NIC founder director-general Seshagiri dead

Bangalore, May 28 (IANS) Padma Bhushan N. Seshagiri, former special secretary to the union information technology department and Planning Commission and founder director-general of the state-run National Informatics Centre (NIC), died here after a brief illness. He was 73.

According to family sources, the end came late Sunday at his residence in the southern suburb of the city. He leaves behind his wife, son, daughter and two grand children.

As the architect of the nationwide computer network (NICNET), Seshagiri drafted the software and hardware policies that revolutionised information technology (IT) in the country.

“Seshagiri was instrumental in the setting up of the software technology parks of India, which led to the emergence of Indian IT bellwethers such as Infosys and Wipro in Bangalore and TCS in Bombay (Mumbai) three decades ago,” city-based NIC director A. Venkateshan told IANS late Tuesday.

Recipient of several awards, including Padma Bhushan in 2005 and Karnataka Rajyotsava, Seshagiri strived hard to get the US-based global chip maker Texas Instruments to open its offshore development centre in Bangalore, with his ‘flood-in and flood-out software policy’.

“Seshagiri was a great visionary and ahead of his times. He overcame lot of objections from his colleagues for liberalising the software policy. He gave a lot of push to introduce computerisation in the state departments, which led to ushering in e-governance,” Venkateshan recalled.

As a scientist-professor emeritus of the state-run Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) centre for mathematical modelling and computer simulation in Bangalore, Seshagiri is credit with the setting up of the first V-SAT (very small aperture terminal) network outside the US.

“Seshagiri worked hard to promote e-governance across the country and spearheaded development of many e-governance applications.”

After obtaining doctorate in computers and telecom from the premier Indian Institute of Science (IISc) here, Seshagiri joined the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) at Mumbai in 1966. After five years, he joined as director of information, planning and analysis group of the Electronics Commission at New Delhi in 1971.

“Seshagiri founded NIC and remained as its director-general till 2000. During his 25-year association with NIC, he trained and guided a generation of scientists, engineers and technocrats in various government departments in New Delhi and states across the country,” Venkateshan, who worked under him, pointed out.

Seshagiri was also technology adviser to HCL Infosystems Ltd after he retired from the government service.

His last rites were deferred to Wednesday as his son had to come from the US.

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