Fond remembrance of Dr. N. Seshagiri, Padma Bhushan Awardee and Founder Director General, NIC
Today, the 26th May is the remembrance day of Dr. N. Seshagiri, the founder Director General of National Informatics Centre, which is the premier ICT wing of the Government of India. Dr. Seshagiri was awarded with one of the nation’s highest civilian awards, Padma Bhushan for his exemplary contribution towards the Information Technology proliferation in the country,
Born on 10th May 1940, Dr. N. Seshagiri did his degree in engineering from the University College of Engineering in Bangalore in 1961. With a Ph.D from IISc Bangalore in 1964, he started his career with Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai in 1966. Dr. N. Seshagiri was a genius with immense intellectual potential and high technical quotient. Dr. Seshagiri drafted various software and hardware policies that revolutionized Information Technology (IT) in the country. He was instrumental in the setting up of Software Technology Parks in India and was also the leading crusader of the e-Governance movement in the country.
Dr. Seshagiri’s key contributions were the conceptualization and implementation of NICNET (the first VSAT Network outside the US with over 1,200 VSATs) and ERNET. While simultaneously holding positions in DoE, the Planning Commission and Ministry of IT since its formation, he drafted the first liberalized Computer Hardware Policy in 1984, and the first liberalized Software Development, Export and Training Policy in 1986. Under his guidance, computer centers were set up in every department of the Government.
Dr. Seshagiri was the recipient of Vikram Sarabhai Award, O P Bhasin Award, Asiad Jyoti Award, Karnataka Rajya-Utsav Jyoti Award, Dataquest Lifetime Achievement Award to name a few. He was also a Fellow of many premier professional institutions including National Academy of Sciences, Indian Academy of Sciences, Computer Society of India, IETE, and many more. Besides, he was also an Elected Governor of the International Council for Computer Communication.
As the Director General of NIC for over 25 years, from 1976 to 2000, Seshagiri took lead in laying the foundation of an extensive IT infrastructure and service delivery system across the government establishments covering ministries, departments, and state government establishments up to the district level.
Commemorating the contribution of the great visionary, NIC has organized the first edition of Dr. N. Seshagiri Memorial Lecture Series on 5th August 2019 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Dr. Narayana Murthy, Founder, Infosys Limited gave the lecture on this event. Among the chief guests were the family members of Dr. Seshagiri, who were felicitated during the occasion.
Today, the founding father of NIC may not be with us anymore, but the memories and his pioneering ideas will continue to inspire and guide the present and future generations.