This refers to the article “Delhi, we have a problem” and the editorial “Watch this space” (Jan. 31). It is clear that like the 2G, the S-band spectrum issue too went through all administrative formalities but decisions were not taken on merits, whatever the reason. Pushed to the wall, the government has initiated some token action. As the story of everybody, anybody, somebody and nobody goes, in the UPA I &II “everybody knows all details, any body could have acted but nobody acted thinking somebody would.”
Squandering away precious national resource like spectrum — 2G or S-band — is a serious lapse in governance. It is difficult for people to trust a government that discloses information only when it is forced to, through judicial interventions or media exposés. All government contracts should be put in the public domain for people to see for themselves whether transparency and fairness were meticulously adhered to.
The article on the Antrix-Devas agreement has raised many policy related questions. The lack of proper communication among various agencies highlights systemic weakness. From the selection of Devas Multimedia Pvt. Ltd. to gaps in seeking the approval of the Space Commission and the Union Cabinet — all actions call for a relook at our policy framework. The government needs to do a lot of explaining.
The highest body involved in space research programme, ISRO, has produced outstanding results. People are, therefore, eager to know the details of the Antrix-Devas deal. The reports of B.N. Suresh, the Chaturvedi-Narasimha committee and the five-member team should be made public.