Telecom sector Current Affairs - 2019

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Swadeshi Samriddhi SIM cards: Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali ties up with BSNL

Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali has tied up with state owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) to launch Swadeshi Samriddhi SIM cards. With this, India’s most trusted Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) brand has entered in to telecom sector after gaining popularity in the consumer goods market

Key Facts

Swadeshi Samriddhi SIM cards can be recharged for Rs. 144, for which users will get unlimited calls throughout country, 2 GB data and send 100 SMSes. Initially only Patanjali employees and office bearers will get benefits of SIM card. After complete rollout of SIM cards, customers will get a 10% discount on Patanjali products. The SIM card also comes with medical insurance and life insurance covers. The medical insurance cover is for Rs 2.5 lakh, while life insurance costs Rs 5 lakh. The covers can only be availed in event of road accident.

Cabinet approves USOF scheme for Meghalaya under CTDP

Union Cabinet has approved implementation of Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan (CTDP) Project for North Eastern Region (NER) in Meghalaya to improve mobile services. The project has provision of 2G and 4G mobile coverage in identified uncovered areas of Meghalaya and seamless mobile coverage along National Highways in state. It will be funded by Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). Cabinet also approved enhanced cost of CTDP Project for NER for amount of Rs 8,120.81 crore. It already has approved Rs 5,336.18 crore on September2014 for the project.


CTDP aims to strengthening of telecom network that will result in increase in penetration of mobile connectivity in Meghalaya. It will provide affordable and equitable access of communication, information and governance to people. Connecting unreached people of Meghalaya through public mobile network will empower citizens with benefits of ICTs for furthering socio-economic developments. It will also increase innovative skill of uncovered areas of the state through broadband and internet access.

Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF)

USOF was formed by Central Government to help fund projects to boost connectivity in rural areas. The money for this fund comes through ‘Universal Access Levy,’ charged from telecom operators as percentage of various licenses fees being paid by them.