Echoes from the past

Published : Jan 14, 2005 00:00 IST

Vijay Bhatkar. -

Vijay Bhatkar. -

VIJAY BHATKAR, the first Executive Director of C-DAC, was the main driving force behind the Param programme. Recalling the C-DAC's achievements, Dr. Bhatkar, who now is Chairman of ETH Research Lab, Pune (part of the Dishnet group), characterised the Param Terascale computers as "the crowning glory of India's prowess in Information Technology".

"Once and for all, the barriers to using advanced high-performance computers for solving mission-critical problems have been removed," he said. On the C-DAC's Indian language achievements, he added: "By laying the foundations for computing in one's own language, the C-DAC has played a historic role in bringing information technology to the average Indian."

R.K Arora, who succeeded Dr. Bhatkar as Executive Director, presided over the enlargement of the C-DAC until October 2003. For Arora, "the uniqueness of C-DAC was that it became a role model for converting research and development into market-exploitable products and solutions." The C-DAC could claim several firsts, he said. It was "the first Indian institution to figure in the list of the world's `Top 500' computers, and the first entity to attain 50 per cent market share in the new category of Indian language computing products." Arora is today Group Coordinator and Senior Scientist for Convergence, Communication and Broadband Technologies at the Department of Information Technology.

S. Ramani, former Director of the National Centre for Software Technology (NCST), was closely associated with C-DAC, long before it enlarged to include the NCST - he was a member of the C-DAC's steering committee through most of the 1990s. Today he is Director for Science and Technology, HP Labs India, based in Bangalore. He told Frontline: "C-DAC and its constituent units have played a great role in propelling India into the IT era. They have confidently worked with high technology and have absorbed it. They have trained thousands to make the IT era happen here. They have worked in areas of great importance such as Indian language interfaces, and have earned impressive wins. This kind of work is never over. We need to keep up the momentum year after year as technology advances, and as new technological challenges arise. I hope that the importance given to C-DAC will continue, and will be enhanced in future."

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