The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) wants to prioritise the creation of a corpus to promote indigenous research and development, entrepreneurship, manufacturing, commercialisation and deployment of state-of-the-art telecom products and services in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-2017).

It also wants to put in place appropriate financial incentives required for indigenous manufacturers of products and R&D institutions.

On top of the DoT’s to-do list for the new Telecom Minister is the creation of a complete value chain for domestic production of telecommunication equipment, which includes promoting the ecosystem for design, research and development, creation of Intellectual Property Rights, testing, standardisation and manufacturing. Similarly, it has sought elimination of the inverted duty structure in the new government’s budget.

This is being done to meet the Indian telecom sector’s demand to the extent of 60 per cent and 80 per cent with a minimum value addition of 45 per cent and 65 per cent by 2017 and 2020 respectively. It is also faced with the challenge of providing preference to domestically manufactured telecommunication products and in procurement of telecom products which have security implications for the country, the DoT note says.

With the Union Finance Ministry pushing for various mobile-based financial services and transactions to leverage the massive growth in mobile-users, the DoT has been tasked with developing a mobile operating system for SIM cards with enhanced security features. The DoT has set March 2015 deadline for this ambitious project.

Another challenge is to boost exports of telecom equipment and services. The new minister’s task would be to incentivise exports and create synergy among various domestic players to provide integrated communication solutions for exports, the note adds.

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