In his younger days, K.K. Minocha aspired to become a scientist or a researcher. However, fate took him in a different direction and he ended up taking the IAS exams instead. â€œIn the 1970s, the field of research and development had not gained prominence in India. This limited my career prospects in the area and so I decided to join the civil services,â€ he reminisces.
Minocha joined the Indian Telecommunications Service in 1980 and has since worked in different capacities in DoT and BSNL in the areas of satellite communications, optic fibre networks, microwave technologies and network planning.
At BSNL, he served as general manager of the North Eastern and Maharashtra circles; general manager (maintenance), Mumbai; and operations in-charge, Maharashtra and Goa. BSNLâ€™s long distance operations came under his purview in these two circles.
Talking about his most memorable assignment, Minocha recalls the time when he was in charge of maintaining the long distance telecom network in remote areas of Srinagar and Leh from 1982 to 1986. â€œThat was an era when technology was primarily analog and manual intensive. Being located in remote areas, our vendors could barely support us in terms of technological know-how and spare equipment. So, we had to step up and repair faulty equipment. This meant that I had to burn the candle at both ends, and acquire knowledge of the equipment and apply local innovation to ensure that the network functioned smoothly,â€ he says.
Currently, he is deputy director-general, broadband, Universal Service Obligation (USO) Fund. In this capacity, he is responsible for creating infrastructure in rural areas to ensure broadband proliferation. He says the main challenge before him today is to ensure the success of the National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN) project, an initiative being carried out by the USO Fund via Bharat Broadband Network Limited.
â€œThe NOFN is aimed at providing optical connectivity to 250,000 gram panchayats spread across the country. This is an enormous challenge, keeping in mind the countryâ€™s diverse terrain. Besides, coordinating with several stakeholders, including the central and state governments and telecom operators to ensure implementation of the network is a major task. The target is to achieve coverage of all gram panchayats in two to three years,â€ he notes.When he does get time for a breather, Minocha enjoys watching television, reading books on spirituality and listening to music. â€œMy favourite movies are 3 Idiots and Lagaan. I also enjoyed reading The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma,â€ he says