The first computer installed in India was at Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta (now called Kolkata), in 1955. Remember here that the first computer developed and installed are both different. Initially, Indian scientist was struggling to build Indian origin computer. Later in 1991, Indian scientists shocked the world by building a PARAM supercomputer.
Let’s begin with the history of computers in India, and then we will see about the first-ever Indian built, installed, and supercomputer.
Table of Contents
- History of Indian computer
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 which became operational in 1956. Jawaharlal Nehru then commissioned it. The whole machine was functional until 1965.
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 analogue 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 technology 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.
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 un the reach of every ordinary person. The legacy of struggling dreams should keep carry on toward the service of humanity.