative.
According to a notification issued by the department of personnel, Ajay Prakash Sawhney will now take over as secretary for electronics and IT.
The development comes at a time when the telecom industry is going through a financial stress, unleashed by the entry of Reliance Jio with free services, which led to a decline in revenue and profitability of top four telecom operators.
Sundararajan, from the 1982 batch of Kerala cadre, along with telecom minister Manoj Sinha will now be meeting the leading Indian operators on Thursday to discuss the financial situation of the debt-laden sector.
According to reports, Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal, Reliance Communications chairman Anil Ambani and chief executives of Reliance Jio, Tata Teleservices and Idea Cellular will meet the minister and the secretary.
Reports added that the telecom department is considering a new telecom policy, contours of which are still in the works. Besides, it will also consider the issue of giving the TRAI more powers.
The department will also have to take a call on Rs 3,050 crore penalties on Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone India, recommended by telecom regulator TRAI.