To check telecom network quality and improvement in call drop problem, communications and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad himself conducted drive tests in Indore on Monday.
Prasad, along with BSNL CMD Anupam Shrivastava, moved in the city for about an hour with laptop and other equipment to check the network quality.
“The exercise is designed to convey a message to the entire department that I can do it personally to see it for myself the condition. Even the CMD was there with me, for about an hour, I moved in the main city ... the whole idea is to ensure greater connectivity, professionalism and monitoring. Naturally when the Minister and the CMD are doing, it sends a message down below,” Prasad told PTI.
The minister said in the main city, the network quality was remarkably good.
Asked if such kind of drive tests will also be conducted in Delhi, Mumbai and other metro cities, the minister said, “I have already told CMD of MTNL and other chief general managers in respective BSNL areas that you must also visit the entire field and personally see how the network is working.”
Shrivastava said BSNL will put up 200 more mobile towers in Indore city and its outskirts to improve call quality.
“The network in the main city was good but on the outskirts, a need was felt to put up more towers, so we will be adding 200 towers,” Shrivastava said.
Prasad had said that call drops are coming down and operators are putting up more tower sites.
The minister last month said a total of 29,000 new telecom towers were installed by private telecom operators across the country after government took strong exception to the problem of call drops.
Prasad wants collegium to study intel before elevating judges
Union minister for communications and information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad has expressed hope that the collegium system of appointing judges will take into account the adverse reports against members of the judiciary before elevating them as judges.
Responding to a question on how much weightage the present or proposed system of judges’ appointment will give to adverse intelligence reports about them, the former law minister said, “I hope collegium will address it.”
Prasad made the remark while addressing a press conference in the city on the second day of his two-day visit to the state on Monday.
In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court had in October last year declared as unconstitutional the law brought by the NDA government to replace the over two-decade-old collegium system of judges appointing judges in the higher judiciary.
In December, law minister D V Sadananda Gowda wrote to chief ministers of all states seeking their views on ways to improve the collegium system, days after the apex court left it to the government to draft the memorandum of procedure (MoP) in consultation with states and high courts.
On the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, Prasad said the Centre wanted to wait till the Supreme Court gave its verdict on the matter.
Commenting on Bihar’s law and order situation, he said the government was concerned about it. “It’s unfortunate. It is worrying,” said Prasad, who is from Bihar.
When asked how serious was the Centre towards maintaining the security of individual and national data, especially when several private companies had become net service providers, Prasad said the central government would keep tabs on such firms to avoid any untoward situation.
To another query, he denied that mobile towers caused cancers in living beings.