Space Commission wants Devas deal cancelled; Antrix in for a revamp

The Space Commission, the apex policy body of the Department of Space, which met today to discuss the controversial satellite deal between Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and private firm Devas Multimedia, stuck to its earlier decision to cancel the deal.

K RadhakrishnanThe Commission, which met under the chairmanship of the secretary, Department of Space, K Radhakrishnan, also decided to restructure Antrix Corporation.

Radhakrishnan, who is also the chairman of ISRO and Antrix Corporation, announced the setting up of a search committee to identify a chairman-cum-managing director for Antrix.

The ISRO chief said the contract with Devas has to be annulled given the requirement of the S-band spectrum for strategic purposes. He said the cabinet committee on security would take a final call on it.

Antrix signed a contract with Devas Multimedia In 2005, to build two satellites on which Devas would lease transponders in India. The deal involved sale of 70 MHz of S-band spectrum to a private company for a mere Rs1,000 crore. 

While Radhakrishnan would cease to be the chairman of Antrix, the ISRO outfit, however, would still have a technocrat as its CMD.