Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Telecom Environment In India Is Changing

Indian telecom environment is all set for a big overhaul after many scams and irregularities. On the one hand Indian government is encouraging electronic system design and manufacturing in India whereas on the other hand it is fine-tuning the telecom regulatory environment of India. The new merger and acquisition (M&A) guidelines issued by Indian government is seen as a pro active step by many telecom stakeholders.

The FDI policy for telecom sector of India 2014 (PDF) has also been made liberal by enhancing the limits of FDI in telecom sector of India. Indian government has also given approval to establish two semiconductor wafer fabrication manufacturing facilities in India (PDF).

At the same time regulatory compliances have also significantly increased in India in the telecom related fields. For instance telecom due diligence compliances is required to be ensured by foreign investors and those interested in M&A with Indian companies. Further, telecom stakeholders exploring the M&A route must also comply with the Internet intermediaries requirements and cyber law due diligence requirements (PDF) as prescribed by the Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act 2000).

The reaction of national and international telecom stakeholders are mixed in nature. Some have considered these steps as reformatory while others believe that these steps would not make much change in the existing circumstances and telecom environment. Only time would tell who is right in this regard.

Monday, February 3, 2014

M-Health Sector Of India Needs Regulatory Reforms

The healthcare sector of India is heading towards a big growth trajectory. Reports from many research organisations have shown that if India takes care of some health related aspects, then India can be greatly benefitted by this healthcare revolution. The corporate environment of India is also changing this is a good sign for healthcare industry of India.

Regulatory environment of India needs to be streamlined to make this revolution a reality. Presently, the m-health related legal violations in India are on rise as the m-health entrepreneurs in India are violating Indian laws while conducting their businesses.

Mobile handsets are increasingly being used to delivery numerous services in India. From mobile banking to online ticket reservations, everything can be managed from mobiles these days. The health sector is also utilised mobile technology to expand its services to areas that are not available through traditional medical science methods.

Mobile health or m-health is a contemporary concept in India. It has tremendous reach and it can reach even to the remotest areas of India where the traditional medical facilities cannot be provided.

However, along with increasing use of m-health in India its use must be suitably regulated by Indian government. Although we have no dedicated m-health laws in India yet m-health is presently regulated through legal provisions that can be found in different legislations.

According to New Delhi based ICT law firm Perry4Law, m-health legal requirements are not duly complied with by the m-health service providers of India. Legal compliances for privacy, data protection, data security, cyber security, cloud computing compliances, etc are still not adhered to by a dominant majority of m-health service providers in India, says Perry4Law.

This would make these m-health service providers liable to multiple legal proceedings and cases. M-health service providers are internet intermediary within the meaning of Intermediary guidelines as prescribed by Indian government.  They are also required to follow cyber law due diligence so that civil and criminal provisions under the information technology act 2000 cannot be invoked against them.

Judged by these legal standards, it is obvious that the m-health service providers in India and not complying with legal requirements at any stage and of any level. This would make them vulnerable to a host of legal actions when Indian government would become aware of these illegalities and irregularities.