Feb 16, 2016 - Ankur Mishra, INDIA, Politics    No Comments

How can they ask for Azaadi despite India taking care of them for decades now

“Our tax-money is funding the studies of these JNU students.”

For one, you are probably forgetting/overestimating how much monthly tax you actually pay. Your taxes are paying for a LOT of things, many of them being facilities that you and your dependents use everyday. The tax-money being spent on their education is probably a fraction of the total spend by the government on various things, many of them undisclosed (you seem oddly okay with that).

“Look what these students are doing instead of focusing on research. Complete waste of my tax-money.”

India has a generally weak research culture when it comes to academia, JNU is among the few good institutions actually contributing in that area. So please be assured, these students are doing what they went there for. So if your tax-money is meant to contribute to nation-building through education, then you can calm down.

 

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(PHOTO: via WSJ Blogs)

 

“But why do they have to get involved in politics and all, leave that to politicians. Wasting my tax-money.”

Alright, first, SHUT UP ABOUT YOUR TAX MONEY. Secondly, you are scared. You are scared like the colonisers were scared if their colonised people rose in disagreement, scared like the money-launderers were scared about contractually trapped peasants and farmers getting educated. Education is the enablement of an individual to find his/her own voice. You and your taxes have not bought those students, and they have every right (and maybe even responsibility) to pursue or support a cause they believe in.

“How can they ask for Azaadi despite India taking care of them for decades now.”

I don’t know. I haven’t lived their life. I don’t know what it is like to grow up and live in fear every other day. Since I don’t know I find it best for them to decide what they think will be best for them. India has not done them any favour. They have not sat in their homes eating chips bought with your taxes. They have contributed to the nation as much, if not more, and lived in circumstances the rest of the nation only read or heard about. India, the political entity, has “kept” Kashmir for political reasons, stop pretending you don’t know that.

“But my taxes…”

Shut up, dude!

 

Mukesh Bansal has logged out of Flipkart, time for a new a Start Up

Fire your boss, do what you love and work better to live awesome. Agree ?

Weeks after the top-level rejig at Flipkart, its head of commerce and publicizing business Mukesh Bansal has put in his papers. Flipkart’s Chief Business Officer Ankit Nagori has likewise stopped the firm to begin an entrepreneurial endeavor in the games area. Interestingly, Flipkart fellow benefactors Sachin and Binny Bansal are the main financial specialists in his new organization.

“Mukesh Bansal, Head of Commerce Platform, Flipkart is moving out of his active role to be an advisor to the company. Mukesh has played a huge role in making Myntra the number one fashion destination and helped build a strong platform at Flipkart,” ~ Flipkart

A computer science graduate from IIT-Kanpur, Bansal founded Myntra in 2007.  He sold Myntra to Flipkart in one of the largest M&A deals in the Indian e-commerce space. While neither companies had disclosed the deal size, it was estimated to be worth about Rs. 2,000 crore.

Mukesh Bansal’s departure is one of the most high-profile exits yet for Flipkart, which is competing head-on with Amazon and Snapdeal for a larger share of the booming Indian online retail industry. Binny Bansal will now directly oversee the commerce and advertising platforms.

Some Interesting tweets:

Mukesh Bansal quits FlipKart. He has 30 days to change his mind as per FlipKart’s return policy. ~Ramesh Srivats

Mukesh Bansal set to leave Flipkart. It’s official. #watchthisspace this entrepreneur will come up with something new soon enough :) ~Abha Bakaya

 

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Feb 6, 2016 - Ankur Mishra, Politics    No Comments

Social Media Debates on Politics: Useless or not?

There are self-proclaimed rationalists on social media who utterly disregard social media debates based on political roots. They say it’s almost always inconclusive and therefore, it’s a sheer wastage of time. But before we delve deeper into facts, it should be made clear that when we say social media debates, it actually means healthy social media debates. Unhealthiness is not only useless, it’s morbid as well!

Let’s start our analysis with the most basic ailment namely, lack of awareness towards political digests! Politics has been reduced to a pastime of the old & the elderly, and its foray into youths’ circles is a fairly recent phenomenon. There are many others who don’t give a darn to politics; for them it’s all soil and water. Even the ones who keep on ranting in public to garner support for their affiliates, are not there by choice. In fact, most of them have been dragged from Anna Movement into political arena, thanks to the radical changes in the India’s political scenario over the last two years. Before that majority of them were corrupt apolitical thugs speaking out against corruption by government.

