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FCC Chairman Pai and India’s TRAI agree to bridge the digital divide

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai at speaking at GSMA in Barcelona
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai at speaking at GSMA in Barcelona

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai at speaking at GSMA in Barcelona

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) —The FCC took an important step to strengthen its relationship with its Indian counterpart, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). During a meeting on the sidelines of the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Chairman Pai and TRAI Chairman R.S. Sharma signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for cooperation between the two agencies. The nonbinding agreement sets out a framework for the mutually beneficial exchange of ideas through activities such as best practices sharing, bilateral workshops, and digital videoconferences.

To guide these efforts, the FCC and TRAI have determined topics of shared interest, including accelerating broadband deployment and aligning spectrum policy to meet increasing mobile broadband demand.

FCC Chairman Pai said, “I look forward to working with Chairman Sharma and his staff as both of our agencies strive to promote innovation, investment, and growth in communications technologies in order to bring digital opportunity to all of our people.”

Given the broader bilateral partnership between the United States and India, the FCC has long engaged with Indian counterparts on issues of telecommunication regulatory policy. Today’s agreement reinforces the ongoing positive working relationship between the FCC and TRAI and identifies opportunities for further collaboration in an increasingly interconnected world. To learn more about the International Bureau’s efforts to facilitate bilateral, regional, and multilateral engagement with the FCC’s regulatory counterparts around the world, please visit

An alumnus of Harvard University and the University of Chicago School of Law, Pai has a multitude of experience working in the telecom industry. Prior to becoming chair of the FCC, he served the agency for several years. He is the first Indian American to ever hold the position.

In India, zero-rated products, which allow providers to supply Internet content at low or no cost, were banned by the country’s telecom regulatory commission. A move that was made to keep the Internet “open and non-discriminatory,” according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). Pai said he and TRAI chairman RS Sharma have known each other for years, and believes they both share a desire to bridge the digital divide.

“I have known him for a number of years and have met him several times. Obviously, he is a counterpart but I would like to think of him as a friend,” Pai said. “I have told him many times that the US-India relationship is a deep and enduring one and I am deeply committed to doing my part to make sure that between his government and mine, we keep that relationship strong and going.”

“Certain core principles of a free Internet, that Internet service providers shouldn’t be allowed to block lawful content must be at the heart of policy,” Pai recently said to Business Insider. “The principles must be upheld with the consideration that investment in infrastructure must be encouraged.”

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Trump Speaks to Modi, Aims to Reduce Kashmir Tensions

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Modi Kashmir Tensions Trump

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — President Trump spoke to Indian Prime Minister Modi by phone to get India’s perspective on Kashmir. Modi told Trump the anti-India rhetoric from Pakistani leaders was not conducive to peace. Later, President Trump in a tweet called Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan “good friends,” of his and that he’s working “towards reducing tensions in Kashmir.”

Kabul, Afghanistan was the site of a horrific suicide bombing that took place at a wedding, killing 63 people. The bride and groom survived. Afghan officials blame the attack on the United States and their prolonged presence in the region.

A 35-year-old man from India on a hunger strike at a Texas ICE facility was force fed, according to his attorney, becoming the latest detainee seeking asylum in the U.S. fed in such a manner. The man stopped eating tko protest his confinement. ICE says they will do what it takes to “preserving the lives of those in its custody.”

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Protests staged to counter Indian Independence Day

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Protests staged to counter Indian Independence Day

LONDON (Diya TV) — As the diaspora celebrated India’s 73th Independence Day, counter protests were staged as well. In London, things got violent as protesters carrying Khalistani and Kashmiri flags tried to make their presence felt amidst the pro-India crowd. Injuries have been reported, caused by hooligans throwing things into the gathering, forcing the cancellation of the cultural performance.

The scene was raucous in Houston as well, where supporters of Khalistan stood outside of the consulate. A few dozen protesters were on hand at the San Francisco consulate as well, but they were drowned out by pro-Indian chants.

Silicon Valley Congressman Ro Khanna announced he has joined the Congressional Pakistan Caucus to promote peace in the region. The Indian American politician in his second term in the House is also a member of U.S.-India Caucus. In a statement, Khanna said he’s supported legislation condemning the terrorist bombing in Kashmir and wants to promote a stronger defense tie up between the U.S. and India, adding he wants to engage all the regional players, so the U.S. can withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

And the UN Security Council held a closed door meeting on Kashmir. Pakistan is lobbying for a formal session to present its case. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan called the U.S. and other members of the council in advance of the meeting held at the insistence of China.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian Independence day celebrated amidst Kashmir controversy

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Indian Independence Day celebrated amidst Kashmir controversy

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — Indians around the world are marking the 72nd anniversary of India’s freedom from British rule with a series of ceremonies, the largest of which took place in New Delhi at a celebration featuring Indian Prime Minister Modi. Over the course of 90 minutes, Mr. Modi spoke about his government’s accomplishments during his term and the pressing matter that is of interest globally, Kashmir. Watch his full remarks in primetime tonight on Diya TV. Coverage begins at 6 pm.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services made their controversial public charge rule official. It will deny green cards to immigrants who have received federal aid and benefits, impacting one million immigrants annually who have received public aid. Aging parents are also likely to be disqualified.

And the Philadelphia community is in mourning over the loss of three members of the Khurana family, who died when their small aircraft crashed shortly after take-off on a flight heading for Columbus, Ohio. The victims, 60 year old Jasvir Khurana and his wife, 54 year old Divya, were respected physician-researchers teaching at Temple and Drexel respectively. Their 19 year old daughter, Kiran, graduated from high school last year. The Khuranas were on their way to visit their other daughter in California. The FAA and NTSB ruled the crash was an accident.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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