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.