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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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Indian national dies in ICE custody in Arizona

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Indian Man dies ICE

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Diya TV) — An Indian national died in Arizona near the California border while being held in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the second person in a month to die at that location.

ICE officials said 21 year old Simratpal Singh was found unresponsive and not breathing while he awaited transfer to an ICE facility. ICE said earlier that day, Singh posted bond on charges of assault and sexual assault.

The Wadhwani Institute, led by Romesh and Sunil Wadhwani, won a $2M Google grant for an AI project which aims to help farmers control crop pests.

In Washington DC, Gita Gopinath, the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, received the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award from Indian Ambassador Harsh Shringla.

And Facebook co-founder and Mark Zuckerberg’s former roommate Chris Hughes, in an op-ed, called for the breakup of the social network.

Zoom Founder & CEO Eric Yuan, among other prominent tech scions, flocked to TiECON over the weekend. We have full coverage including our exclusive one on ones with some of the prominent leaders in Silicon Valley.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Blasts near major Sufi shrine in Lahore kills 10, wounds many

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Sufi Shrine bomb

LAHORE, Pakistan (Diya TV) — Pakistani police say a bomb targeting their forces guarding a Sufi shrine in Lahore killed at least ten people, with many more wounded. Among the dead are civilians, police officers and a security guard. Hundreds of people were nearby to mark Ramadan at the time of the explosion. The Pakistani Taliban is claiming responsibility for the attack.

After the New York Times released details how President Trump lost roughly $1 billion in the 1980s and 1990s, more than nearly any other American, Trump took to Twitter to defend his approach, saying his use of tax shelters was a “sport.”

As the world celebrates his 150th birth anniversary, New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney expects Mahatma Gandhi to be honored this year posthumously with the Congressional Gold Medal, America’s highest civilian award.

And global digital payment network Mastercard says they will invest $1 billion in India over the next 5 years, roughly one-third of which will be spent to set up a local payment processing center.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Colorado Muslim restaurateurs win $675K in discrimination suit

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Colorado Muslim restaurateurs

DENVER (Diya TV) — A Colorado court ruled in favor of father and son restaurateurs Zuned & Rashad Khan to the tune of $675,000 after a landlord refused to sublease a restaurant space to them because they are Muslim.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Indian Minister of Commerce Suresh Prabhu met in New Delhi to talk trade and commerce. Bilateral ties between the nations grew more than 12% from 2017 to 2018.

In Sacramento, ten names of officers killed in the line of duty were added to the California Peace Officers’ memorial, including Corporal Ronil Singh of the Newman Police Department.

And investing icon Warren Buffett said Gregory Able and Ajit Jain, who are both on the Berkshire Hathaway board of directors, would join him and business partner Charlie Munger on the stage to answer shareholder questions in the near future.

Jain is credited with being a driving force behind Berkshire Hathaway’s success in insurance.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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