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Laureate 2011
Biography of Telecommunication innovator Sam Pitroda


Adviser to the Prime Minister of India
on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations

 
Sam Pitroda is a leading campaigner for bridging the global digital divide, and was appointed one of the founding Commissioners of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development from its launch in May 2010 by ITU and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
 
An internationally respected development thinker, policy-maker, telecommunications inventor and entrepreneur, he was instrumental in laying the foundation of India's technology and telecommunications revolution in the 1980s. 
 
In 2005-2009, Mr Pitroda chaired India's National Knowledge Commission. This advisory body to the Prime Minister was set up to provide a blueprint for reform of the knowledge-related institutions and infrastructure in the country, to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
 
Mr Pitroda is currently Adviser to the Prime Minister of India on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations, and chairs the country's National Innovation Council and the Smart Grid Task Force set up under the aegis of the Ministry of Power. He also heads the Expert Committee on the use of ICT in Railways.
 
During the 1980s, as Adviser to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Mr Pitroda helped revolutionize India's development policies and philosophies, focusing on access to technology as the key to social change. He headed six widely diverse technology missions. These related to telecommunications, water, literacy, immunization, dairy and oil seeds. He was also the founder and first Chairman of India's Telecom Commission.

He holds almost 100 worldwide patents, and has published and lectured widely in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia.

 


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Updated : 2011-05-17