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Ex-ISRO technocrats form part of Devas board news
10 February 2011

Devas Multimedia Private Limited, which now finds itself at the centre of a storm over the S-band deal, was founded in 2004 by a number of technocrats who had worked with the ISRO over the last three decades.

The allegations relate to Antrix Corporation (which is under the administrative control of Department of Space) under K R Sridharamurthy entering into an agreement in January 2005 with Devas Multimedia over allowing use of 70 MHz of S-band spectrum without inviting bids and thus causing huge revenue loss to the exchequer.

Antrix, which was founded in 1992, is currently headed by K Radhakrishnan, secretary, Department of Space. He is also chairman of ISRO.

Meanwhile, the prime minister's office had, on Tuesday, asked Radhakrishnan to explain to the media that there had been no financial loss from the deal and no spectrum had been allocated to Devas Multimedia and that the deal would be terminated.

Bangalore-based Devas Multimedia Private Limited's top brass are mostly drawn from technocrats and scientists of ISRO, Department of Telecom and VSNL, in fact, its top brass list reads like a who's who of the telecom and space establishments. M G Chandrasekhar, founder of the company, along with fellow technocrats had held senior techno-managerial positions at ISRO while Ramachandran Viswanathan, president and CEO of Devas, had two decade long experience of internet and satellite communication companies launching new products and services.

Chief technology officer at Devas, D Venugopal, also served at ISRO and was in charge of satellite communications programme.

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Ex-ISRO technocrats form part of Devas board