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Aruna Sundararajan replaces PK Pujari as Telecom Secretary

The government has rejigged the position of Secretary for Telecom (at DoT) for the second in the last two months. Aruna Sundararajan, the current secretary for The Ministry of Electronics and IT (Meity) will now take additional charge as Secretary for Telecom, replacing PK Pujari who was appointed to the post temporarily in March. The government notification said that Sundararajan’s secretary position will also be temporary.

Sundararajan is an IAS officer who played an important role in creating an IT department for the Kerala government in 1998. This Hindu report points out that she has experience overseeing operations of Kerala Government’s Bharat Broadband Scheme which provides subsidized broadband connections. She also administered several IT-based government projects and funds including the Universal Service Obligation Fund (which funds the BharatNet project). Her previous important posts include IT secretary for Kerala state government, and CEO of National Common Service Centre, the report added.

Note that PK Pujari’s appointment in March was made shortly after the earlier permanent Secretary J.D Deepak was removed from the post in the same month. Deepak’s removal from DoT came after he wrote 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 money and that it has affected the telecom industry. Deepak had also suggested creating a new telecom policy replacing the existing polices that were last updated in 2012, according to this Mint report.

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