Sam Pitroda to get honorary doctorate from Illinois varsity

Chicago: Telecom technoczar Sam Pitroda, who is also the advisor to Prime Minister on infrastructure and innovation, has been selected for honorary doctorate in Human Letters by the University of Illinois.

The University bestows honorary degrees on individuals who have performed exemplary service in ways that are viewed as an extension of their own mission and dedication to teaching, service and research.

Pitroda will receive the degree at the commencement of the University of Illinois College of Medicine on May 7, 2010.

Pitroda, who is popularly known as the father of India's telecom revolution, has been a communication entrepreneur and is widely known for bringing telephone service in the 1980's to far-flung areas of the country.

He was the first chairman of the Telecom Commission and served in a variety of Indian Government advisory positions to implement health-related projects in sanitation, clean water, shelter, food and immunisation.

Holder of several patents, Pitroda is a leader in digital switching and mobile phone technology. His invention of the "Electronic Diary", in 1975, was one of the first hand-held computing devices.