A lopsided deal that awarded S-band spectrum for a song shows the government in poor light.
The sweetheart deal between Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and Devas Multimedia in 2005 has turned out to be yet another embarrassment for the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (upa) government. (As we go to press, the government, invoking “sovereign” interests, has annulled the contract.) The agreement involved the design, building and launch of two commercial satellites, GSat-6 and GSat-6A, by ISRO and the delivery to Devas Multimedia of a leased capacity on the primary satellite and access to transponders. This would have allowed the delivery of spectrum for use by Devas Multimedia with which it intended to introduce commercial broadband multimedia services.
For more of the EPW Editorial, please read here.