TEMA: 18th December 2020
The decision of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) to create a National Security Directive in the telecom sector to maintain the integrity of the supply chain security is a very positive step for the industry.
TEMA welcomes the move. We hope the Government will soon declare a list of ‘trusted sources/trusted products’ and a list of “Not trusted sources/products,” that was announced by the CCS.
As the leading voice of the telecom sector, TEMA compliments Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji for this decision, which we believe will benefit all the stakeholders in the telecom sector in India. It is a significant step towards creating an Atma Nirbhar Bharat and development of Domestic industries.
TEMA is also happy to note that the ‘list’ would be approved by the National Security Committee on Telecom (NSCT) headed by Dy. NSA after it is prepared and vetted by National Cyber Security Coordinator (NCSC) Lt. Gen Dr Rajesh Pant.
Shri Ravi Sharma, Chairman TEMA said, “It is a decision that is forward-looking and strengthening the domestic industry and National Security of India. We request that the Government should on priority, review its decision that allows use, maintain, and upgrade the existing products from” Non trusted” sources. The National Security risks will remain so long as any “untrusted product” remain in the network. It is critical, especially in the era of 5G, where millions of IoT, M2M products are going to be connected. India should have given a timeline to replace all the ‘Untrusted equipment.’ A system similar to the one adopted by the UK and USA, to phase out such suspected equipment in their telecom network.”
Mr R Chandrashekhar, IAS ( Retd.) Former Secretary DOT, Meity and currently Chairman TEMA Council on Digital Empowerment said “This is a very timely and appropriate move by the Government. Mandating the use of only trusted equipment in the future and gradual phasing out of equipment from other sources already present in networks is an essential step to securing our telecom infrastructure. Alongside, there is a need to step up R&D in 5G in addition to ramping up the manufacture of telecom equipment under PMP/PLI schemes. I feel it is an opportunity and imperative to link these three dimensions to achieve Atma Nirbhar Bharat in telecom within the next 2-3 years. TEMA is ready to work with the Government to lay out a road map to achieve this goal.”
Shri Ajay Shankar, IAS ( Retd.) Former Secretary, DIPP and currently Chairman TEMA Council on Industrial Policy in this behalf said” This is a welcome and essential step to safeguard National Security. The phenomenal progress in telecom technology has transformed our lives and productivity. But it has created unprecedented risks and vulnerabilities. Ensuring that only trusted equipment is used and untrusted equipment is replaced as soon as feasible is a move that needs wholehearted support.”
Dr Gulshan Rai, Former National Coordinator NCSC said “It is now duty and obligations on the part of indigenous product manufacturers to enhance the features, reliability and security of their products. The industry has to gear up to meet the challenge.”
Prof NK Goyal, Chairman Emeritus TEMA said “The Government’s decision to declare DOT PMA compliant product as Trusted Indian products will increase the use of Indian trusted products in Telecom Networks. A new era will usher in once all the Telecom Networks in India would be covered under this new directive of the Government, irrespective of the telecom firm’s ownership. The domestic industry is fully geared to play its role and contribution to domestic manufacturing of trusted Telecom Equipments.”
Prof. Swaroop Ganguli, Deptt. of Electrical Engineering, IIT MUMBAI and member TEMA Council on 6G said: “The decision by the CCS recognizes communication infrastructure as a strategic asset for the Nation and takes a far-reaching step towards securing it against external threats.”
Shri Sandeep Aggarwal, Vice Chairman TEMA said: “It is a milestone decision to support Atma Nirbhar Bharat in the telecom sector. TEMA also requests that the mandatory testing of telecom products as mandated under Indian Telegraph Rules be implemented in full scale immediately.”
Prof NK Goyal, Chairman Emeritus, TEMA Sandeep Aggarwal, Vice Chairman, TEMA; CMD
President CMAI Association of India