Regular readers of this blog know that this blogger rather likes railing against Ramamritham. Ever so often, there has to be a post yelling at this cursed individual.
This time it is on the Department of telecom (DoT) which is a pesky nuisance that purports to regulate every aspect of our phones and how we talk to others. Along with the child it spawned TRAI - The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, they have been busy over the last decade framing rules and procedures for everything on earth. Did you know that every phone company has to publish its prices and tariffs in a prescribed format ? If you have seen that format, you'll know that you need a PhD in mathematics to understand it.
One result is that you have to go armed with lots of paper and proof for something as simple as getting a SIM Card. In control obsessed China, I just went to a corner shop and bought a SIM. It took me 2 minutes to do so. In India, you submit an ID proof and an address proof (of course Raramritham has written rules on which documents will be accepted for either of those proofs), then wait a while as the SIM is "activated", then you call up a number and revalidate the proofs you have submitted ........
The latest antics of Ramamritham that has got my goat is that he has ruled that all phones henceforth sold in India must have GPS. His logic ? The safety and security of women is "of utmost importance" says this blessed specimen. If she is in danger, we can trace her whereabouts through the GPS signal !!
Really ?? Is it the business of Ramamritham to be legislating such nonsense ? If he was really concerned about women's safety, he would be improving police coverage, improving response time to complaints, ensuring more policewomen in the force, ensuring that cases are brought to speedy trial, having a helpline where somebody actually answers the phone, etc etc. No. That's all too difficult to do. Instead he can indulge in his favourite activity - write a rule.
Never mind that if a woman wanted GPS on her phone to reassure her of security, she can simply go and get such a phone. No. It has to be legislated.
India has an installed base of 400 million phones that are euphemistically called "feature phones". Translation - they do not have feature such as GPS ! The cost of a phone is likely to increase by Rs 400 if GPS has to be featured in all phones. That of course, does not bother Ramamritham.
When the industry protested, in true style Ramamritham replies - " It is reiterated that all mobile handset makers should adhere , blah blah, to implementation of GPS facility in all mobile phones sold in India from January 1 , 2018. The representation (sic) in this regard will not be entertained in future " . Beautiful.
Can all scientists stop their work on space exploration, finding a cure for cancer, sequencing the DNA, etc etc and instead concentrate single mindedly on the eradication of Ramamritham please !
PS : Ramamritham is a fictional name invented by the blogger to typify the useless, pedantic, petty and painful bureaucrat !