ISRO, India's space agency was not meant to be involved in commercial initiatives before Antrix, its commercial wing set up to translates research into revenue came into being in 1992.
ISRO's technology transfer policy says it all - ''the direct revenue returns to Government of India from the process of technology transfer, through licence fees; royalties are of secondary importance''. By way of elaboration it says ''the primary objective in the transfer and dissemination of government generated know-how to industry and other sectors is the speedy growth of the latter and the consequential momentum to sustained national development''.
Political observers say that at some stage after 1992, ISRO probably lost its moorings as it failed to stick to its original mandate, culminating in the controversial Devas deal.
Headed by ISRO technocrats, Antrix marketed ISRO around the world and also played a significant role in building private sector capabilities in India, but it functioned largely as a revenue stream for the research agency.
Last August, when reports first surfaced of the law ministry questioning a spectrum deal between Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the private firm Devas Multimedia, the company's chairman M G Chandrashekhar initially tried to duck the media, though the company stated all due clearances had been received from the authorities.
However, a few days later, Chandrashekhar was seen at ISRO's International Space Expo 2010, at the Devas stall where he was marketing his company's technologies.