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Ex-ISRO chief Nair writes to Manmohan Singh over job ban

Bangalore , Mon, 30 Jan 2012 ANI

Bangalore, Jan 30 (ANI): Former chief of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), G Madhavan Nair, on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to review the government's decision to ban him and three other former ISRO scientists from government jobs in the wake of the controversial S-spectrum deal.


Nair, who was ISRO chief at the time the contract was signed, said the decision had not been communicated to them.


"The whole circular came as a secret document which was not communicated to us. So I have indicated the procedural aspect of it. Also reiterating that these are leading scientists, who have contributed significantly to the nation, and they are all of renowned international standing. So from that point of view, I have made a request to the Prime Minister to review the whole situation," Nair told reporters.


Reacting to media reports that the government might revoke the ban, Nair said it would send the right message to scientists.


"I think it is a welcome move. You know that entire scientific community in the country has reacted and it will be right message to scientists if the Prime Minister is kind enough to revoke this order," added Nair.


Nair went on to say he was worried only about his prestige as well as prestige of his colleagues.


K R Sridharamurthi, the former managing director of Antrix, the commercial arm of ISRO, and K N Shankara, the former director of the ISRO Satellite Centre, have also been banned.


S-band spectrum, while is not currently in extensive use, is likely to become increasingly valuable in India's fast growing mobile phone network, with its ability to provide wireless broadband and other mobile data services.


Last year, the Central Government cancelled the contract of ISRO leasing transponders on two of its satellites to private firm Devas Multimedia, which granted it access to S-band telecom spectrum, worth billions of dollars to communication providers.


However, India's Space Department which functions under the Prime Minister, denied of any revenue being lost in the Antrix-Devas deal. (ANI)


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