IEMI 2013

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Desh Deshpande
Gururaj
Gururaj Desh Deshpande is the President and Chairman of Sparta Group LLC, and Chairman of A123 Systems (AONE), Sycamore Networks (SCMR), Tejas Networks and HiveFire. Prior to co-founding Sycamore Networks, Dr. Deshpande was founder and chairman of Cascade Communications Corp. Dr. Deshpande holds a B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology – Madras, an M.E. from the University of New Brunswick in Canada, and Ph.D from Queens University in Canada.


Desh Deshpande is the President and Chairman of Sparta Group LLC, and Chairman of A123 Systems (AONE), Sycamore Networks (SCMR), Tejas Networks and HiveFire. Prior to co-founding Sycamore Networks, Dr. Deshpande was founder and chairman of Cascade Communications Corp. Dr. Deshpande holds a B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology – Madras, an M.E. from the University of New Brunswick in Canada, and Ph.D. from Queens University in Canada.


Dr. Deshpande co-chairs a National Council to support President Obama's innovation and entrepreneurship strategy. He also serves as a life-member of the MIT Corporation, and his generous support has made possible MIT's Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation. Leveraging the experience gained at the MIT Center, the Deshpande Foundation has helped establish three other centers;, Merrimack Valley Social Entrepreneurship Sandbox in Lowell/Lawrence Massachusetts, Pond-Deshpande Center at the University of New Brunswick in Canada, and the Deshpande Center for Social Entrepreneurship in Karnataka State, India. The Deshpande Center initiated the Hubli Sandbox approach, with not-for-profits, academics, organizations and entrepreneurs working together to launch effective and scalable models of development in India.


Rentala Chandrashekhar

Currently Mr. Chandrashekhar is Additional Secretary (E-governance) in the Department of Information Technology in the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India. He is principally responsible for drawing up national policy, strategy and action plan for E-governance and for co-ordination of national plans and programmes for Electronic Governance.

R. Chandrashekhar joined the Government of India in 1975 as a member of the Indian Administrative Service, the country's premier civil service. He established the first Department of Information Technology in the country and masterminded the conceptualization, planning and implementation of various key initiatives in the state in the field of Information Technology. The comprehensive program included the creation of requisite infrastructure (HITEC City, etc.), strategic human resources development initiatives (Indian Institute of Information Technology, etc.) and evolving a comprehensive policy framework for adoption of IT in governance. This framework catapulted the State of Andra Pradesh to the forefront of IT development in the country. It became a role model for most other states and attracted global attention.

As head of the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation since 1996, Mr. Chandrashekhar led the government initiative in structuring public‐private partnerships in the infrastructure sector. He has rich, first hand experience in pivotal positions of the processes of liberalization, privatization and globalization both at the state and central levels. He has considerable experience in privatization of infrastructure and deep understanding of the issues involved therein as well as the ingredients of successful privatization of infrastructure.

Mr. Chandrashekhar received a M.Sc. degree in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and a M.S. degree.

Sam Pitroda
Sam Pitroda

Adviser to the Prime Minister Public Information Infrastructure & Innovations Mr. Sam Pitroda is an internationally respected development thinker, policy maker, telecom inventor and entrepreneur who has spent over four decades in Information and Communications Technology and related human and national developments initiatives. Credited with having laid the foundation of India's technology and telecommunications revolution in the 1980s, Mr. Pitroda has been a leading campaigner to help bridge the global digital divide.

During his tenure as Adviser to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the 1980s Mr. Pitroda headed six technology missions related to telecommunications, water, literacy, immunization, dairy and oil seeds. He was also the founder and first chairman of India's Telecom Commission. In these roles, he helped revolutionise India's development policies and philosophies with a focus on access to technology as the key to social change.

Mr. Pitroda was Chairman of India's National Knowledge Commission (2005-2009), an advisory body to the Prime Minister of India, set up to provide a blueprint for reform of the knowledge related institutions and infrastructure in the country. The Commission has offered a series of recommendations on various aspects of the knowledge paradigm to help India meet the challenges of the 21st century. He is currently Adviser to the Prime Minister of India on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations and has undertaken the ambitious task of providing a plan for creating digital infrastructure in the country for enhancing governance and improving delivery of public services. He is also the Chairman of the National Innovation Council (NInC) which is working on several initiatives to boost innovation performance in the country.

AFI SVC Trek will include visits to the following Organizations