Dewang Mehta, head of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) died on April 12, 2001 at Sydney, Australia. In 1998, he was appointed member of High Powered National IT Task Force set up by the Prime Minister. Dewang promoted the concept of India as a software superpower. He brought the perception shift towards the primacy of the PC and the emergence of the Internet as an important opportunity. In a single stroke, he roped in issues relevant to ISPs, Internet technology, telecom infrastructure and e-commerce. He did this not just within India, but globally. Dewang created the same kind of network to exert extraordinary influence on many powerful people abroad. He never missed an opportunity to apply his immense lobbying skills to the advantage of India. He had a significant role in building the perception of the superiority of Indian software talent.
Scott Elliott, Founder, Editor and Publisher of online publication “Directions Magazine” passed away on January 10, 2001, after a long battle with lung cancer. Directions Magazine featured articles, in his leadership, from leading professionals in GIS industry establishing Directions Magazine as a site of repute in Geospatial industry. Prior to Directions Magazine, Scott played a major role in the desktop mapping and demographics industry as the founder and President of data publishing company called Wessex. GIS community will miss Scott and his unquenchable enthusiasm for challenging the status quo of GIS industry.
Anil Agarwal, 54, Chairperson of the New Delhi based Centre for Science and Environment, passed away in Dehradun after a prolonged illness on January 2, 2001.
Anil will always be remembered for his significant contribution in generating awareness about environment as an editor of Down to Earth, a science and environment magazine. He has written for several international publications including the London-based journals Earthscan and New Scientist. He has written and edited more than 20 books on science and environment in India. From 1983 to 1987, Agarwal chaired the world’s largest network of environmental NGOs, the Nairobi-based Environment Liasion Centre. In 1987, the United Nations Environment Programme elected him to its Global 500 Honor Roll for his work in the national and international arena. The Indian Government has also honored him with Padma Shri and Padma Bushan for his work in environment and development.
Renowned space scientist and former chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation Prof. Satish Dhawan passed away in Bangalore on January 3, 2002. Till last year, eighty-two-year-old Dr. Dhawan had been a member of the Space Commission. It was under his leadership that India launched its first satellite, Aryabhatta. He took over as the first Secretary of the Department of Space in 1972 and also became chairman of Space Commission in the same year. Prof. Dhawan has received several awards including Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration.