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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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Missing Hindu woman found mutilated in Pakistan

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The mutilated body of a Hindu woman was found in a field in southeastern Pakistan. Police say 40 year old Daya Bheel was murdered in the latest suspected attack against minorities in the Muslim-majority country. Authorities say they have arrested some suspects but have not determined a motive.

The Khosla family has donated nearly 2 million dollars to the Nudge Institute to help fight poverty. The philanthropists have donated millions of dollars for many other causes.

And disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-fried pleaded not guilty to eight different counts of wire fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy before a U.S. federal court in the Southern District of New York. U.S. prosecutors allege that under Bankman-Fried’s direction, FTX, once considered one of the largest and most-trusted cryptocurrency exchanges, transferred billions in customer assets to his trading firm, Alameda Research. If convicted of these charges, Bankman-Fried faces up to 115 years in prison.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Christmas crash kills Indian American toddler

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Tragic news out of Nevada. Authorities say an Indian American toddler has died in a devastating Christmas day car crash and his mother is in critical condition fighting for her life. Authorities say the accident happened on a busy Las Vegas boulevard and they were returning home from a trip in California.

Anil Beephan is now the first Indian American Republican ever to be elected to the New York State Assembly in Albany. So far only Indian American Democrats have been elected to the state legislature. Beephan will also become the first minority to represent Dutchess County and at 29 years old, he’s the youngest GOP rep in the state legislature. He’s currently in the tech industry and has also worked as a volunteer firefighter.

Vice President Kamala Harris has named Indian American Rajeev Badyal to a key national advisory group, responsible for strategy and recommendations to improve and maintain space policy. Badyal already works for Amazon, helping launch satellites into orbit. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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EXCLUSIVE: Warriors host first-ever Bhangra Night

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The Golden State Warriors first-ever Bhangra Night made its debut during the Warriors-Jazz game at the Chase Center in San Francisco. The Warriors say it’s a chance for the team to connect with the Bay Area’s rapidly growing South Asian community and fan base. Only Diya TV was on hand to capture the festivities. This change from the annual Bollywood night was supposed to take place in 2020 but was postponed because of the pandemic.

A federal jury in San Francisco has convicted Sivannarayana Barama of insider trading. Authorities say he used the quarterly financial performance of Palo Alto Networks before that information was released to the public and then traded in that company’s stock while that information was still confidential. Barama worked in IT for several Silicon Valley companies.

U.S. Border Patrol caught more than 4000 Indians illegally crossing the Mexico border in October and November. That’s more than double compared to the same time frame last year. An Indian man recently died climbing a border wall in Texas. The Biden administration is struggling to contain a surge of illegal immigration at the southern border.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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