Although we don’t have many elaborate surveys on ‘youth in politics’ like the western countries, a crude data from CSDS is sufficient to give an understanding of the current situation. The study claims that the percentage of youths interested in politics has increased from 46% in 1996 to 71% in 2011. Going by the stats, we can say that Rahul Gandhi’s ‘youth in politics’ ostinato is definitely gaining ground. But these are also the people who are half aware of the facts or passive participants in system, and a misguided zeal at this age could prove abysmal for the country. Therefore, social media debates essentially provide them with a platform to have meaningful discussions. No doubt these could be inconclusive but they render their utility by letting youths know the different perspectives of people from various cultural, religious, educational and economic backgrounds.

It is becoming increasingly important to enlighten them via social media route since our smartphone generation hardly believes in socializing. There’s still a large fraction of youths who use social media purely due to sensual considerations; they deserve to be pulled out of nescience. Vigilance and awareness in a democratic system applies to youths more than it does to the senior citizens. This is because youths are the cogs of Indian economy, they will determine where India will stand tomorrow and therefore, we can’t ignore this educated workforce.

We all know how online activism has been shaping the future course of policing in the country over the past few years. Today, we don’t necessarily need to come out on roads under the scorching heat of sun with seditious banners and ready-to-be-immolated effigies to make a change. The world can be changed from the comfort of our rooms just as our netas run the country by playing pepper-knife in the Parliament. Social media could be a great place to send them a message in order to pursue them to allay methods of destruction of public property & other forms of violence to give way to more meaningful & responsible protests. Youths can’t afford to be careless; they are not politicians, for God’s sake. An undirected bullet can fetch disastrous outcomes; its energy needs to be harnessed using a target-oriented approach.

People need to realize that there are two types of media in India viz., social media & paid media. This brings to life the analogy, once drawn by Mark Twain. “If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you are misinformed.” Social media is still largely unregulated and therefore, it is perhaps the only medium which permits adulterated as well as unadulterated content to be published without curtailment. Under exceptions, paid media only publishes the former.

So, debates are good and debates are must. Their utility is not affected by their indecisiveness. They usually achieve what they are meant to, by reaching out to as many people as possible. While it does require a full-fledged mental sieving process to assess the veracity of content posted publically, social media should still be preferred as it at least gives us the option to choose between right and wrong!

We are the best Creation by this Universe but the worst creation for Nature

Pollution and population are two aggressive factors for whole world which are increasing with high rate. Yet everyone knows both are dangerous for us and nature, but “Only know”. ROLF
We are the best creation by this Universe but it is also true we are the worst creation for this nature, we are only thinking about our self not for Universe or Nature. The toughest problem for nature is pollution which is generated by population; I think both are proportional to each other so by controlling one another can be controlled. India and China have the largest population of world but they are much more responsible for pollution.
Every country have many governmental ministries for Sport, Home, Industry, Health, Finance and much others but Is any country is active for Nature and environment ? I think the answers will be “NO”. If it is true then the Imagination of 2012 will be true. There will be no Existence of this world. Some live results are saying this- recent Earthquakes in India, Tsunami in Japan, earthquake in USA.
So please understand this message and do something for yourself. And by government there should be some special and powerful ministries and Laws for “Pollution Prevention”. This is by government but it is not sufficient, there will be some positive results if we will accept our duties for nature. The ideas are not sufficient for any task, without implementation result will be Zero. So Generate the Ideas and implementation those -100% results will be positive. This is not a special task which wants special time or money; it will be possible with a simple daily routine by following the Rule of Nature. So please start it from Today and planning for tomorrow.

Word ‘human’ also means ‘kind’ and ‘compassionate’

