Obituary: S R Thakore

With the demise of Shri S R Thakore, Hony. Director of Ahmedabad Library Network (ADINET) on September 13, 2000 at the age of 69, our profession loses a dynamic personality, one of the pioneers of computerisation in India and an able administrator.

Mr Thakore was born on April 30, 1932 at Amod situated at Bharuch District of Gujarat. After graduation he had his M Sc degree in Physics conducting research on cosmic rays at the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) , Ahmedabad. He had his computer education at the University of Rochester, New York.

In his distinguished career, he held many responsible positions at PRL, the last positions being Deputy Director (Administration), and Head, Computer Centre. On his return from abroad in 1962, he established the Computer Centre at PRL based on IBM 1620 system. During 1962 to 1971 he assisted Dr V A Sarabhai, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), to establish ISRO Centres at Thumba, Sriharikota, and Ahmedabad. He held the post of Controller, Space Application Centre from 1975 to 1982 when he took voluntary retirement at the age of 50. In 1982 he joined Gujarat University as the Coordinator of Rollwala Computer Centre. From 1986 to 1996, he served as Consultant to University Grants Commission (UGC) (1982 _ 1986), Department of Science and Technology, Government of India (1986 _ 1992), and All India Council for Technical Education (1993 _ 1996). Subsequently, he served as Consultant to Institute of Plasma Research, Gandhinagar, Gujarat; Centre for Environment Education, Ahmedabad; and Information and Library Network Centre of UGC. He also served Amola Computer Centre, Ahmedabad as Hony. Director. He became associated with ADINET as Hony. Director in 1994 and continued to serve till September 2000. He established the Institute of Social Action and Research (ISAR) and acted as its Secretary.

His contribution to popularization of science is of no less significance. He acted as the Convener of Gujarat State Council of Bharat Jan Gyan Vijnan Jatha in 1992, the biggest `science for people' movement ever seen anywhere in the world. He was also a founder member of Gujarat Science Academy, established in 1976 and served the Academy as Additional Secretary, Secretary and Treasurer at various points of time.

He was also associated with several other professional bodies as life member, founder chairman and so on.

As a recognition to his service towards computerisation as well as science he was elected Fellow of the Computer Society of India and also of the Gujarat Science Academy. He was felicitated by Computer Society of India in 1989 at Bangalore; and by Ahmedabad Medical Association in 1996 as the `Pride of Ahmedabad'..

Information Today & Tomorrow, Vol. 20, No. 1, March 2001, p.27