Have you heard of the Universal Services Obligation Fund? It is the one that the Government used to dip in, to dole out subsidies to telecom operators to reach out to villages. Time was the operators did not find rural business profitable and had to be subsidised and coerced to serve there.
But things have turned around more than 180 degrees. In the latest round of bidding, there was keen competition among telcos to not only spurn subsidies but offer the government a premium to get the rural blocks they want. The forecast is mobile telephony will reach an additional 240million folks.
It’s a clear sign of rural prosperity and shows that the best subsidies are ones that die beautiful deaths. Report
Apr 25, 2007 : ISRO order book filling up
After successfully launching the 352kg Italian satellite, Agile, on April 23, the Indian Space Research Organisation [ISRO]claims its order book is healthy. The copy-book Agile launch, is a major commercial success and ISRO joins the exclusive club of launchers made up of the USA, Russia, France, China and Japan.
ISRO’s marketing arm Antrix, says in August ISRO will launch a 300kg Israeli satellite. In 2008 it will launch an Israeli telescope. It is also set to launch six micro satellites for Canada.
6,000 village level courts are planned across the country. To be known as Gram Nyayalayas, these will handle both criminal and civil disputes. They will adopt a shortened procedure with full safeguards for natural justice. The Centre will fund the creation of courts and share the recurring costs with the States. A Bill to formalise this will soon be introduced in the Parliament.
The crowds of villagers milling around District and Taluka courts will no longer need to travel long distances and waste whole days or for that matter, be entrapped by greedy lawyers.