From the North Pole to the South Pole, and everywhere in between our planet pulsates with life. To study the extraordinary diversity of life that makes our planet a visual delight, biologists have classified all living things into five different biological groups called kingdoms, one of which is animal kingdom.
This biological kingdom contains about ten million species and encompasses creatures as diverse as sea cucumbers, jellyfish, insects and birds. Animals can range from being tiny creatures which are just a collection of few cells to giant whales that have tongues as heavy as an elephant! From thumb-sized bee hummingbirds to hundred feet long blue whales, the animal kingdom contains an array of fascinating species of varied shapes, sizes, and colours.
Life, which makes our planet unique in the universe, begin in the oceans millions of years ago and slowly journeyed to land, spreading to all the corners of our planet, including places barely touched by humanity. The first vertebrates to walk on land were amphibians. But they weren’t the most successful animals to have walked the planet; this feat belongs to one intelligent species: Homo sapiens or human beings.
Emerging in the continent of Africa thousands of years ago early human beings set off on the road to civilization. And, over a long period of time this nomadic hunter-gatherers transformed into technologically advanced modern human beings who have conquered land, sea, air and have even left footprints on the surface of moon!
Though phenomenally successful, human beings are as much a part of the animal kingdom as doves or whales or other creatures on earth. The wonderful life forms that dwell in the oceans, birds that chirp in our gardens and all other creatures that make our planet so full of life are our wild friends. And we should love and them. But, not just because we belong to the same biological kingdom or share the same planet. Let gentle feeling of affection and care for animals spring in your hearts from one simple fact that we are humans. and the word human also means ‘kind’ and ‘compassionate’.

Do you think man can destroy the planet?

“You think man can destroy the planet? What intoxicating vanity. Let me tell you about our planet. Earth is four-and-a-half-billion-years-old. There’s been life on it for nearly that long, 3.8 billion years. Bacteria first; later the first multicellular life, then the first complex creatures in the sea, on the land. Then finally the great sweeping ages of animals, the amphibians, the dinosaurs, at last the mammals, each one enduring millions on millions of years, great dynasties of creatures rising, flourishing, dying away — all this against a background of continuous and violent upheaval. Mountain ranges thrust up, eroded away, cometary impacts, volcano eruptions, oceans rising and falling, whole continents moving, an endless, constant, violent change, colliding, buckling to make mountains over millions of years. Earth has survived everything in its time. It will certainly survive us. If all the nuclear weapons in the world went off at once and all the plants, all the animals died and the earth was sizzling hot for a hundred thousand years, life would survive, somewhere: under the soil, frozen in Arctic ice. Sooner or later, when the planet was no longer inhospitable, life would spread again. The evolutionary process would begin again. It might take a few billion years for life to regain its present variety. Of course, it would be very different from what it is now, but the earth would survive our folly, only we would not. If the ozone layer gets thinner, ultraviolet radiation sears the earth, so what? Ultraviolet radiation is good for life. It’s powerful energy. It promotes mutation, change. Many forms of life will thrive with more UV radiation. Many others will die out. Do you think this is the first time that’s happened? Think about oxygen. Necessary for life now, but oxygen is actually a metabolic poison, a corrosive glass, like fluorine. When oxygen was first produced as a waste product by certain plant cells some three billion years ago, it created a crisis for all other life on earth. Those plants were polluting the environment, exhaling a lethal gas. Earth eventually had an atmosphere incompatible with life. Nevertheless, life on earth took care of itself. In the thinking of the human being a hundred years is a long time. A hundred years ago we didn’t have cars, airplanes, computers or vaccines. It was a whole different world, but to the earth, a hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can’t imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven’t got the humility to try. We’ve been residents here for the blink of an eye. If we’re gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us.”

Let me tell about PLANET

You think man can destroy the planet? What intoxicating vanity. Let me tell you about our planet. Earth is four-and-a-half-billion-years-old. There’s been life on it for nearly that long, 3.8 billion years. Bacteria first; later the first multicellular life, then the first complex creatures in the sea, on the land. Then finally the great sweeping ages of animals, the amphibians, the dinosaurs, at last the mammals, each one enduring millions on millions of years, great dynasties of creatures rising, flourishing, dying away — all this against a background of continuous and violent upheaval. Mountain ranges thrust up, eroded away, cometary impacts, volcano eruptions, oceans rising and falling, whole continents moving, an endless, constant, violent change, colliding, buckling to make mountains over millions of years. Earth has survived everything in its time. It will certainly survive us. If all the nuclear weapons in the world went off at once and all the plants, all the animals died and the earth was sizzling hot for a hundred thousand years, life would survive, somewhere: under the soil, frozen in Arctic ice. Sooner or later, when the planet was no longer inhospitable, life would spread again. The evolutionary process would begin again. It might take a few billion years for life to regain its present variety. Of course, it would be very different from what it is now, but the earth would survive our folly, only we would not. If the ozone layer gets thinner, ultraviolet radiation sears the earth, so what? Ultraviolet radiation is good for life. It’s powerful energy. It promotes mutation, change. Many forms of life will thrive with more UV radiation. Many others will die out. Do you think this is the first time that’s happened? Think about oxygen. Necessary for life now, but oxygen is actually a metabolic poison, a corrosive glass, like fluorine. When oxygen was first produced as a waste product by certain plant cells some three billion years ago, it created a crisis for all other life on earth. Those plants were polluting the environment, exhaling a lethal gas. Earth eventually had an atmosphere incompatible with life. Nevertheless, life on earth took care of itself. In the thinking of the human being a hundred years is a long time. A hundred years ago we didn’t have cars, airplanes, computers or vaccines. It was a whole different world, but to the earth, a hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can’t imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven’t got the humility to try. We’ve been residents here for the blink of an eye. If we’re gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us.

