Sam Pitroda


Adviser to the Prime Minister
Public Information Infrastructure & Innovations
and Chairman, National Innovation Council


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 development initiatives.
Credited with having laid the foundation of India´s technology and telecommunications revolution in the 1980s, he 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, Sam 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.
He was the 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 of the country. He is also working with the Law Ministry and other stakeholders for enhancing the use of ICT for improving delivery of justice.
Sam Pitroda is also the Chairman of the Smart Grid Task Force, set up under the aegis of the Ministry of Power, Government of India. He has also been appointed as one of the founding Commissioners of the United Nations Broadband Commission for Digital Development. Sam Pitroda is also a part of an Empowered Committee on the promotion of semi-conductor wafer fabrication manufacturing units in India, constituted by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. He also headed the Expert Group on the Modernisation of Railways, which submitted its report in 2012. He has recently also been appointed as the Chairman of an Expert Committee set up to review the functioning of Prasar Bharati by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. He holds close to 100 worldwide patents and has published and lectured widely in the US, Europe, Latin America and Asia.