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FM radio e-auction suffers glitch on Day 16

MUMBAI: The ongoing FM radio e-auction sent the radio players and the auction monitor in a tizzy as the process suffered a glitch on Day 16.

A hacking attempt or sabotage is feared. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has asked the e-auctioneer, C1 India, for a re-run of the first round along with a detailed report. Some parts of the data generated after the first round could not be decrypted, the Indian Express reported.

A senior radio executive told TelevisionPost.com that there was some confusion in the first round of the day because of which the consecutive rounds got delayed, mostly due to a technical glitch.

As a consequence, the remaining three rounds held during the day got delayed and the daily auction report could only be released late in the evening.

“It could have been a technical glitch, but we are not taking any chances. The possibility of it being an attempt to hack into the e-auction cannot be ruled out at this stage. That’s why we are taking it seriously and have asked for a detailed probe report,” a ministry source told IE.

As the first round of the e-auctioning concluded on Monday (the 16th day of bidding), it was noticed that the data of the bids pertaining to a few cities could not be decrypted, IE reported.

“As many as 60 rounds of bidding had successfully happened before this round. So yes, it was a bit unusual for this to have happened. That’s why we asked for a re-run so that no aspersions can be cast on the auction,” the source told the daily.

Incidentally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in his speech on Independence Day that several “big” people had pressurised him not to conduct the FM radio auction and were questioning its need.