Flipkart says No to Airtel Zero because Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hai : Ankur Mishra

Lets Understand what is Airtel Zero…

There has been a lot of discussions over India Wants Net Neutrality, Net neutrality and the proposed Airtel Zero terms. Many People are asking questions Like: how is something like Airtel Zero against net neutrality?
As per my Gyan, Airtel Zero is basically a agreement where many big companies like Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Flipkart… etc. pat Airtel and the data usage for any User by their apps on Airtel becomes free. Free !! Bur it generates Many Questions – Free?
Is this Good for a User?
There were many similar deals in past, where accessing certain websites/Apps like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo were free on some Networks. If it was not bad then how it is bad now? Here The difference between past deals and the current Airtel Zero type deal is that past ones were limited in scope and limited to a single service, and for a limited period of time. It was just like a Trial Package. But Now Scope is much Wider and Big. Say Airtel zero comes with free access to all leading sites/apps – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp – one or two top services in each category. These are some of the most used apps by an average user. If they get these for free they will never have a need to pay for the Internet to access any other apps/services.
This will be a huge disadvantage for new services and app that are newly launched. Entrenched services with deep pockets can be accessed for free so while the new kid on the block is not free. What will consumers choose? Obviously free. That kills the open nature of the Internet. If you have to reach consumers you have to pay or rather bribe telcos. So instead of Internet being a demand based platform it becomes a supply based platform – one that is controlled by the Internet Service Providers. Even for established companies, if their competitor joins such a platform they will have no option but to follow suit. From a business point of view it’s a good deal. That gives you unfair advantage over your competition and acts as a barrier to entry for new players.
“As a consumer I will have two options – pay to access the whole Internet or access a clutch of services for free. Is there a guarantee that when I pay for accessing the whole of the Internet my experience will not be throttled by the telco?
It’s a conflict of interest for the telco. They would rather have me access the net through their free plan because it makes them more money.” (TechWithTheGud1)
The Main Problem is here, we will have two types of Internet: One is with Free access with Limted Access and another one is Paid.Once the general population has been conditioned to the idea of a Paid Internet – that paid Internet can then be divided into further packets – just like how we have DTH plans today.
As a consumer it affects me. It makes access costly for me and since the competition has been reduced it slows down innovation. Similar to DTH. 
Telecom companies want a piece of action because they feel Facebook, Google, Flipkart are making money over the infrastructure they have built. But hey, as a consumer I am already paying for that infrastructure, am I not? “Going by their logic Suzuki, Honda, Toyota should ask for a cut from Ola and Uber! After all they are providing Over The Top services on their products.”(TechWithTheGud1)
Flipkart says no to Airtel Zero because they understand that har ek friend zaroori hota hai…

It’s simple – Airtel Zero is against Net Neutrality!

Read : Answers to TRAI’s 20 Questions : This could be your last chance to save the INTERNET in its pure form 0 comments,  If you too want to stand up for net neutrality, shoot a mail to advqos@trai.gov.in (TRAI)
Do it Right Now, Important For You.

Ankur Mishra @ ForeanTech
ankur@foreantech.com   @iAnkurMishra

Answers to TRAI’s 20 Questions : This could be your last chance to save the INTERNET in its pure form

