Sri Ranjit Chaliha, VU2RCH- an ardent radio experimenter and an
expert ham from Assam.
the last 9 years, no ham radio licences have been issued to those who have passed ASOC
examination from the North Eastern States of India, which is defeating the very purpose of
Sri Ranjit Chaliha, VU2RCH, is a dedicated ham radio operator from the
North Eastern part of India (Assam). He is one of the few fortunate persons to get a ham
radio licence (including me!) from a North Eastern state. Examples
of many ardent radio experimenters can be cited whom the concerned authority has been
denying ham radio licences simply because they belong to India's North Eastern
Sri Ritu Mahanta (an Electrical Engineer by profession) is
one such person from Guwahati who is well known among the radio enthusiasts as an
electronic whizkid. He had assembled his own wireless equipment and also passed the ASOC
examination, but for the last nine years, his dream to come on-the-air never came
true as he was denied licence by the Ministry of Communications, New Delhi.
In respect of the non-issuing of ham radio licences to the
people, President of the Amateur Radio Society of India,
Mr. Sahruddin, VU2SDN, says-" Governments in India
and elsewhere do not seem to realize that no anti social element ever approaches them for
a licence. Most of the delay in issue of licences is caused by the security vetting
procedures, which can be dispensed with or modified taking into account the fact that only
law abiding citizens approach the government for a licence. An easy way
out would be to grant a provisional licence, subject to cancellation if an adverse report
is received from those agencies.
There is another factor which inhibits the growth
of amateur radio. Commercial licencees are allowed to operate mobile stations, without
individual security clearances, and without any restriction in operational areas. Radio
amateurs, who have to qualify in an examination and who cleared individually by security
agencies, are denied permission to use their hand-held equipment outside the licensed
addresses. This is an anomaly which needs to be rectified by the government. "
(Source: "SPECTRUM NEEDS FOR THE AMATEUR SERVICE AND CB RADIO by Sahruddin,
Ham Radio News, April/June 1998).
The licence issuing authority has been
conducting Amateur Station Operators Certificate (ASOC) exams regularly, but
candidates have been left high and dry for a long time after that. It has been observed
that the delay is taking place everywhere without any valid reason. Ham radio is a
hobby, it is very useful during emergency and disasters. Bans on its propagation
contradicts our Governments decision of popularising it. The same Govt. has included
ham radio clubs in the list of possible activities to be promoted and funded under MP
Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS). If terrorists and anti-social elements
want to aquire sophisticated means of communication; they can and have been doing it. Why
victimise only this great hobby ?