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Space: devas-antrix deal COMMENTS
Former ISRO chairman offers fresh insight on the controversial Antrix-Devas deal


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Daily Mail
Digression
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Feb 27, 2012
A Satellite Story

Apropos G. Madhavan Nair’s interview (‘I am a specialist in rocket science’, Feb 13), the Chaturvedi-Narasimha committee, Pratyush Sinha committee and the cag didn’t fault the Antrix-Devas multimedia deal for nothing. Norms and procedures were followed in the breach to make the deal ‘heavily loaded’ in favour of Devas. For some inexplicable reason, the Space Commission and Union cabinet were kept in the dark about the deal while seeking their nod for building GSAT-6 and GSAT-6A satellites. The spectrum allocation, the rule that Antrix invoked for leasing satellite capacity on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis, were all skewed. The problem with those in positions of power is that they take it for granted that they can do whatever they want without accountability. Worse, they often conclude that the offices they hold are meant for financial gain by unfair means, among other things.

G. David Milton, Maruthancode

Madhavan and his colleagues are not the only ones who have some explaining to do. Since several members of the Space Commission were also part of the Antrix board, questions have to be asked about the involvement of other parties in the making of the deal, and their culpability. Questions on isro’s work culture and the blindness with which the government approaches its space policy too are of concern.

Meghana A., Newcastle, UK

Order by HAVE YOUR SAY
1/D-76
Feb 04, 2012
04:53 PM

 Me thinks, that in many Indian organisation,
there exists a norm that the successor always belittle
the old who is no more there to defend. This is away to
swayaway the the subordinate supporters of old regime, and let them
know that who the 'new boss' is. Madhavan nair may be
a specialized  in rocket technology, but poor in technology
which crafts the 'crab mentality' . Its pathetic to see a hero of
succesful 'Moon Mission' was haunted like this.

V.N.K.Murti
pattambi, India
2/D-35
Feb 05, 2012
09:44 AM

It is PERPLEXING, that in an article on Antrix-Devas, there is NO MENTION of Manmohan Singh, the minister directly incharge of the humungous deal.

Male Unblocked
Chennai, India
3/D-74
Feb 05, 2012
01:35 PM

Mr. Coconut vs. Mr. Arecanut ..... haha

hari
chennai, India
4/D-80
Feb 05, 2012
03:00 PM

 I have one counter. ISRO’s budget is Rs 4,000 crore per year. With two transponders if I can get Rs 2 lakh crore, not only can I run ISRO, but I can run all the space programmes in the world. ...............

I loved this point!! If this is true, the head of CAG needs to go for lack of numeracy skills. 

ANBanerjee
Newcastle, United Kingdom
5/D-93
Feb 05, 2012
06:06 PM

Sugata Srinivasaraju asks a leading question about 'success' of the moon mission & was given an answer about 'brilliant teamwork'.

After launching, the vehicle system went through routine manouevres which previous missions successfully achieved. When the crucial manouevre to eject the system from the earth's orbit & to put the satelite in to the moon's orbit was carried out the it  faltered & the mission had to be ultimately  abandoned. It  is not clear what 'success' Sugata was talking about & what unprecedented 'teamwork'  is being boasted. The fate of the research payloads - some them foreign - has never been clearly made public.

As a matter of fact some would say moon mission was unneccessary as its then stated objectives were already achieved by countries with advanced space research. One of the curious objective then hoisted was exploration of H3 in the moon's surface. That seemed a litle far fetched.

MANISH BANERJEE
KOLKATA, India
6/D-96
Feb 05, 2012
06:55 PM

#5/D-93 Correction: Last but one line He3 not H3.

MANISH BANERJEE
KOLKATA, India
7/D-52
Feb 06, 2012
03:48 PM

Already an inquery was ordered and it was also completed. The question is why they did not make this inquery report public ?

bowenpalle venuraja gopal rao.
warangal, india
8/D-100
Feb 07, 2012
04:25 PM

"One curse on the entire scientific community is professional jealousy", Unquestionably Agreeable.

Krishna Pavan, Vijayawada

Krishna Pavan
Indian Locale, India
9/D-110
Feb 07, 2012
05:45 PM

The question is why they did not make this inquery report public ?

Well as many as 3 reports has now been published. One by committee of ISRO , another by frormer CVC appopinted by the POM himself & a third one by the redoubtable CAG leaked to the media. Each of the reports critical of the Antrix-Devas deal. The deifference is in degree.

Irrespective of motivations, malafide or not ,  there are commonalities  between the now infamous 2G deal & this one -

>Both are highly opaque hush hush deals , details of which became public only through unusual channels. Transparent government contracts are usually made public through official channels. Until the Antrix-Devas deal was leaked, general public & few in the government & the media was unware that such a contract exhisted. When ISRO procured a few cryogenic engines from the Russians which included transfer of technology to manufacture engines indigenously the deal was higthly publisized officially.

> Both are unified licence deals in the sense that 2G  spectrum came combined with mobile telephone service lisense. Here 4G spectrum came with transponder usage.

> This deal also in a way awarded in First Come First Serve basis in the sense Devas came first & the only one, awarded the transponder usage without any attempt to find out other prospective licensees.

> There was no attempt to make an evaluation of competative market determined pricing in name highly restricted technology. But the fact is that the company which was awarded  the contract did not have any previous experience in commercial delivery  4G communication service, like many of the 2G awardees who were new in the field & even today could not roll out service.

>Like some of the 2G spctrum allottees, stake in the company was sold at a premium .

> In security senstive field this one also has foreign angle as the company wa

MANISH BANERJEE
KOLKATA, India
10/D-111
Feb 07, 2012
06:03 PM

was incorpoted ouside India.

There was some unusual features in the deal.

>An entire satelite dedicated to service of a private company  was proposed to be built & put in orbit by ISRO launch system. This is a path breaking initiative & under usual circumstances the deal would have been heavily publicized.

> Commercial viability of 4G service as yet to be eshtablished worldwide. In India heavy price paid last year for 3G spectrum has not yet justified the investment & 3G is yet to catch on. Going ahead & preparing for 4G may seem bold initiative investwise.

MANISH BANERJEE
KOLKATA, India
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