In a consultation paper dated 27th March, 2015, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) posed 20 questions for the public to answer. Although the questions are repetitive in nature, I have tried to paraphrase my answers most (but not all) of the times.
If you too want to stand up for net neutrality, shoot these 20 responses (with questions) in a mail to advqos@trai.gov.in before 24th April, 2015. This could be your last chance to save the INTERNET in its pure form!
  • Question 1: Is it too early to establish a regulatory framework for OTT services, since internet penetration is still evolving, access speeds are generally low and there is limited coverage of high-speed broadband in the country? Or, should some beginning be made now with a regulatory framework that could be adapted to changes in the future? Please comment with justifications.
    It’s true that internet penetration in India is still in its early stages of evolution. However, if the approach to increase penetration involves giving free access to Facebook (courtesy of Reliance) or other selective services, I’m afraid it’s the wrong path. In fact, it’s a recipe for disaster. If increasing access is the priority, people should be given free, unbiased connectivity (bandwidth). In the times of knowledge based economy, how can we hinder knowledge; it is meant to be universally accessible. But it seems the road we are treading is taking us to what I call ‘selfie economy’. Ten years down the line, do we want to assess the internet penetration in the country by the ability of our people to take a photo and post it on the internet? Or, do we want to have a large internet user base which is informed and ready to take the country forward? The choice is obvious.
    The selective services which are offered for free benefit only the data carriers (as in this example, Reliance; Airtel, in several others) and the original service provider (here, Facebook, which gets to grow it’s empire) leaving very little or nothing for the end user. The user should have the liberty to choose the services she wants to use. Therefore, there is a need for an immediate response against the anti-net neutral advances of telecom operators (aka data carriers). We need to kill the dragon before it becomes too big to handle!
  • Question 2: Should the OTT players offering communication services (voice, messaging and video call services) through applications (resident either in the country or outside) be brought under the licensing regime? Please comment with justifications.
    The answer here is simple. Some businesses evolve and innovate over time, others don’t and perish. Since, telecom operators have failed to innovate and tweak their business model with changing times, their customers should not bear the brunt for their incompetence. It’s time they realize their role as data carriers because that’s what they basically are. And, there is no dearth of opportunities in this space – revenues from data services will continue to rise. (Anyway, this should not be a concern for the end user.)
    We, the Indian people, have lent the airwaves to the data carriers to channel data to us and are willing to pay for it. It’s a fair business transaction. They provide data, we consume it. And here, the end user, who is buying the data, should be the one making the decision how to consume it, not the data carriers. So, let OTT players provide their services, data carriers provide data and end users pay for the data. It is as simple as it gets.
  • Question 3: Is the growth of OTT impacting the traditional revenue stream of TSPs? If so, is the increase in data revenues of the TSPs sufficient to compensate for this impact? Please comment with reasons.
    It is quite obvious that if people use OTT services to make calls and send messages, the traditional revenue stream would wane. It is not of concern to the end user whether data revenues would compensate for loss in traditional revenue streams. Although it is highly likely that it would (data already contributes to nearly half of revenues; it increased by 3/4th in 2014 y-o-y), over 900 million telecom subscribers should not be made to pay for the lack of innovative agility of Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) if it does not turn out to be the case. TSPs should envision to entirely become data providers and try to get good it because right now, they do a horrible job at that too. The bottom line is that just because you are losing a portion of your revenues, you should not use unethical trade practices to realize your monetary targets.
  • Question 4: Should the OTT players pay for use of the TSPs network over and above data charges paid by consumers? If yes, what pricing options can be adopted? Could such options include prices based on bandwidth consumption? Can prices be used as a means product/service differentiation? Please comment with justifications.
    The arrangement between OTT players and TSPs is entirely their prerogative, however, this should not involve prioritizing/de-prioritizing the services of OTT players with respect to bandwith and the price paid by the end user. The success of businesses (here, OTT players), large or small, should be determined by market forces and their ability to innovate and evolve over time. TSPs have no role to play here.
    TSPs should be able to differentiate their services but not at the cost of net neutrality. They can always offer better connectivity, faster downloads, cheaper tariffs, etc., as a way to stand out in a competitive marketplace.
  • Question 5: Do you agree that imbalances exist in the regulatory environment in the operation of OTT players? If so, what should be the framework to address these issues? How can the prevailing laws and regulations be applied to OTT players (who operate in the virtual world) and compliance enforced? What could be the impact on the economy? Please comment with justifications.
    Yes. Various TSPs are offering free/cheap access to selective services provided by different OTT players. This should not be encouraged. A framework that prohibits TSPs from treating different OTT players differently by giving (or denying) them access to a user base needs to be immediately introduced.
    TRAI regulates telecom bodies, it should do that. It primary motto should be serve the end users by facilitating the services of TSPs while maintaining (and ensuring) a transparent regulatory environment. OTT players can function under the umbrella of laws with govern other businesses involving IT and internet companies.
