The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have shaped the Computer history in many ways. Indian computing talent has not only impacted the computing world via the IITs, but also via the Indian students who graduated from the MIT and then contributed tremendously. This lecture features Dr. Bassett and T.M. Ravi an IIT graduate, Silicon Valley businessman, and member of TIE discussing the roots of the Indian IT industry and its influence on the computing history.
Historian Ross Bassett argues that the linkages between the two countries, India and the US, are far older and deeper than is widely known. In the course of his research, he found that Indian graduates of MIT significantly influenced the creation of modern technological India. In the colonial period, a small group of Indians, including some associated with Gandhi, went to MIT as an anti-colonial act and as a way to develop technological capabilities for India. Indian graduates of MIT played a key role in the founding of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), and in the years after 1947, were central figures in the Indian steel industry, the atomic program, and the space program. The Indian IT industry today is to an astounding degree the product of Indian graduates of MIT. Since 1965, Indian graduates of MIT and graduates of IIT have also played an increasingly important role in American technology and computing.