IIT faculty to move TRAI against Free Basics

December 30, 2015 01:30 am | Updated December 04, 2021 11:03 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

Atleast 40 faculty members from the IITs at Mumbai, Delhi, Khargapur and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore have, as of Wednesday, signed the petition lambasting >Free Basics — a Facebook initiative to offer free access to a few sites—as ‘misleading’and ‘flawed.’ They will be submitting the petition to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Wednesday.

“Facebook’s ‘free basics’ (sic) proposal is such a lethal combination, having several deep flaws, beneath the veil of altruism wrapped around it in TV and other media advertisements,” says the petition.

Krithi Ramamritham, Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Bombay, said that he and three other colleagues had drafted the petition and got others, across institutes, using their personal networks. “This doesn’t, in anyway, represent the position of our institutions. I’ve been part of the earlier Net Neutrality debate and, as a group, we felt that our voice needs to be heard by TRAI,” he added. Facebook is a key recruiter from the IITs.

In October, >Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg while addressing a convention of faculty and students at IIT Delhi, where, among other things, he said that his company supported Net neutrality and Free Basics in no way contradicted those principles.

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