Scientist | IT leader
Dr Vijay P. Bhatkar is among the leading scientists and IT leaders of India, best recognized as the architect of India’s first supercomputer, the Param 8000. One of the initiators of the electronics revolution in India, Dr. Bhatkar played a key role in framing the policies for computer education in the country and for establishing the software technology parks of India (STPIs). His team pioneered the advent of colour television in the country and later the Graphics and Intelligence-based Script Technology (GIST) which laid the foundation for the computerization of Indian languages.
Dr. Bhatkar has been credited with the establishment of several institutions, notably, C-DAC, Electronics Research & Development Centre of India (ER & DCI), Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management, Kerala (IIITM-K), International Institute of Information Technology (i2IT), ETH Research Lab, Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Ltd (MKCL) and India International Multiversity.
In addition to his pursuits in science and national development, Dr. Bhatkar has been driven by a quest for spiritual knowledge, inspired deeply by the Indian knowledge systems enshrined in the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutras. He has been striving to discover the synthesis of science and spirituality and its relevance to society as a sustainable path for progress.
He is the Chairman of Board of Governors of IIT-Delhi, Founder Chancellor and Chief Mentor of India International Multiversity, Pune, National President of Vijnana Bharati, a People’s Science Movement of over 6,000 scientists across India, Chairman of ETH (Education To Home) Research Lab, Chancellor of D. Y. Patil University and Chairman, Board of Management, Government College of Engineering, Amravati.
In recognition of his contributions to society, the Government of India conferred on Dr. Bhatkar the Padma Shri in 2000, the Maharashtra Bhushan Award for 1999-2000- the highest recognition of the Government of Maharashtra and the Padma Bhushan in 2015.
As the founder and the first Executive Director of C-DAC, Dr Bhatkar led the development of India’s first supercomputer, the Param 8000 in 1991. The Param 10,000 was unveiled in 1998 which was followed by the establishment of the National Param Supercomputing Facility (NPSF). It was then made available as a grid computing facility through Garuda grid on the National Knowledge Network (NKN) providing nationwide access to High Performance Computing (HPC) infrastructure.
It was during his term that the C-DAC developed the Graphics and Intelligence-based Script Technology (GIST) laying the foundation for the computerization of Indian languages.
Dr. Bhatkar has served as Member, Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet, Government of India, Governing Council Member of CSIR and Chairman, e-Governance Committee, Governments of Maharashtra and Goa.
He has been credited with creating several national institutions, notably, the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), the Electronics Research & Development Centre (ER & DC), Tiruvananthapuram – India’s largest centre of application-oriented R&D in electronics; the International Institute of Information Technology (I2IT), Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Ltd which has brought computer literacy to more than 25 million people and the India International Multiversity.
At the Multiversity Dr. Bhatkar has designed an innovative approach to education which enables students to learn from the non-formal experiential education that occurs in life. The aim of the Multiversity is to go beyond the present examination-centric learning to creative learning that is joyful and experiential. The Multiversity is also undertaking initiatives in reviving the Gurukul system of education in the modern context and distance learning through ICT (Information and Communications Technology).
The Multiversity seeks to impart ‘Integrative Education’ that seeks to dissolve the barriers separating the different disciplines of learning in the traditional education system and bring about the synthesis of Science, Spirituality and Culture to impart holistic knowledge.
A topper throughout his academic life, Dr. Bhatkar graduated as an electrical engineer from REC, NAGPUR at age 18 after which he pursued his Masters from MS University, Baroda and Ph.D from IIT, Delhi.
Dr Bhatkar has authored and edited 12 books and 80 research and technical papers. His current research interests include Exascale Supercomputing, Artificial Intelligence, Brain-Mind-Consciousness and synthesis of Science and Spirituality.