    The essence of net neutrality favours the very entrepreneurial mindset of an average Indian youth. If TRAI doesn’t choose to tread on this path, small businesses may never be able to dream big; it would scuttle their growth. Net neutrality provides a level platform to all sizes of businesses to further their interests. Over the past century, most of the major economies of the world have made a transition to market economies; some others like us are still in the transition phase. Do we want to kill the growth of the economy when a significant portion of the growth is coming from the internet sector? An unbiased internet could help India realize profound surges in economic growth in the medium term and beyond.
  • Question 6: How should the security concerns be addressed with regard to OTT players providing communication services? What security conditions such as maintaining data records, logs etc. need to be mandated for such OTT players? And, how can compliance with these conditions be ensured if the applications of such OTT players reside outside the country? Please comment with justifications.
    TRAI should ensure that communications via OTT services are traceable and proper records are maintained which could be used as legal evidence (just as communications mediated by TSPs). Rest assured, the government can request these OTT players for information as and when required. This wouldn’t be a new thing; the Government of India is already in business with internet giants like Google and Facebook, when it comes to information requests.
    It is likely that if OTT players want to do business in India and bank on India’s ever increasing internet population, they would comply by TRAI regulations, irrespective of their country of origin. In this particular case, we have the leverage and we can negotiate a fair deal. However, some OTT players from hostile countries (or, the ones with a proven record of non-compliance) can be banned from providing their services.
  • Question 7: How should the OTT players offering app services ensure security, safety and privacy of the consumer? How should they ensure protection of consumer interest? Please comment with justifications.
    OTT players should have the provision of multiple verification steps to ensure security, safety and privacy of the consumer. They should follow the best industry practices and sharing of consumer data between different OTT players without the consumers’ consent should be outlawed.
  • Question 8: In what manner can the proposals for a regulatory framework for OTTs in India draw from those of ETNO, referred to in para 4.23 or the best practices summarised in para 4.29? And, what practices should be proscribed by regulatory fiat? Please comment with justifications.
    The revenue sharing between OTT players and TSPs should be their prerogative and it should, in no way, hamper consumer interests (or, the very essence of net neutrality). Being data carriers, TSPs can charge the consumer based on the amount of data consumed but it is entirely up to the consumer as to how to consume it. The idea of separate regulatory practices for communication and non-communication services (para 4.29) could be borrowed from our European counterparts. This is because communication services carry sensitive personal data and there is need to protect the interests of consumers.
    Any behind the scenes sharing of personal data among OTT players (or, between TSPs and OTT players) without explicit consumer consent should be proscribed. Price discrimination of internet traffic should be prohibited.
  • Question 9: What are your views on net-neutrality in the Indian context? How should the various principles discussed in para 5.47 be dealt with? Please comment with justifications.
    In the Indian context, net neutrality occupies more important position than any other period in internet’s two decade long history. It is mainly because of two reasons.
    i) Innovation and risk taking is in our genes but so far India’s hasn’t realized her entrepreneurial potential. And, just when the regulatory environment is easing and the youngsters are floating new start ups everyday, we shouldn’t (and can’t) introduce a tinge of cronyism to the markets. The playing field has to be equal for businesses, regardless of their size or, the name of the holding company. Do we want to crush the dreams of our budding entrepreneurs at a time when they seem ready to take the internet by storm?
    ii) Let’s repeat, who the TSPs actually are – data carriers. Shouldn’t they carry data and charge for it? Isn’t that a deal fair enough for businesses whom we, the people of India, have lent the airwaves to? Data is fed to consumers at a price and they should be able to decide how to use it. End of story.
    The principles discussed in para 5.47 could be realized by establishing guidelines for traffic management techniques and ensuring their enforcement and, fostering the spirit of differentiation by price and  connectivity (non-discriminatory). Independent audit firms with expertise in the field should be asked to audit the TSPs’ traffic management techniques from time to time to ensure that all OTT players are getting equal treatment.
  • Question 10: What forms of discrimination or traffic management practices are reasonable and consistent with a pragmatic approach? What should or can be permitted? Please comment with justifications.
    Offering a product for free for a particular period of time in order to spur consumption is a ploy which has traditionally been used by many businesses. A recent example that comes to mind is the first ride free offer of Ola Cabs. However, there needs to be an antitrust law which caps such freebies, so that companies with big pockets (or, large appetite for losses) do not end up hurting other businesses.
    So, if a TSP is offering a 3 day free trial period offer from a OTP player, it could be allowed but that too should be capped in terms of the number of days (and/or data usage) till it can be offered for free (meaning that no data charges apply during that time). For instance, if people are given free usage of Yahoo! search for the sake of increasing internet penetration, how they would even realize that they could be getting sub-optimal results. If you want to increase penetration, provide free, unbiased internet, not Yahoo! search!
