With rich experience in IT and foreign trade, Shyamal Ghosh is looking forward to new challenges as chairman, Telecom Equipment & Services Export Promotion Council. A veteran IAS officer of the Gujarat cadre, he has had a distinguished career and occupied many top posts at the centre and in Gujarat over many decades. He has been chairman of the Telecom Commission and secretary, Department of Telecommunications in the past and has served in various capacities including secretary, Department of Electronics; director general, Directorate General of Foreign Trade; administrator, Universal Service Obligation Fund; and secretary, textiles. He was also chairman of the Data Security Council of India and the India Broadband Forum.
Known as an immensely able administrator, Ghosh was responsible for the implementation of the New Telecom Policy, 1999, for taking the initiative in drafting the Information Technology Act, 2000, and proposing the creation of an information superhighway in India in 1997. During his tenure as chairman, Telecom Commission, many major reforms were initiated and implemented, leading to the opening up of the sector for competitive private participation and the exponential growth in telecom penetration.
One of the first things he wants to do at the council is “to strengthen the organisation, strengthen the council’s structure, and get more players involved and interested”. “We have some indigenous input in cables, optic fibre, and some equipment in the wireless segment and solar-based operating systems for towers. And we have technology coming out of the Centre for Development of Telematics, which some countries have showed an interest in. But the first thing we have to do is promote the government’s Make in India initiative, so that we have the wherewithal to go out and export,” says Ghosh.
Ghosh has a degree in economics from Scottish Church College, Kolkata, and a master’s degree in economics from Calcutta University. He is a self-confessed fitness freak. Before retiring, cricket was his passion. He played until he was 60 and still has two dislocated shoulders to show for it. He also played badminton, soccer, hockey and squash. After retirement, he and his wife Saha took up swimming. “When you exercise, your body feels better. When you sit around, you can feel all sorts of aches and pains and lethargy,” he says. “I will work for as long as I am fit.