Values of India / Brief outline of each invited guest


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The Essence of India - Values of India

Puhujat: Mr. Esko Aho, President of Sitra; Mr Pradeep Singh, Mr. Soli Sorabjee, Mr. Satyan G. Pitroda, Dr. Arun Shourie

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Values of India / Brief outline of each invited guest

  1. 1. Brief Outline of each Invited Indian Guest – Dr. Arun Shourie – Mr. Soli Sorabjee – Dr. Sam Pitroda Note: Biographies adapted from Wikipedia
  2. 2. Arun ShourieBorn in 1941 in India he obtained his Ph.D in Economics from Syracuse University USA.– He has been an economist with the World Bank,– A consultant to the Planning Commission, India– Editor of the Indian Express (a leading Indian newspaper).– Held the office of the Minister of Disinvestment, Communication and Information Technology in the Government of India under Atal Bihari Vajpayees prime ministership.– Is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).As an Editor:– In a series of exposés, many of which he wrote himself, Shourie and the Indian Express uncovered corruption in the highest echelons of the government and exposed several major scandals, including what has been dubbed “India’s Watergate.”– Among the many battles Shourie fought for press freedom, perhaps the most famous was his crusade against the government’s proposal in 1988 to introduce a defamation bill. It was widely perceived that the bill had been introduced with unusual speed in Parliament in an attempt to muzzle the Indian Express, and the entire media community joined Shourie and the Indian Express in condemning the move.As a Parliamentarian:– As Disinvestment Minister, he led the sale of Maruti, VSNL, among others. He is much respected for kick-starting what people believe was a best-in-class process.– In a 2004 poll of India’s top 100 CEOs he was ranked the most outstanding minister of Mr. Vajpayee’s government.– In the year 2000, Shourie pledged the entire amount (€210K) of discretionary spending available to him to setting up of Bio-Sciences & Bio-engineering Department at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. In 2005, he displayed his commitment to the cause by again pledging the same amount for developing a separate and well- equipped building for Environmental Sciences and Environmental Engineering at the institute.As a Writer:– He devotes considerable energy to writing books and regular columns, which appear in different languages in 30 newspapers across India. He has considerable following in India– He has won several national and international honors. Among these are the Padma Bhushan, Magsaysay Award, the Astor Award, and the International Editor of the Year Award.Some of his written work:• Indian Controversies• A Secular Agenda• Worshiping False Gods• The World of Fatwas• The Parliamentary System
  3. 3. Soli SorabjeeBorn in 1930 in Bombay India and after an education at Government Law College, Bombay, was admitted to the barin 1953. At college, he was awarded the Kinloch Forbes Gold Medal in Roman Law and Jurisprudence (1952).– In 1971, Sorabjee began representing the government as Senior Advocate to the Supreme Court of India.– He served Solicitor-General of India from 1977 to 1980. He was appointed Attorney-General of India on 7 April 1998, a post he held until 2004.– In March 2002, Soli Sorabjee was awarded the Padma Vibhushan for his defence of the freedom of expression and the protection of human rights.Offices Held:Soli Sorabjee holds several offices in organizations of national and international repute.– In India, he is Chairman of Transparency International and Convener of the Minority Rights Group.– On the international circuit, he is Special Rapporteur to the United Nations Human Rights Commission since 1997,– A member of the United Nations Sub-commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities since 1998. Sorabjee served as member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague from 2000 to 2006.– Sorabjee is also President of the United Lawyers Association, Vice-President of the Human Rights Committee of the International Bar Association, Vice-President of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, Executive Committee member of the International Association of Constitutional Lawyers and member of the Committee on Arms Control and Disarmament Law of the International Law Association.Publications:In addition to his columns for the Indian Express Sorabjee also has a number of other publications to his credit:• Books: o The Laws of Press Censorship in India (1976) o The Emergency, Censorship and the Press in India,(1977), ISBN 0-904286-00-2 o Law and Justice (2004), ISBN 81-7534-367-2• Essays and Monographs: o Fundamental Rights published in "Public Law of India" (1979), ISBN 0-7069-1390-6 o The Constitution and the Governor published in "The Governor, Sage or Saboteur" (1985) o Protection of Human Rights in Emergencies (1988) o Equity in the United States and India published in "Constitutionalism and Rights" (1990• Articles: o Obliging Government to Control Itself; Recent Development in Indian Administrative Law, Spring 1994 issue of "Public Law" o Freedom of Expression and Censorship: Some Aspects of the Indian Experience, Winter 1994 issue of Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly o Freedom of Expression, Commonwealth Law Journal Bulletin (1994).
  4. 4. Sam PitrodaSatyanarayan Gangaram Pitroda, better known as Dr Sam Pitroda, born in Titlagarh, Orissa. He has a Masters inPhysics from MS University in Vadodara he went to the US and did his Masters in electrical engineering from IllinoisInstitute of Technology in Chicago. Sam is– An inventor, entrepreneur and policymaker.– Currently chairman of Indias National Knowledge Commission,– He is also widely considered to have been responsible for Indias communications revolution– He is the Chairman and CEO of World-Tel Limited, an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) initiative.– He holds many key technology patents, is involved in several startups, and lectures extensively around the world on the implications of communications and information technology.– He is also the founder and CEO of C-SAM, Inc, and serves as a director on the board of Jet Airways. C-SAM has developed an m-Commerce application by the name OneWallet. The company has offices in London, Tokyo, and offshore development centers in India in Mumbai and Vadodara. He has served as an advisor to the United Nations and in 1992. Mr. Pitroda has lived mainly in Chicago, Illinois since 1964, with his wife and two children.Early Work:– He is known for having introduced microprocessors in telephone switches leading to early digital switching. His invention of the Electronic Diary in 1975 is now regarded as one of the earliest examples of hand-held computing.– With over 100 patents to his credit Pitroda has been a leading name in telecommunications.– He went on to found Wescom Switching. Wescom was acquired by Rockwell International,– In 1983, he also designed his own computer-themed card game called Compucards.– During his four decades as an engineer Mr. Pitroda has been involved filing scores of patents in telecommunications. The latest set of patents relate to mobile phone based transaction technology (C-SAM Inc.) which cover the entire spectrum of transactions, both financial and non-financial, via mobile phones.Government Service:– In 1984, Mr. Pitroda was invited to return to India by the then Prime Minister Mrs. Gandhi; on his return he founded the Center for Development of Telematics under the Indian government.– In 1987, he became advisor to Mrs. Gandhis successor, Rajiv Gandhi and was responsible for shaping Indias foreign and domestic telecommunications policies. He is largely considered responsible for the telecommunications revolution in India and specifically, the ubiquitous, yellow-signed Public Call Offices (PCO) that quickly brought cheap and easy domestic and international public telephones all over the country.– For the subsequent decade, Pitroda continued his business interests in computer manufacturing and software. When the 2004 elections were declared, Rahul Gandhi asked for his help for a small committee that he was forming to advise him on policy issues.– When the United Progressive Alliance government came to power following the 2004 General Elections, the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh recruited him to head the National Knowledge Commission.