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Former TRAI chairman JS Sarma is no more

MUMBAI: Dr JS Sarma, former chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), passed away following a brief illness. He was 65.

js-sarma 01The 1971 batch Indian Administrative Service officer from the Andhra Pradesh cadre had served as TRAI chairman from 2009 to 2012. He was succeeded by current chairman Rahul Khullar.

As TRAI chief, Dr Sarma had made significant contribution to the telecom and broadcast sector. In the broadcast sector, Sarma had overseen India’s historic march towards digital cable. The consumer friendly 12-minute ad cap regulation was also initiated during his tenure.

“Sarma, who presided over as chairman of TRAI, from 14 May 2009 to 13 May 2012, passed away in Hyderabad on 28 February, after a brief ailment,” a TRAI spokesperson said.

Dr Sarma had the rare distinction of holding the position of Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Telecommunications, the policy-making body.

He was also a member of the judicial body Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).

Born in Vijayawada on 4 September 1948, Dr Sarma held an MTech in Applied Geology and a doctorate in Public Enterprises from the University of Paris. He had also served in the Ministries of Defence, Rural Development and Personnel, and was Secretary in the Department of Fertilisers.