Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala

Prof. Ashok JhunjhunwalaProf. Ashok Jhunjhunwala is an Institute Professor at Indian Institute of Technology, Madras at Chennai, India. After his BTech, he got his MS and PhD degrees from the University of Maine. From 1979 to 1981, he was with Washington State University as Assistant Professor. Since 1981, he has been teaching at IIT Madras. He has just completed one year of his services as Principal Advisor to Ministry of Power, MNRE, Government of India. He is currently Principal Advisor in Ministry of Railways, Government of India, New Delhi.

Dr. Jhunjhunwala is considered the pioneer in nurturing Industry-Academia interaction in India towards R&D, Innovation and Product Development. He conceived and built the first Research Park (IIT Madras Research Park) in India which houses over 100 R&D companies in its 1.2 million square feet built-up area. TIE conferred him the title of Dronacharya for his contributions to the cause of entrepreneurship, as he incubated and nurtured over 100 companies at IIT Madras. He heads the IITM Incubation Cell and Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI). He leads the Telecommunications and Computer Networks group (TeNeT), which has worked closely with industry in the development of a number of products for Indian telecom, banking and power industries.

He is continuously thriving to drive quality into Science and Engineering Higher Education. As a member of Kakodkar committee on IITs and NITs, he envisioned IITs to become primarily research institutions in future, while NITs should become the institutions with highest quality UG education. As a chair of a MHRD committee on “Quality Enhancement in Engineering Education,” and a member of review committee of AICTE, he has been targeting both public and private engineering colleges to significantly improve the quality of imparting education. He believes that ICT can be an important tool to enable this, though strengthening of local faculty is equally important.

Dr. Jhunjhunwala has been Chairman and member of various government committees and has been on boards of several education institutions in the country. At the same time, he has been on the boards of a number of public and private companies and has driven comprehensive changes, especially in the area of technology, in these companies. He was a Director on the board of State Bank of India, Bharat Electronics, HTL, NRDC, IDRBT, VSNL and BSNL. He has also been a board member of Tata Communications, Mahindra Rewa, Sasken, Tejas Networks, TTML, Intellect and Exicom. He is currently also on the board of BIRAC and Chairman of Technology Advisory Group of SEBI. Also he is currently Chairperson in IIIT Kottayam – Indian Institute of Information Technology, Kerala.

Dr. Jhunjhunwala was conferred Copper Excellence Award for Technology Innovation” from India Copper Forum, Padmashri, Shanti-Swarup Bhatnagar Award, Vikram Sarabhai Research Award, H. K. Firodia Award, Silicon India Leadership Award, Millenium Medal at Indian Science Congress, UGC Hari Om Ashram Award, IETE’s Ram Lala Wadhwa Gold Medal, JC Bose fellowship, Bernard Low Humanitarian Award among many others. He is fellow of IEEE, INSA, NAS, IAS, INAE, National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and WWRF. He has also been conferred honorary doctorate by University of Maine and Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden.