Space commission meet begins

Saturday, February 12, 2011

NEW DELHI - In the backdrop of the S-band spectrum controversy, India’s Space Commission Saturday began a meeting here and is expected to discuss restructuring of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and its commercial arm Antrix.

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

It is not clear whether a specific discussion on the S-band controversy would be taken up at the meeting, sources said.

The meeting is held amidst reports that the Space Commission may consider separation of Antrix from its parent organisation ISRO by appointing a new chairman for the commercial arm.

After the row broke out over alleged loss of revenue to the government in the Antrix-Devas contract for lease of S-band spectrum, 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 Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its report indicated that the alleged deal between Antrix and Devas caused the nation an estimated loss of Rs.2 lakh crore.

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