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Indian Academics Call for Increased Local Telecoms R&D

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A number of Indian academics have called on the government to set up a fund to boost Indian R&D investment.

In the letter, thirty-five faculty members from IIT, IISc and IIMA pointed out that while the India is the second largest telecom market in the world, the telecom sector was facing a trade deficit of 70 percent of the total demand, since the majority of equipment is imported.

"The demand for telecom equipment was close to a whopping Rs75,000 crore in the year 2012-13. This is projected to grow to more than Rs1,70,000 crore by 2019-20," the statement claimed.

"Even in those cases where some equipment is manufactured or developed in India, the components and devices are almost always 100 per cent imported," the appeal added.

They however also cited the usual strawman argument of security concerns.

"Imported telecom equipment can pose a big security threat. Equipment deployed in such networks could have potential malware in it, which could even be triggered from outside India. This could seriously jeopardize the national security." the letter added.

The faculty appealed the Department of Telecoms to take immediate steps to set up an R&D fund as a matter of urgency.

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Tags: India