Government seems to be caught in the cobweb of spectrum controversy. Beleaguered with the 2G row that shattered its image, the Congress-led government headed for another spectrum row, S-band issue. The way the Centre is handling the issue reflects that something wrong has been committed on its part. It is irony that the government broke silence when there was made a hue and cry over S-band spectrum scam. The contract between Antrix Corporation, a commercial wing of ISRO, and Devas Multimedia, a private company, has raised many questions. It is obvious that Devas Multimedia, owned by former scientific secretary, bagged the contract in absence of competent companies and lack of auction proceedings in 2005, but it is the moot point that why the company was sanctioned for unlimited use of 70 MHz of rare spectrum for 20 years? But the Central government could have reckoned it that the contract would enable Devas Multimedia to hit the jackpot. It clearly indicates that the space department lacks efficient people who could spot the pitfall of the contract and a huge loss would have incurred to the exchequer.     

It is not sufficient that the Central government is mulling on scrapping the contract between commercial wing of ISRO and Devas Multimedia just by forming a committee under stewardship of ex-cabinet secretary to probe the matter. This decision should have been taken earlier, as the Ministry of Law already suggested to annul the contract. If the ISRO, working under the PMO, could not buy the idea of Law Ministry they should have expressed it. The non-committal on the proposition of the Ministry of Law spells some misgivings about intention of the government and raised questions on its functioning too. It is disappointing that the government is lax in probing malpractices. ISRO’s stand is intriguing that neither Space Commission nor Cabinet had any information about the deal with Devas Multimedia. It is surprising that the Space Commission was not apprised of the deal. People want to know why is the government sitting idle on such a big issue instead of repealing the dubious contract? The Central government should swiftly clarify the puzzles otherwise it will hit its sagging image.