Department of Telecommunication Current Affairs - 2020

COVID-19 Quarantine Alert System: Geo Fencing application to locate Quarantine Violators

The Department of Telecommunications has issued Standard Operating Procedure for the use of COVID-19 Quarantine Alert System (CQAS). The CAQS is an application used to track COVID-19 patients who have violated quarantine.

Highlights

The application was developed by DoT and C-DoT (Centre for Development of Telematics). The app collects phone data of the quarantine violator and alerts a local agency. The application uses Geo-Fencing technology.

Geo-Fencing

The Geo-Fencing technology uses software such as RFID, GPS, Wi-Fi to trigger a pre-programmed module. The technology allows to set up a virtual boundary called “Geo Fence”. When a mobile enters of exits the geofence, the pre-programmed module starts running. The program then sends alerts to authorised agencies.

The Indian Telegraph Act, 1885

The Centre uses the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 to gain powers to fetch information about the quarantined persons from the telecom companies. The information is obtained every 15 minutes. The Section 5 of the act authorises both the state and central governments to gain information about the phone users.

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Central Equipment Identify Register: Government launches web portal to trace stolen mobiles

The Government of India on December 30, 2019, launched “Central Equipment Identify Register” portal to block and trace mobile phones. The web portal will operate under Department of Telecom.

Highlights

The CEIR portal has been established in order to address theft, security and other concerns. The portal will also hold database of IMEI numbers of blacklisted handsets. When a phone is listed in blacklist, the wireless carriers will not allow the phone to connect to a network. It will facilitate request of blocking lost or stolen mobile phones of the citizens.

CEIR

The CEIR has powers to block the usage of the phone. On the other hand, the predecessor technologies of CEIR were able to block the sim cards alone. The CEIR also has powers to access the GSMA database. GSMA is Global system of Mobile Communications. The database of GSMA holds manufacturer and model numbers.

IMEI

IMEI is the International Mobile Equipment Identity is a unique number that can be found in batteries of phones. Australia was the first country to adopt IMEI. Other countries that have adopted IMEI include US, UK, India.

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