  • Question 11: Should the TSPs be mandated to publish various traffic management techniques used for different OTT applications? Is this a sufficient condition to ensure transparency and a fair regulatory regime?
    Yes, TSPs should be mandated to publish such results and if possible, timely audit should be undertaken by third party firms to ensure a foolproof mechanism.
  • Question 12: How should a conducive and balanced environment be created such that TSPs are able to invest in network infrastructure and CAPs are able to innovate and grow? Who should bear the network upgradation costs? Please comment with justifications
    India has the second biggest internet population in the world and it is expected to continue to grow at a staggering pace. Mobile data traffic increased by 74% in 2014 (Nokia Networks’ MBit Index), 3G traffic has already surpassed 2G data usage, 4G is making rapid strides into the lives of internet users. A Credit Perspective (July 2014) report mentions that mobile data is already contributing up to 50% of TSPs’ revenues. These numbers can only go up. In fact, voice revenues would have stalled at a certain point but data revenues are not going to plateau over the medium term. In such a situation, there would be no dearth of capital to invest in network infrastructure. TSPs can bear the upgradation costs with relative ease.
  • Question 13: Should TSPs be allowed to implement non-price based discrimination of services? If so, under what circumstances are such practices acceptable? What restrictions, if any, need to be placed so that such measures are not abused? What measures should be adopted to ensure transparency to consumers? Please comment with justifications.
    There shouldn’t be any non-price discriminatory practices including but not limited to bandwidth throttling. This could be allowed when OTT players offer freebies but that too should be capped in terms of data usage and/or time period. Constant assessment of traffic management practices, frequent consumer redressal and audit by third party firms could ensure transparency to consumers (although it is not an exhaustive list).
  • Question 14: Is there a justification for allowing differential pricing for data access and OTT communication services? If so, what changes need to be brought about in the present tariff and regulatory framework for telecommunication services in the country? Please comment with justifications.
    This works as follows: i) TSPs channel data to and from consumers, ii) consumers get charged for it and, iii) they use the data according to their personal preferences.
    TRAI should let the market decide the pricing. However, severe antitrust laws should also be put in place so that the TSPs do not engage in a price-fixing cartel when their immoral discriminatory pricing advances receive a blow.
  • Question 15: Should OTT communication service players be treated as Bulk User of Telecom Services (BuTS)? How should the framework be structured to prevent any discrimination and protect stakeholder interest? Please comment with justification.
    The issue of treating certain OTT players as BuTS lies with TSPs and it’s should be their prerogative as to how to deal with it. They can reach at as many agreements as they want as long as they are legal in nature. From TRAI’s perspective, communication and non-communication services (by OTT players) can be bundled differently with respect to regulations to ensure data privacy of consumers.
  • Question 16: What framework should be adopted to encourage India-specific OTT apps? Please comment with justifications.
    The most apt response to this question lies in being net neutral. Banning non-Indian origin apps would be detrimental to consumers’ interests. Also, such a practice would decentivize innovation among Indian OTT players. It is most beneficial to follow the principles of open market economy here and provide both Indian and non-Indian origin apps an opportunity to compete on a level playing field.
  • Question 17: If the OTT communication service players are to be licensed, should they be categorised as ASP or CSP? If so, what should be the framework? Please comment with justifications.
    OTT players providing communication services can be categorized as CSP while those providing non-communication based services could be put under the ASP label. Since, CSPs involve data concerns (and therefore, more legal issues), they need to be have a different set of regulations. Proper records should be maintained by the CSPs and made available to the Government of India on request.
  • Question 18: Is there a need to regulate subscription charges for OTT communication services? Please comment with justifications.
    There can only be regulatory discrimination of OTT communication services. Any kind of price discrimination undermines the very principle of free, open and unbiased internet. There shouldn’t be Facebook or Whatsapp packs but internet packs (unless there are packs for all OTT services)!
  • Question 19: What steps should be taken by the Government for regulation of non-communication OTT players? Please comment with justifications.
    Non-communication OTT players should be prohibited from sharing data without consent. Additionally, they should not be undermined (or, given preference) in terms of bandwidth with respect to communication OTT players.
  • Question 20: Are there any other issues that have a bearing on the subject discussed?
    Any anti-net neutral stance by TRAI would be devastating for India’s Internet of Things industry which is being mainly driven by start ups and new businesses. This sector which is growing leaps and bounds, and is expected to touch $15 billion mark by 2020, needs old and new players to fight on equal footing so that consumers’ interests are respected and India’s economy booms.  (Content Via Gyan Prakash)
You can Contact me: Ankur Mishra @ ForeanTech // ankur@foreantech.com   // @iAnkurMishra
In 14 days, the TRAI will end Net Neutrality‬ in India, making it impossible for you and me to use apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube etc. without paying extra for them.
We all need to unitedly oppose this move of this Crony Capitalist Government working for the interests of Big Corporates!

