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I am ready for an inquiry, says Madhavan Nair

Former ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair reiterated Friday that he had done no wrong in the controversial Antrix deal and was ready to face an inquiry.



Thiruvananthapuram: Former ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair reiterated Friday that he had done no wrong in the controversial Antrix deal and was ready to face an inquiry.
"I have done no wrong. If an inquiry is ordered, I will come out clean. But the inquiry should be done by technical people and also those in the know of government procedures," Nair told reporters here.
This was his first meeting with the media here since the government in January barred him and three other space scientists from holding official posts. "I have not been heard," he said.

Antrix, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation, was to provide spectrum by leasing out transponders of two satellites to be built mainly for Devas, which is into multi-media services.

Nair and three others have been accused of wrongdoing in the deal. Asked if he would seek legal recourse, he referred to the ISRO spy scandal of the 1990s.

"A former scientist at ISRO went to court. After many years he won the case and was awarded Rs.1 crore as compensation. But he is yet to get that money," said Nair.

"The entire scientific community is upset. Many are unwilling to undertake research activities because they know that things can go against them."

He said he would use his time with the International Academy of Astronautics, an international community of experts committed to expanding the frontiers of space.

"I love to interact with children. I have started to do that regularly. I wish to encourage them to have a scientific temperament," added Nair.

The three other blacklisted scientists are former scientific secretary A. Bhaskarnarayana, ISRO`s former satellite centre director K.N. Shankara and former Antrix Corp executive director K.R. Sridharamurthi.

Nair said it was announced in 2000 that ex-ISRO officials could join the private sector after retirement. Hence there was nothing wrong in Devas having ex-ISRO officials.

He also pointed out that when he retired in 2009 as ISRO chairman, he had listed out what the space agency should concentrate on till 2020.

"You can find out for yourself what has been happening to ISRO in the past two years. I am told that in this year`s budgeted amount, only 65 percent has been utilised, whereas in my tenure and prior to that, the utilisation was as high as 99 percent," added Nair.

IANS

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