Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief G. Madhavan Nair
Wednesday described as "improper" the move to blacklist four
scientists, including him, from a government job and said the
space agency had "gone to the dogs".
In a Jan 13 order, the Department of Space barred Nair and three
others from holding any government positions over the soured deal
between Antrix Corp (commercial arm of ISRO) and Devas Multimedia
Pvt Ltd which was annulled.
The other three are A. Bhaskarnarayana, former scientific
secretary in ISRO, K.N. Shankara, former director of ISRO
Satellite Centre, and K.R. Sridharamurthi, former executive
director of Antrix.
A furious Nair said he was not interested in serving any
organisation under the current government and termed blacklisting
him from future jobs in government or government committees as
Referring to the order, Nair told IANS: "Even in an
autocratic/military regime an opportunity would have been given to
the person who has been blacklisted. No such opportunity was given
to me. I am shocked at the order which has not been served on me.
"I am yet to see the order. Once it is sent to me, I will decide
on the appropriate action."
Nair, who was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1998 and Padma Vibhushan in
2009 by the Indian government, said it was an attempt to tarnish
He also accused present ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan of
inefficiency and pursuing a personal agenda.
He alleged that Radhakrishnan had been unable to live up to
expectations of ISRO and was resorting to actions like
blacklisting others to divert attention.
"He may not be knowing the difference between transponders and
satellites. During the past two years ISRO has not announced any
major project and the organisation will soon come to a grinding
halt," Nair told IANS.
"Ever since Radhakrishnan has taken over as ISRO chief, the
organisation's total budgetary expenditure has come down to around
50 percent of the allocation.
"On the other hand, during my period ISRO nearly made full
utilisation of the budgetary allocation."
"ISRO has now gone to the dogs," he declared.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) estimated the loss to
the exchequer to the tune of Rs.2 lakh crore because of the
Antrix-Devas deal, according to which ISRO's commercial arm was to
provide 70 MHz S-Band spectrum to Devas.
Accusing Radhakrishnan for the decision on the order blacklisting
order, Nair said the former was a member of Antrix board with the
deal with Devas was signed.
"Radhakrishnan did not say anything at that point of time and but
now says that the deal was wrong. He has misled the government on
Antrix-Devas deal and killed it."
The former ISRO chief said the Suresh committee appointed by
Radhakrishnan had given a clean chit for the deal.
In his view, the CAG had gone wrong in its estimation of the
probable loss of revenue in the Antrix-Devas deal.
"The satellite spectrum cannot be equated with the land based
spectrum as the former usage is restricted. The CAG has
extrapolated the land based spectrum usage to space based one."
Radhakrishnan was not available for comment.
The blacklisting order has taken ISRO officials by surprise.
"It is unfortunate. The blacklisting not befitting the stature of
the people concerned," an ISRO scientist told IANS.