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J.S Deepak removed as telecom secretary

J.S Deepak, the telecom secretary for Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has been effectively removed from his post and moved temporarily to the Department of Commerce as Officer on Special Duty (OSD), reports PTI. Deepak was also named as the next Indian ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO). He will take charge as ambassador from June this year.

It’s worth noting that Deepak’s removal from the DoT post comes shortly after he penned a letter to the telecom regulator TRAI asking it to restrict the period of promotional packs offered by telcos, which is currently has a maximum validity of 90 days. He added that Jio’s free offers have cost the government almost Rs 800 crore and that it has affected the telecom industry. He pointed out to TRAI’s regulations which mention that any kind of pack which is “promotional in nature” cannot be offered beyond 90 days, and asked the TRAI to “act in…spirit of its own directions.”

Deepak joined the DoT first in 2008 as Joint Secretary and has also worked with various government departments overlooking policy. He earlier served as Chairman & Managing Director of State Trading Corporation (STC) of India, member of the board of directors of state-owned telcos BSNL, and MTNL. Deepak also holds a board position at the Board of India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO), Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) and the Governing Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).

Note that this isn’t Deepak’s first stint with the WTO. He earlier held the role of chief negotiator (India) at the WTO while signing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement, a global free trade agreement. Deepak also held an administerial position at DoT when it first introduced e-auctions during the 2010 spectrum  auctions. He has also worked as a consultant with The Policy Project, a group of US-based institutes that looked into framing population and health policies. He holds an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad.

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