The ruling dispensation at the Centre seems to be accountable for facing the flak from former ISRO chief G Madhavan Nair who is under fire for the controversial Antrix-Devas deal. This is hard to understand why the government decided in such secrecy to restrict the four scientists including Nair, even without giving them an opportunity to keep their perspective. There is no doubt that Nair led ISRO’s decision to allocate S Band Spectrum to a private company was scandalous, however, this does not approve the government’s secretly decided action to punish the involved scientists. If the perspective of the punished scientists was not necessary before taking the decision to bar them, then why the Union Minister V Narayansamy has now said that the government is now willing to hear the scientists? Is it true that the government has agreed under pressure after former ISRO Chief openly rebuked their decision? The fact can’t be ignored that the Chief of Prime Minister’s Scientific Advisory Council Prof. CNR Rao has also extended stringent criticism of the government’s decision to debar four scientists including Nair from holding any government post in the future. The remark made by Rao that the government threw Nair and three scientists into dustbin, has tipped the nation on another question that why the government is not taking such action against corrupt politicians. This does not generally happen that the head of Prime Minister’s scientific advisory council gives such stringent criticism of government’s decision on scientific matter.

The reasons why the government took the decision to debar four scientists must come into light irrespective of the grounds on which Nair has sought an apology from the government on the decision. Similarly, the government must bring into public domain that only these four scientists were responsible for the scandalous Antrix-Devas deal. This is more important because ISRO functions directly under the aegis of the Prime Minister. Is it possible for an organization which is governed directly by the Prime Minister’s Office, takes a decision of this magnitude and no one in the PMO has any inkling about it? The decision to debar the four scientists has come at a time when the Supreme Court is about to begin the hearing in the Antrix-Devas deal. The Supreme Court may reach at any conclusion after the hearing, but the decision of the government clearly reflects that they have undermined the dignity of not only prominent scientists but also of prestigious scientific institute. This is unfortunate that immediately after uncalled for row between the Army Chief and the government, the new fiasco that surfaced suggest that things are not really going smoothly between the government and scientists in the country.