The first computer installed in India was at the Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta (now called Kolkata), in 1955. Remember here that the first computers developed and installed are both different. Initially, Indian scientists were struggling to build the Indian original computer. Later in 1991, Indian scientists shocked the world by building a PARAM supercomputer.
In this special article, Let’s begin with the history of computers in India, and then we will see about the first-ever Indian-built, installed, and supercomputer.
History of Indian computer
First Computer in India
The history of computing in India began in 1955. The same year a team headed by R. Narasimhan started designing and fabricating a computer at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Bombay.
India’s first computer was TIFRAC (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research Automatic Calculator) was built by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai. The trial machine was developed in the 1950s and became operational in 1956. Jawaharlal Nehru then commissioned it. The whole machine was functional until 1965.
Hence we can say that the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research invented computers in India.
The machine was made of vacuum tubes, and it was housed in a massive steel rack measuring 18 feet x 2.5 feet x 8 feet. It was fabricated from modules of 4 feet x 2.5 feet x 8 feet. Each module had steel doors on either side for accessing the circuits. Cathode ray tube-based display was used to show both analog and digital output.
First Computer installed in India
A British-built HEC 2M computer was the first digital computer in India, imported and installed in Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, in 1955. Before that, this institute had developed a small Analog Computer in 1953, which is technically the first computer in India.
In 1955 only a few dozen scientists and engineers in India knew about computers. Numbers were increasing with technological advancement, and more people were getting easy access to technology education. The industry employed over 2.4 million people in computer-related jobs in 2010, and over 60 million Personal Computers were in use.
First Super Computer built in India
Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) in Pune, India, built India’s first-ever supercomputer named PARAM. PARAM means “supreme” in Sanskrit; the name also creates an acronym for “PARAllel Machine.”
CDAC went on to build more powerful parallel computers and in 2007 made a machine called PARAM PADMA, which was ranked 171 in the list of 500 fastest computers in the world. The current system from the series PARAM Siddhi AI ranks 89th globally with a Rpeak of 5.267 petaflops in June 2021.
India -The History of Computers.
Here is a timeline of some significant events and developments in the history of computers in India:
- 1950s: Mumbai-based, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research has recently launched the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research Automatic Calculator (TIFRAC). It is the first home-grown Indian computer.
- 1960s: These include the IIT Computer, as well as the SARC Computer which originated in India. They are computers that carry out research within scientific and data processing areas.
- 1970s: The IISc Computer is an Indian-made machine. The same use is applied to a similar computer.
- 1980s: Introduction of the first Personal Computers in the Indian Market. The earliest PCs were costly and difficult to find as they were imported into the country from abroad.
- 1990s: India began an ambitious program called the National Information Infrastructure (NII), aimed at introducing computers and the Internet in all rural areas of India.
- 2000s: Many local and foreign companies opened up businesses in India, leading to a rapid growth of the Indian technology industry. This leads to more Indians being able to acquire computers, internet connectivity, and any related devices.
- 2010s: Internet use in India is growing at an astonishing rate; by now, the country has emerged as one of the key players globally in the technology sector. The Government of India has launched several schemes aimed at promoting the use of technology in various fields including education and health services.
- 2020s: With so many people working, studying, and communicating remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, the pandemic sped up the adoption of technology and digital solutions in India. India’s tech industry remains vibrant and productive; several companies churn out state-of-the-art products like artificial intelligence, Machine Learning, and Cloud Computing among others.
What is the name of the first Indian computer?
TIFRAC (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research Automatic Calculator) is the name of the first Indian computer which was developed by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research Automatic at Mumbai in 1956.
Who is the Father of Computers in India?
Rangaswamy Narasimhan (April 17, 1926 – September 3, 2007) is referred to as the father of computer science research in India. He was an Indian computer and cognitive scientist.
Which is the world’s first supercomputer?
The CDC 6600 manufactured by Control Data Corporation is considered as world’s first supercomputer. It was released in 1964.
Who made the first computer?
Charles Babbage an English mathematician and inventor is credited with having conceived the first automatic digital computer. During the mid-1830s Babbage developed plans for the Analytical Engine.
The story of Indian scientists struggling to develop indigenous computer technology is inspiring. Indeed their efforts didn’t go in the vein. Today computer technology is within the reach of every ordinary person. The legacy of struggling dreams should carry on toward the service of humanity.