Anil Kumar Lahoti, Former Chairman and CEO of the Railway Board, has been appointed as the Chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), according to the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions. Lahoti’s leadership has been approved by the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet for a term of three years or until he reaches the age of 65.
The position had been vacant for around four months following the retirement of PD Vaghela on September 30, 2023. Applications were invited for the position in December 2023, following the initial call issued on June 26, 2023.
One of TRAI’s key priorities will be to establish pricing and other specifications for the administrative allocation of spectrum to satellite communication (satcom) players. This process is dependent on the telecom department issuing a reference, which can only be done with a chairman in place.
Additionally, TRAI is entrusted with formulating recommendations for over 12 pending consultation papers, covering crucial topics such as the national broadcasting policy, E and V band airwaves, quality of services, and the digital transformation facilitated by the 5G ecosystem. Lahoti, a member of the Indian Railway Service of Engineers from the 1984 batch, becomes the third non-IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer to assume the role of TRAI chairman.
With a career spanning more than 36 years in the railways, Lahoti has held various positions across Central, Northern, North Central, Western, and West Central Railways.