According to sources close to the development, the official announcement of his name is expected to be made in a few days after the various formalities are completed.
Once appointed, Sarma will succeed former Trai chairman Nripendra Mishra who retired on March 22, 2009.
Interestingly, Sarma's name was not among the 13 names shortlisted from the 26 applications received by the search committee formed to select the next chairman. Sarma will relieve AK Sawhney of his duties as interim chairman when he takes charge.
With the Model Code of Conduct in operation, the names recommended by the committee had to be approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, which includes Communications Minister A Raja and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Election Commission is also required to give its nod.
Sarma has a lot of exposure in the telecom sector. He was the Department of Telecommunications secretary and the Telecom Commission chairman from June 2005 to July 2006. Subsequently, he was appointed as the Secretary, Department of Fertilisers from July 2006 to July 2008.
He has also served in the defence, and chemicals and fertilisers ministries as well as an Additional Secretary in the Department of Personnel and later in the Department of Telecommunications. He was appointed a TDSAT member on July 28, 2008.
Before Nripendra Misra took over as the chairman three years ago, Pradip Baijal held the coveted post. In 2000, former chairman of the State Bank of India M S Verma was named the first chairman of the reconstituted Trai.