The invitation for Air India to join Star was made in late 2007, and their new timeline for getting their act together and meeting all requirements is now March, 2011. So it will have taken them more than 3 years. The biggest remaining hurdle, apparently, is that they have to integrate the IT systems of their two separate carriers (Air India and Indian Airlines).
Meanwhile, Star must be getting impatient as Air India acknowledges that Star is having conversations with Jet Airways as well.
‘India is a growing market. So it can have more than one member. The market is bound to grow. But we have made it clear to Star Alliance that Jet Airways should join after us as we would like to have the first mover advantage.’
With Kingfisher apparently joining oneworld, Star doesn’t want to be shut out of the Indian market. Jet Airways is a far better carrier than Air India in any case.