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Prasad open to changes in radiation norms based on verifiable data

There is a need to have adequate information in the public domain on health and safety related issues of mobile telephony, Union Minister for IT and Communications, Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
Prasad open to changes in radiation norms based on verifiable data

There is a need to have adequate information in the public domain on health and safety related issues of mobile telephony, Union Minister for IT and Communications, Ravi Shankar Prasad said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi.

“The first issue required to be addressed is that we must have adequate information in public domain as to what the issue is about this whole radiation emission, whether it is good or bad for health,” said Prasad.

“To what extent is radiation good or a matter of concern for public health is an issue which is still a little in the realm of ambiguity,” said the Minister.

“Yes there have been studies by WHO (World Health Organisation) from time to time but I would like to go a little higher and keeping India’s condition in mind working upon the base on those reports in the past can we have adequate information in the public domain,” added Prasad.

The Minister also said that the Department of Telecom in the Government of India has done a good homework as there are very strict guidelines including a hefty penalty and the Department follows the standards therein.

“I wish to make it very clear that if some more issues come in public domain which requires certain more corrective measures, I am quite open for that,” said Prasad.

“But that need for corrective course must come upon objective material and the industry and other stakeholders must give us guidance and suggestions where upon we can take some corrective measures,” he added.

Terming his role as a Telecom Minister being more of an arbitrator, Prasad said, “There must be clarity, information, education and there must be objective material so that this almost competitive campaign must be put to rest.”

“Guide me, suggest me objectively upon empirical data,” added the Minister.

On the issue of sharing of mobile towers, Prasad said “A proper and fair policy needs to be in place so that tower sharing can be encouraged, we need to work upon it a little more.”

Earlier, talking about the future plans of the IT and Telecom ministry he said that the Government is committed to bridge the digital divide between rural and urban India as the urban penetration of mobile in India is 140 percent while rural is only 44 percent.

“We are trying to bridge this gap and there is a big scope for private players in the field of mobile telephony to take up this challenge,” he added.

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