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S-band spectrum: ISRO forms panel to probe Antrix-Devas deal

New Delhi: Government has appointed a high-powered committee to review various aspects of the controversial deal ISRO’s commercial arm Antrix had struck with a private company for lease of scarce S-band spectrum.

The two-member Committee, headed by BK Chaturvedi, Member, Planning Commission, will review the technical, commercial, procedural and financial aspects of the Agreement between Antrix and Devas Multimedia Pvt Ltd, an official statement today said.

It will also review the adequacy of procedures and approval processes followed by Antrix, ISRO and Department of Space, and suggest improvements and changes.

The Committee has been asked to submit its recommendations to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh within one month. Singh is minister in-charge of Department of Space.

Noted aerospace expert Roddam Narsimha, Member, Space Commission is the other member of the committee.

Media reports had stated that the Department of Space had allocated 70 MHz of S-Band spectrum to Devas Multimedia for Rs 1,000 crore. The actual value of this was estimated to be around Rs 2 lakh crore, the reports claimed.

The Prime Minister’s Office had denied reports, saying no decision has been taken and hence charges of revenue loss were without any basis.

ISRO chief K Radhakrishnan had admitted that details about contract that gave Devas rights to 90 per cent usage of transponders on two satellites, were not shared with the Space Commission or the Union Cabinet.

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