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Updated: February 6, 2012 18:59 IST

Report hints at ‘collusive behaviour' in Antrix-Devas deal

Divya Gandhi
Comment (17)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
File photo shows Antariksh Bhavan, which houses the Antrix Corporation in Bangalore.
The Hindu
File photo shows Antariksh Bhavan, which houses the Antrix Corporation in Bangalore.

It highlights serious procedural lapses on the part of senior ISRO scientists

In their stinging indictments, two government-appointed committees, set up to scrutinise the Antrix-Devas agreement, have highlighted serious procedural lapses on the part of, and policy violations by, senior scientists of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), all of which benefited a private company.

The deal reflects “not only serious administrative and procedural lapses but also a suggestion of collusive behaviour on the part of certain individuals,” says the report of the high-level team, headed by the former Central Vigilance Commissioner, Pratyush Sinha, submitted to the government in September last. The second team, a high-power review committee comprising B.K. Chaturvedi and Roddam Narasimha, submitted its report in March last.

Under the January 2005 agreement between the Antrix Corporation, marketing wing of ISRO, and the Bangalore-based Devas Multimedia Private Limited, Devas was allowed unrestricted use of 70 MHz of the scarce S-band spectrum from two exclusive satellites.

The former ISRO Chairman, Madhavan Nair, the former Scientific Secretary at ISRO, K Baskaranarayana, and the former managing director of Antrix Corporation, K.R. Sridharamurthi, were “mainly responsible for leading the Department of Space and Antrix into this arrangement,” says the Pratyush Sinha report.

K.N. Shankara, former director of the ISRO satellite centre, who headed the committee to examine the proposal, is “guilty of not considering all the implications of the agreement he was recommending.”

The Pratyush Sinha report lists another four bureaucrats “found responsible for the acts of omission:” the former Member (Finance), Space Commission, S.S. Meenakshisundaram; and three former Additional Secretaries of the Department of Space, Veena S. Rao, G. Balachandhran and R.G. Nadadur.

The reports cite examples of how information was concealed, facts were obfuscated, and cost calculations even “dissimulated.”

For example, the Cabinet and the Space Commission were kept in the dark about the deal, and the approval process was “riddled with incomplete and inaccurate information,” says the Pratyush Sinha report.

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It is a shame that the authority of the present PM is eroded so much
that all wrong things are happening under his own nose.And shamelessly
not owning or take moral responsibility for his own Govt. mistakes.It is
our country's fate that at 21th century we are having this kind of
authority, even God may not able to save our poor people.

from:  a.anandhakrishnan
Posted on: Feb 6, 2012 at 13:12 IST

When you go investigating the deals achieved by the space research community we should in all humility understand that Indian Space research has achieved many milestones with very few failures. It is not wise to censure the doyens who worked with all sicerity to place India in a prestigious position in the commitee of space research countries.They with all sincerity will look for reliable and trustworthy suppliers who will give them the achievements they want to project as Indias Capability.It is not at all wise to go public with regard to this matter and it is better to keep the matters only underclosed doors and do not bring senior men to shame and make fight in the press.They deserve a ringing salute that "They are Good> and have done Good service for the country".

from:  Prof.Paul.V.John
Posted on: Feb 6, 2012 at 12:53 IST

The action against the ISRO scientists is warranted as they failed in their duty of prior informing the Cabinet and Space Commission (whether wilful or not ), therby allowed a private company for undue benefits.

from:  Ambili Ambat
Posted on: Feb 6, 2012 at 12:52 IST

Is the Pratyush Sinha report impartial. I hear the "accused" were not even given an opportunity to present their point of view. That does not seem fair.
And I hear the Chaturvedi report made no accusations at all about collusion and favoritism. Why is the Hindu not reporting that?

from:  Kishore
Posted on: Feb 6, 2012 at 12:42 IST

India is a nation where any goons can play dirty games. Ministers, MPs
and Bureaucrats are the main players in this games. Medias and Courts
have their part. Army is also playing well. The Poor Indian Citizens
are watching the game without any protest. Let them loot us and our
mother country! We are the Slaves!! And this is Democracy?

