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Administrative allocation of spectrum UPSC NOTE

 Why In News

  • The Supreme Court agreed to hear an application from the Union government to allow the administrative allocation of “certain class” of spectrum, rather than by competitive auctions.

  • The application filed by the Union government said spectrum was assigned not only for commercial telecom services but also for discharge of sovereign and public interest functions such as security, safety, disaster preparedness, etc

Administrative allocation of spectrum

  • In ‘administrative allocation’ of spectrum, the government decides the method for selecting operators to distribute airwaves, considered a scarce resource

  • There are also unique categories of usage owing to the characteristics of the spectrum, or the nature of use, or international practices, etc, in respect of which are auctions are not technically or economically preferred or optimal

Earlier views

  • The February 2012 judgment by SC had held that spectrum could only be alienated via auction.

  • When it comes to the alienation of scarce natural resources like spectrum, etc, the state must always adopt a method of auction by giving wide publicity so that all eligible persons may participate in the process

  • After the February 2012 judgment, the administrative assignment of non-commercial spectrum had been on a purely interim basis, subject to the government’s final decision on pricing and policy.


  • The union government said it was now time to firm up a spectrum assignment framework, including methods of assignment of spectrum, other than auction, in suitable cases to best subserve the common good



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Administrative allocation of spectrum UPSC NOTE
Administrative allocation of spectrum UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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