Sam Pitroda, chairman of India's Knowledge Commission, has been given a prestigious industry leader award for public welfare service by IEEE, a leading professional association for the advancement of technology.
The award, "for exceptional contribution in developing indigenous system and telecommunications infrastructure in India", was presented to the noted technocrat by Nim Cheung, the president of the IEEE Communications Society, at an event here Tuesday.
Credited with having laid the foundation for and ushered India's technology and telecommunications revolution in the 1980s, Pitroda accepted the "award on behalf of thousands and thousands of Indian engineers and scientists who have worked hard for the benefit of all the professionals".
A leading campaigner to help bridge the digital divide, Pitroda headed six technology missions related to telecommunications, water, literacy, immunisation, dairy and oil seeds during his tenure as advisor to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in the 1980s. He was also the founder and first chairman of India's Telecom Commission.
The IEEE Communications Society, now celebrating the 50th Anniversary of its annual IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference (IEEE GLOBECOM 2007), has prepared a special support package for India called Industry Now.
The package is aimed at bringing greater participation of Indian industry into the society's efforts to bridge the academia and industry gap and give more visibility to Indian talent, said Shri Goyal, a member of the society's board of governors.
Goyal, who is just back after a trip to India with Cheung, said the society had reached an understanding with four industries for its first pilot project in India aimed at making research and innovation more practical for end users.
The global society, which has 180 chapters worldwide including half a dozen in India, also plans to hold its International Communications Conference in Mumbai in 2011.