Kris Gopalakr­ish­nan Looks to Write IT Iti­haasa with his App

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Ben­galuru: In­fosys co­founder Kris Gopalakr­ish­nan is em­bark­ing on an am­bi­tious project to doc­u­ment the ex­pan­sive his­tory of In­dia’s now $160-bil­lion IT in­dus­try and is set­ting up a new not­for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion as part of that project. In an in­ter­view on Satur­day, Gopalakr­ish­nan said that the or­gan­i­sa­tion would be housed at the In­ter­na­tional In­sti­tute of

crore Amount, Kris says, that maybe spent on the or­gan­i­sa­tion per year In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy, Ban­ga­lore (IIIT-B) and that the finer de­tails are cur­rently be­ing worked out. On Sun­day, Gopalakr­ish­nan launched a new smart­phone app called Iti­haasa that aims to ex­ten­sively nar­rate the his­tory of In­dia’s IT rev­o­lu­tion over the past six decades.

“I’m set­ting up an or­gan­i­sa­tion to house this (project). It will be at IIIT Iti­haasa app Ban­ga­lore — and they will ex­tend this, con­tinue to add more peo­ple, keep this alive, etc. Plus I want to of­fer this to other peo­ple who want to doc­u­ment his­tory be­cause the ap­pli­ca­tion is al­ready there, the frame­work is there, the plat­form is there. I don’t know where that will go but it is pos­si­ble to doc­u­ment other his­tory projects in­side this,” Gopalakr­ish­nan said.

Early last year, Gopalakr­ish­nan also parked $50 mil­lion of his per­sonal wealth (about $1.8 bil­lion ac­cord­ing to the Forbes 2015 list) on re­search that aims to cre­ate the next com­put­ing rev­o­lu­tion — com­put­ers modeled on brain func­tion­ing. Now, Gopalakr­ish­nan is set­ting aside more of his per­sonal wealth on this am­bi­tious new project.

“The de­tails are yet to be worked out be­cause you have to set up a cor­pus which will re­quire some sub­stan­tial money. I have not de­cided how much it will be, be­cause per year if you have to keep this run­ning with 3-4 peo­ple, we’ll prob­a­bly be spend­ing .₹ 1 crore,” he added. The Iti­haasa app con­tains ex­ten­sive in­ter­views from iconic for­mer and present cap­tains of the IT in­dus­try in­clud­ing the likes of TCS founder FC Kohli, Wipro’s bil­lion­aire chair­man Azim Premji and In­fosys founders NR Narayana Murthy and Nandan Nilekani. The app also con­tains ex­ten­sive archives of news­pa­per ar­ti­cles on the In­dian IT in­dus­try dat­ing back to the 50s. In all about 44 present and for­mer ex­ec­u­tives and pro­fes­sors were in­ter­viewed for this project.

“And I wanted to do this on a tablet or a smart­phone be­cause that’s the for­mat that’s rel­e­vant to­day. Max­i­mum num­ber of users are on th­ese. And it’s fun to re­lease some­thing as an app,” said Gopalakr­ish­nan. “We’ve taken an amaz­ing amount of time to edit it and tag it. There are 12,000 plus tags. It’s more than just re­search — it’s about doc­u­ment­ing and putting it in this for­mat. We spent al­most 45 days go­ing through the archives (of news­pa­pers such as the Times of In­dia), se­lect­ing the ar­ti­cles man­u­ally be­cause there’s no in­dex for them. Now in this plat­form they are all in­dexed,” he added.

With Iti­haasa, Gopalakr­ish­nan also wants to bring a newer form of sto­ry­telling to life, es­pe­cially one that is com­pletely dig­i­tal.

Faux­tog­ra­phy refers to fraud­u­lent pho­tog­ra­phy, where pho­to­graphs are ma­nip­u­lated through pho­to­shop or other means to change the in­for­ma­tion they con­vey.

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