SC Misra, Member (Services), Telecom Commission & Ex-Officio Secretary to the Government of India, has been given the additional charge of Chairman and Managing Director of public sector telecom operator BSNL. Misra has charge until a full time CMD is appointed. Gopal Das, who took over as the state telecom operator’s acting CMD in August 2010, retired from the post on 28th February. Misra has more than 34 years of experience in Installation, Operation, Maintenance & Administration of telecom systems, and as Member (Services), Telecom Commission, he is also responsible for policy issues.

Meanwhile, BSNL’s search for a permanent appointment as CMD continues. Still on BSNL’s agenda, albeit on the backburner, is a merger between BSNL and MTNL, and dealing with striking employees who don’t want the company to be publicly listed; it’s unlikely that anything will move forward for BSNL until a permanent MD is appointment: it hasn’t been able to do much with its 3G rollout, even as private companies are announcing 3G launches.

In addition, a direct enquiry is being conducted by Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) on “irregularities in allotting BSNL’s Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) franchisee”. Department of Telecommunications has also constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Member (Finance), Telecom Commission for detailed examination of the course of actions taken by BSNL while floating tender/EOI for short listing of bidders for WiMAX franchisee.” BSNL has paid Rs.8313.80 crore for Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum, and was looking to franchise its spectrum.

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Gopal Das Joins An Ailing BSNL As CMD; Rs. 1822.65 crore FY10 Loss