Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Why Rahul Khullar does not want an IAS as his successor in Trai? Any thought?

RAHUL Khullar, a former IAS and chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, or Trai, wants an amendment to the TRAI Act to ensure that his successor in the telecom regulator does not come from an IAS cadre. Surprised? According to a article published in leading financial portal moneycontrol.com, Khullar articulated this view when he...
addressed at Network18's The Think India Dialogue. Khullar said that the telecom regulator had moved a TRAI Act Amendment proposal to the Department of Telecom, under which only a non-IAS officer should be appointed as the TRAI chairman. The article however did not mention why Khullar, a 1975 batch IAS and former commerce secretary argues in favour of a non-IAS, and who did he mean when he talked about a non-IAS.
The Trai was set up by an act of parliament in 1997 to provide a transparent telecom policy environment. It has issued some of the path-breaking directions on issues such as tariff, interconnections, Direct To Home (DTH) services and mobile number portability. But some of its past chairmen like Pradip Baijal (2003-2006), Nripendra Misra (2006-2009) and JS Sarma (2009-2012) were all former IAS officers whose experiences as Union telecom secretaries helped them get the coveted post-retirement job as Trai chairman.
The other personnel for manning the regulator are usually drawn from Indian Revenue Service and Indian Telecom Service.
BoI could not access the details of the draft amendment note, but if the Trai has recommended a non-IAS on the ground of technical expertise which seems likely, the decision may impact the appointments of IAS officers as heads of other regulators and technical bodies as well. Also, it is likely to open the generalists Vs. specialists debate once again.


  1. Very informative. I don't regularly read financial sites/newspapers. Have come across this news item for the first time. The BoI is becoming better every passing day

  2. Its bound to happen sooner than later that other services get their due respect and recognition so that the true nature of civil services can be realized rather than it being just an IAS fortress!

  3. It is a rubbish idea from Rahul Khullar former IAS officer. I think he enjoyed the after retirement rehabilitation and he must be jealous with his fellow IAS officers, who will be the next after his tenure. Indian Revenue service officers and Indian Telecom service officers are poor decision maker and they are only implementer not the policy makers. IAS officers are versatile policy and decision maker. Prior to implement Khullar's idea it is better to redesign the policy and take young IRS and ITS officers as back end support team.

  4. To Anil Sharma Sir,

    Your wholesale condemnation and denigration of IRS and ITS officers, and elevating IAS officers to a superior status reeks of condescension (towards IRS and ITS officers). Shame on you for insinuating and casting aspersions on IRS and ITS officers. Look at India's statistic. This one statistic is what the world outside India looks at and is very concerned. Today India has still 877 million of its population living on Rs 20/- per day. This after 65 years of independence and who were and are the babus at the top of the Indian Government's pyramid. It is not IRS and ITS officers, but your versatile policy and decision maker officers of the IAS cadre. I passed up the opportunity to join IAS and instead went overseas, graduated from a top university, and have been a consultant to many of the west's governments for more than 2.5 decades. Had I joined IAS, I could have been someone who would be at the top but I let go the IAS path. I have no regrets and feel I took the right decision. GOD bless you and I pray that wisdom dawn on you soon. Have a nice day.