A meeting of the Joint Committee of Regulators (JCOR) was held under the chairmanship of Dr P. D. Vaghela, chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The JCOR, which is an initiative of TRAI, consists of TRAI, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Ministry of Consumer Affairs (MoCA) with special invitees from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to frame joint action plan to curb spam and frauds using telecom resources. 

During the meeting, Vaghela emphasised that unsolicited commercial communication (UCC) is a major source of inconvenience to the public and is also being used to carry financial fraud. JCOR was updated about TRAI’s recent directions to curb misuse of headers and content templated and to curb unauthorised activities using telecom resources under Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulation, 2018 (TCCCPR 2018). It was agreed that entities working under respective regulators/departments would be sensitised to implement these directions in a time-bound manner. 

Further, the formulation of a framework for sharing of UCC data detected by telecom service providers on distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform, strict action on principal entities for non-compliance of regulation, measures to present misuse of the SIM box, pan-India rollout of central equipment identity register (CEIR) to stop misuse of mobile handsets, use of artificial intelligence/machine learning based anti-phishing system were some of the issues discussed in the meeting. Implementation of RegTech solution on DLT platform for promotional voice calls and implementation of digital consent acquisition were also discussed. Updates of the ‘Regulatory Sandbox’ established for UCC detection were also shared with the committee.