Dr. Vijay P. Bhatkar is an Indian computer scientist, IT leader and educationalist. He is best known as the architect of India’s national initiative in supercomputing where he led the development of Param supercomputers. He is a Maharashtra Bhushan, Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan awardee.Indian computer magazine Dataquest has placed him among the star pioneers who shaped India’s IT industry. He was the founder executive director of C-DAC and is currently working on the developing Exascale supercomputing mission for India.
Bhatkar has been appointed the chancellor of Nalanda University, India since January 2017. Prior to that, he served as the Chairman of Board of Governors of IIT Delhi from 2012 to 2017.
Career & Contributions
Vijay Bhatkar was born on 11 October 1946 in Muramba, Akola district, Maharashtra, India. He received a Ph.D. in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, in 1972. He obtained his Master of Engineering in from Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, in 1968, and Bachelor of Engineering from Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology in 1965.
In 2011, Bhatkar received an honorary doctorate from DY Patil University. In 2014, he was awarded an honorary Ph.D from Gujarat Technological University and a D.Litt. degree from Nagpur University.
Bhatkar is best known as the architect of India’s national initiative in supercomputing where he led the development of Param supercomputers. He developed the first Indian supercomputer, the PARAM 8000, in 1991 and later the PARAM 10000 in 1998. Based on the PARAM series of supercomputers, he built the National Param Supercomputing Facility (NPSF) which is now made available as a grid computing facility through the Garuda grid on the National Knowledge Network (NKN) providing nationwide access to High Performance Computing (HPC) infrastructure. Currently, Bhatkar is working on exascale supercomputing via the capability, capacity and infrastructure on National Knowledge Network. He has also worked for the people by taking different ICT initiatives including the development of GIST multilingual technology, MKCL’s computer literacy programme for computers and Education to Home (ETH) for providing coaching on ICT related examinations.
Bhatkar has played significant role in forming several national institutions and research centers including Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), the Electronics Research and Development Centre (ER&DC) in Thiruvananthapuram, Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management, Kerala (IIITM-K), the ETH Research Laboratory and International Institute of Information Technology (I2IT) in Pune, Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation (MKCL) and the India International Multiversity. He has served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the government of India, CSIR governing body, IT Task Force, and eGovernance committee chairman of the governments of Maharashtra and Goa. He also serves as the president of Vijnana Bharati.
In January 2017, Dr. Bhatkar was appointed as the Chancellor of the Nalanda University. Prior to that, he has served as the Chairman of Board of the Governors of IIT-Delhi, Chairman of the ETH (Education To Home) Research Lab, Chairman of the Board of Management of Government College of Engineering, Amravati, Founder Chancellor and Chief Mentor of Multiversity, Chancellor of D. Y. Patil University, and National President of Vijnana Bharati, a People’s Science Movement of over 6,000 scientists across India.
Bhatkar has authored and edited over 12 books and 80 technical and research papers and addressed several university convocations, international and national conferences and conventions and public functions.
Awards & Recognitions
- Padma Bhushan (2015)
- Ramanuja Trust Award (2007)
- FICCI Award (1983)
- Petersburg Prize (2004)
- Padma Shri (2000)
- Priyadarshni Award (2000)
- National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) Award (1984–85)
- Gold Medal Award of Indian Geo-technical Society (1976)
- Electronics Man of the Year (1992)
Vijay Bhatkar received the Padma Bhushan Award in the area of Science and Technology at the Honourable President of India at ceremonial function held on 8 April 2015 at Rashtrapati Bhawan. Prior to that, he received the Padmashri Award in 2000 from the Government of India and the Maharashtra Bhushan Award of 1999-2000, the highest recognition of the Government of Maharashtra. He was the recipient of the Jindal Prize in 2012 for science and technology in the service of society. He received the Saint Jnaneshwar World Peace Prize in 2010 from the World Peace Center for promoting synthesis of science and spirituality in the service of humanity. He was awarded the Sitaram Jindal Foundation Award-2012 for applying science and technology at the grassroots level.