Ex-ISRO chief quits as IIT-Patna Chairman

In the eye of a storm, former ISRO Chairman G. Madhavan Nair has stepped down as Chairman of the Board of Governors of IIT-Patna.

Nair, who has been barred from holding any government post for his alleged role in the controversial Antrix-Devas deal, was in Patna on Friday to bid farewell to his colleagues.

"I went there to say farewell. Though I have not got a copy of the government order, I did not want to continue after what has come out in the public domain," Nair, the architect of India's maiden moon mission, said.

Earlier this month, the government barred Nair and three other senior space scientists from all current and future government jobs for their alleged role in Antrix Corporation's deal with Devas Multimedia for leasing out bulk transponders on two satellites for launch of digital multimedia services.

IIT-Patna was among the eight new institutes set up by the Centre between 2008 and 2009. The permanent campus of the IIT is coming up at Bitha about 25 km from Patna.

Asked about his plans to move court against the government order, Nair said that he has filed an application under the RTI Act to get a copies of the order and reports of the B. K. Chaturvedi Committee on the Antrix-Devas deal.

He said he has also sought a copy of the report of a team led by former CVC Pratyush Sinha, which recommended action based on the findings of the Chaturvedi Committee.

"I am totally in the dark. I cannot do anything unless I get some information under the RTI Act," Nair said.

Nair said the Chaturvedi panel allowed them to present their case but the Sinha panel only sent a questionnaire, suggesting that they were denied the right to be heard.

Devas Multimedia has moved the International Court of Arbitration to settle the issue.

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