I was born on the eve of independence. At that time, one of the richest nations and ‘the wonder that was India’ had got reduced to the poorest nations of the world. The transistor was just invented then at the Bell Labs. That invention unleashed the electronics revolution. Dr Homi Bhaba prophesied way back in 60’s, that one day electronics will play a very important role in India’s development. Electronics commission was constituted in 1971.That year the microprocessor was invented at Intel and the computer revolution began with the advent of the personal computer which is credited with the creation of the largest wealth on the planet in the last century.
In 1987, almost 20 years back, I had an opportunity to lead India’s national initiative in supercomputing through the creation of the Center for Development of Advanced Computing
(C-DAC), Pune. We designed and delivered PARAM 8000, India’s first Supercomputer in 1991followed by Param 10000 in 1998. Today, India is designing Petascale supercomputers, next only to USA and Japan. This is a crowning glory of India’s advanced computing and IT capability bringing forth the ICT industry that is reaching USD $100 Billion in 2010, making India an IT superpower.
The success of India’s IT industry is due to the far reaching steps India took in the 60’s, when she was going hungry, by creating world class educational institutes such as IIT’s and IIM’s and later NIT’s. In 1998, the IT Task Force recommended the creation of IIITs through Public Private Partnerships. I2IT was launched in 2001 on this IIIT model. Within 5 years of its inception, I2IT emerged as one of the largest and perhaps the best IIIT’s offering graduate level courses in IT and Management.
In 2009, the scope of I2IT has been expanded covering a bouquet of courses in Engineering & Technology as well as Biotechnology, Nanotechnology and Technologies that are emerging from the convergence of Nano-Bio-Info-Cogno Technologies. Today, with close to Rs. 100 crore investment, 6 Graduate Schools, close to 60 faculty members and 2000 graduate student capacity, I2IT is all set to become a world leading, research driven next generation University of India, focused on emerging technologies to create inventors, innovators, leaders and social animators of the 21st Century. Today, India is the 5 largest economy of the world in PPP terms and is globally regarded as the IT superpower. Now India needs to leverage the power of innovation to lead the world in the 21st Century. That’s why I2IT has made ‘Innovation and Leadership’ its mantra since its very inception. I have a dream of seeing India as the No. 1 nation of the world in 2047 when she celebrates her centenary of independence. I do not know whether I would still be around then, but I would like I2IT graduates to shape India’s destiny in the next 40 years and proudly witness that top-of-the-world feeling.