DMPQ-. Discuss the national security directives on the telecom sector.

. On December 16, the Cabinet Committee on Security headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval for a National Security Directive on the Telecommunication Sector (NSDTS) that will impact the digital and telecom ecosystem in the country.

The NSDTS is aimed at preserving the integrity of the supply chain under which the government will declare a list of trusted sources and trusted products for installation in the country’s telecom networks. There will also be a list of designated sources from where no procurement is to be made. The methodology to designate trusted products will be devised by the designated authority, the National Cyber Security Coordinator of India, and the list of the trusted source and product decided on the basis of approval by a committee headed by the Deputy National Security Adviser and having representation from the relevant ministries, industry bodies and independent experts. The directive will apply to new deployment and does not compel the telecom providers to mandatorily replace the existing equipment or alter the annual maintenance contracts.

The NSDTS will be a step ahead of the Preferential Market Access (PMA) policy that was approved by the UPA cabinet in February 2012 and meant to support the domestic manufacturers and give preference to the domestically manufactured telecom and electronic products.

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