The Man Behind Supercomputer in India Dr. Vijay Bhatkar


The supercomputer effort in India began in the late 1980s, when the US stopped the export of a Cray supercomputer because of continuing technology embargoes. During the 80s, USA and some other European countries had developed super computers.
which were critical for developing satellites and nuclear weapons. These countries refused to transfer the knowledge of creating super computers to India, fearing the developing nation might use it to design missiles and warplanes rather than forecast the weather.
Faced with a technology-denial regime that denied its scientific community access to supercomputers, India set up Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) in March 1988.

With the clear mandate to develop an indigenous supercomputer to meet high-speed computational needs in solving scientific and other developmental problems where fast number crunching is a major component.

To lead the project, PM Rajiv Gandhi turned to a man who hadn’t seen a ‘super’ all his life to build one in double-quick time.

But Vijay Pandurang Bhatkar knew all about shortcuts: the country’s top number-cruncher had begun school directly in the 4th standard and still made it to the top. When Rajiv Gandhi met Bhatkar, he asked him three questions:
“Can we do it?”
Bhatkar answered, “I have not seen a supercomputer as we have no access to supercomputer, I have only seen a picture of the Cray! But, yes, we can.”
“How long will it take?”
Bhatkar promptly replied, “Less than it it will take us in trying to import Cray from US.
“How much money it would take?
Bhatkar replied, “The whole effort, including building an institution, developing the technology, commissioning and installing India’s first supercomputer will cost less than the cost of Cray.

Pleased, the Prime Minister gave the go-ahead for the project. Based in Pune, C-DAC summoned scientists from all over the country to work on one of India’s greatest technology projects.
Within three years, the extraordinary happened. With everyone involved working their socks off, C-DAC finally completed out India’s first indigenous supercomputer: PARAM 8000.
 Many were doubtful about PARAM truly being a supercomputer. That’s when Bhatkar decided to take the PARAM prototype to a major international conference and exhibition of supercomputers. 
Here, it was demonstrated, bench-marked and formally declared a supercomputer. A US Newspapers published the news with headline, “Denied supercomputer, Angry India does it!”
Based on the Param series of supercomputers, Bhatkar has also built the National Param Super-computing Facility (NPSF). This has been now 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.  He also initiated moves to have super-computing in Indian languages and succeeded in doing so.

In 2015, Bhatkar was honored with Padma Bhushan for his immense contribution in the field of science and technology in India.
I truly proud of Vijay Pandurang Bhatkar!! if you also than share this article to your IT or Non-IT friends. 

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