Remembering N Vittal: Pioneer of India’s Information Technology Growth

Remembering N Vittal: Pioneer of India's Information Technology Growth
Remembering N Vittal: Pioneer of India's Information Technology Growth

The nation mourns the loss of N Vittal, a stalwart among IAS officers and a revered recipient of the Padma Bhushan award. Passing away in Chennai at the age of 85, N Vittal, a member of the 1960 batch of the Gujarat cadre, leaves behind a legacy deeply intertwined with the rise of India’s information technology sector.

Vittal’s illustrious career spanning over 40 years encompassed a diverse array of domains, including industrial administration, science and technology, and national security. Notably, during his tenure as the Secretary of the Department of Electronics from 1990 to 1996, he orchestrated visionary policies aimed at invigorating the software industry. His strategic insights led to the establishment of software technology parks and crucial alliances with the private sector, eventually culminating in the creation of the prestigious Software Technology Parks of India (STPI).

Guiding the helm of the Telecom Commission as its Chairman, Vittal assumed a pivotal role in ushering liberalization within the telecommunications sector. His instrumental efforts were pivotal in securing the approval of the National Telecom Policy of 1994, a transformative policy initiative.

An alumnus of Loyola College, Chennai, where he graduated with honors in chemistry, Vittal was an unwavering advocate for ethical conduct and a corruption-free India. In the preface of his notable work, “Corruption in India – The Roadblock to National Prosperity,” he emphatically stated, “Corruption stands as a force contrary to the ideals of our nation, inhibiting economic progress and disproportionately affecting the underprivileged. During my tenure as the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), I gained a firsthand perspective of the bureaucratic and even political dimensions of this issue over a span of four years.”

N Vittal’s legacy is etched into India’s socio-economic fabric, and his contributions continue to resonate as a guiding light for the nation’s progress.