from:  Abdul Kareem E Thalangara
Posted on: Feb 6, 2012 at 12:17 IST

This is again proved that Government is not governing.. and PM is not
taking any responsibility in any serious such matters.. just looking
for a scape coat like Raja in 2G, or PMO Office or Nair in S Band
issue and Kalmadi in CWG scams.

from:  John Rajiah
Posted on: Feb 6, 2012 at 12:07 IST

The Indian Scientists are not above board. All Indian Scientific
Organisations need to be probed. Ramachandran of Devas had raised
certain pertinent points. PMO's office Narayanaswamy has to answer
those points.

from:  Venkatachalam
Posted on: Feb 6, 2012 at 12:00 IST

A strategically important organisation could ink such an agreement with
Devas which smacks of a conspiracy & unfaithfulness towards the STATE is
beyond the dream of any citizen of the country. It strikes horror &
shock in the mind and hearts of the people. It is also surprising that
everybody in the govt was ignorant of the deal till a newspaper
published the news of the deal. Govt's ignorance is cannot be accepted &
is unthinkable

from:  raghunathpatra
Posted on: Feb 6, 2012 at 11:45 IST

Corruption and Selfishness are deep rooted in every Department in this Country. There is an immediate necessity to strengthen laws of punishment on the acts of corruption and illegality. It is surprising that not only politicians, chairman, secretaries of big Government Organisations are involved. Punishments should be merciless and privatization of some govt sectors is required.

from:  sai
Posted on: Feb 6, 2012 at 11:20 IST

These bureaucrats must be punished mercilessly, it is this rot which combines with politicians make life miserable for the rest of the people. Throw them behind bars until everything is cleared.

from:  xavier surender
Posted on: Feb 6, 2012 at 09:57 IST

Like government like employees. If the central govt is corrupt to core the employees will follow suit. Bad precedent for the nation. We trust the ISRO scientists with nation's asset, technology and security. Alas some black sheeps spoil the reputation.

from:  Ayyappa
Posted on: Feb 6, 2012 at 09:47 IST

The former CVC has done an excellent job at pinning down the responsibility on the bureacrats at ISRO, while completely exonerating his political bosses. What was the PM doing when all this was happening under his direct command? In this case "Mr. Clean" does not have a fig- leaf of "coalition a-dharma" behind which he can hide himself.

from:  shailendram
Posted on: Feb 6, 2012 at 09:25 IST

Frankly speaking ,credibility of this present govt is so low, that if they attack some body and try to put somebody in jail its a ample proof enough that the person is credible and honest.

from:  sudhanshu
Posted on: Feb 6, 2012 at 09:14 IST

The official secrets act forbids to disclose many skeletons in cupboard.All these so called scientists are bureaucrats like our IAS/IPS people with added benefits due to so called secrecy!

from:  atis
Posted on: Feb 6, 2012 at 07:45 IST

The punishment meted to them is very mild. Let them be tried in a Court of Law and punished suitably as per their crime.The UPA II is trying to hush up the whole affair as this will be one more scam hanging round it's neck. The pecuniary benefits they derived from this deal should be investigated and given publicity.
This is a result of the poor level of emoulments the Government gives scientists who work so hard to do the Nation proud. The politician wants to lord over all, though knowledge and qualification wise they are criminals not even fit to br peons in a government department.

from:  S N IYER
Posted on: Feb 6, 2012 at 06:53 IST

Why always these matters come to light after 3 to 6 years ?...the check and control mechanism should be speeded up to produce red flag alert within a few months. That will minimize a lot of these irregularities done willfully or otherwise. High time we had this Whistle Blower act put in place.

from:  Jairam
Posted on: Feb 6, 2012 at 05:30 IST

This shows that no matter who you are, how much high intellectual
capacity you got, these so called scientists are
ready to compromise our country’s resources.

from:  Praveen C J
Posted on: Feb 6, 2012 at 02:22 IST
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