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Government constitutes review committee to inquire into Devas deal news
11 February 2011

The government has constituted a review committe to examine the S-Band spectrum deal after media reports alleged that valuable S-Band spectrum had been virtually gifted to a private company by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

The controversy comes as particularly embarrassing given that the department of space under which ISRO falls, is directly under the prime minister.

The committee brief is to "review the technical, commercial, procedural and financial aspects" of the agreement, signed in 2005, and "to fix responsibility for lapses".

However, what could make matters worse is that fact that both review committee members could be said to have a conflict of interest. B K Chaturvedi was cabinet secretary in 2005 when Devas Multimedia got access to 70MHz of spectrum for Rs1000 crores from Antrix, ISRO's commercial arm. The other member Roddam Narasimha, a long standing member of the Space Commission is a signatory to the sweetheart deal. 

Both Chaturvedi and Narasimha were therefore parties to the Antrix-Devas deal.  The two member committee will report to the PM within a month. 

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization announced that the S-Band deal was under the process of being scrapped.

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Government constitutes review committee to inquire into Devas deal