ISRO’s Antrix Corporation to be restructured (Lead)

February 12th, 2011 - 9:16 pm ICT by IANS  

ISRO New Delhi, Feb 12 (IANS) India’s Space Commission Saturday decided to restructure Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), whose deal with a private company related to scarce S-band spectrum has led to a controversy. Official sources said the Space Commission has decided to have a separate chairman to head Antrix. At present, ISRO head K. Radhakrishnan is also the chairman of Antrix corporation.

The sources said the decision to have a new chairman for Antrix was taken in view of expansion of its business.

The meeting was attended by V. Narayanasamy, minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office, National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon and top officials of ISRO.

The controversy relates to a 2005 agreement between Antrix and Devas multimedia for launch of two satellites and related allocation of S-band spectrum.

After the row broke out over alleged loss of revenue to the government, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday formed a two-member commission comprising Planning Commission member B.K. Chaturvedi and Space Commission member Roddam Narasimha to probe the matter.

The government has denied that the nation suffered revenue losses in the allocation of space spectrum using S-band - high value and scarce radio waves - but admitted that the agreement between Antrix and Devas had not explicitly mentioned the end-use terms.

It said that the agreement was being cancelled.

The opposition has attacked the government over the deal, saying it should look into aspects of ownership and funding of Devas.

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