Big Data: Big Opportunities in the modern Era

Wiki Says: “Big data is an all-encompassing term for any collection of data sets so large or complex that it becomes difficult to process them using traditional data processing applications. The challenges include analysis, capture, curation, search, sharing, storage, transfer, visualization, and privacy violations.”
And All big companies have different definitions of Big Data.
It is generally accepted that big data can be explained according to three V’s: Velocity, Variety and Volume. But Now the context is set with some the traditional V’s, Veracity, Variability, Visualization, Value…
According to Gartner(META Group), “Companies that invest in Big Data more than their competitors do, outperform them by 20% in every major metric. This study is a direct consequence of the fact that money is made when companies interact with their customers and strive to understand their preferences”.
At its core, Big Data refers to bulky, unorganized data in extremely large amounts, which can possibly be put to use in order to understand typical scenarios in a contracted but patterned way, so as to optimize results.
The area of application could be literally anything, ranging from studies of genomic sequences and astronomy to various kinds of businesses.

(Via- Datafloq))
Till date, re-election of Obama is the most celebrated fact about Big Data.
But, is there more to it than just that?
Quite unequivocally, it is evident that if Big Data finds its application in psephology at a scale which involves some 200 million eligible-to-vote Americans, it can be put to use just anywhere else. This is because the kind of diversity that any voter database brings with it, is more complex than the customer base which even the biggest corporations like GE and 3M, deal with. Therefore, Big Data can indeed be used for improving business prospects of organizations.
Besides, public economics is yet another playing field for this area which has aroused massive business as well as academic interest over the past few years. The figure (Reference: Research Trends, September Issue, 2012) given alongside summarizes its growing relevance in the modern world.
It is worth recalling that the banking sector is one of the oldest users of Big Data analytics. ‘Big Data’ was there all the way around, although the term was not used in common parlance until it was eventually coined by Roger Magoulas in 2005. So how did the banks use it? The answer is, the credit-card based lending system. The banks used to (and they continue to do so) identify vulnerable customers (termed as revolvers) from lower middle class backgrounds with a propensity to spend and lured them with credit card offers with borrowing limits well beyond what these ‘revolvers’ could afford. These high street lenders then charged exorbitant interests on these credits continually for years despite knowing the fact that ‘revolvers’ may never be able to repay their debts. Such a situation can be considered a classic case of Big Data analytics.
Lately, its mammoth potential is in the process of being explored as Big Data forays into online retailing (e-commerce), brick-and-mortar retailing (shopping malls), social media, city traffic management and the like. Be it the suggestion of complementary and/or additional products to customers, based on their past buying behavior (e-commerce) or the real time analysis of loyalty card users to extend them attractive offers (shopping malls); it’s all Big Data. So, the next time, when Facebook suggests you a list of people to become friends with, do not write it off as a random exercise; it’s the interpretation of an elaborate study of your online activity. The same holds true for city traffic management during peak hours by altering the switching frequency of traffic light signals. The more the number of vehicles on the road, the faster is the activity of traffic signals.
From the above examples, what we have seen is that Big Data helps us convert grossly crude (and/or inadequate) data into actionable plans which in turn, facilitates the optimization of the desired outcomes. Similarly, the application of Big Data analytics to study demographic parameters can be used to make real-life business decisions such as pushing-in new products. Such an analysis can also reveal crucial information about other leads like product packaging (mostly in case of FMCGs), pricing and promotional efficacy (over different types of media). To end with, one can easily conclude that Big Data is an important tool which has become so indispensable that it has to be complied with, in time to come, for companies to stay in business.
Of course, data in itself is not valuable at all. The value is in the analyses done on that data and how the data is turned into information and eventually turning it into knowledge. The value is in how organisations will use that data and turn their organisation into an information-centric company that relies on insights derived from data analyses for their decision-making
(Source: Google, Blogs, Wiki, Datafloq)
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