Founder of Zoho software corp and tech entrepreneur Sridhar Vembu, who was recently conferred with the Padma Shri, has now joined the Advisory Board of National Security led by NSA Ajit Doval. With this, Vembu will be a part of an advisory panel that gives inputs and advice to Doval, who in turn acts as a single point advisor to the Prime Minister.
Vembu, who previously lived in Silicon Valley and then moved to a village in Tamil Nadu, will be assigned a particular study that will be implemented across various ministries after being analysed by the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS).
Who is Sridhar Vembu?
Tech tycoon Sridhar Vembu, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of software development firm Zoho Corporation, is one of the Padma Shri awardees announced by the government of India. According to 2020 Forbes report, Vembu is among the 59 richest persons in India.
Vembu, who is in his early 50s, founded 'AdventNet' in 1996 to make software products at a time when IT services were the rage. In 2009, he renamed the company 'Zoho Corp' to reflect the transition from a software company serving network equipment vendor to an innovative online applications provider. Vembu, a Silicon Valley star valued by Forbes at nearly $2.5 billion, moved to a small village in Tenkasi in southern Tamil Nadu in October last year.
NSAB members and duties
Each NSAB member is appointed for a two-year tenure, but it could be extended upon re-appointment. For instance, Tilak Devasher, a Pakistan specialist and former senior intelligence officer, Aloke Joshi, former Chairman of NTRO, Prof. K Kamakoti from IIT Madras, Lt Gen. Subrata Saha (Retd), former Deputy Chief of the Indian Army, Lt Gen SL Narasimhan, a China specialist and head of the MEA's in-house think tank, Centre for Contemporary China Studies (CCCS), and Bimal Patel, who heads the Ahmedabad based Rashtriya Raksha University have all been re-nominated to the NSAB.
Besides Vembu, there are some new faces in the NSAB. The former ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan, Anshuman Tripathy from IIM Bangalore, and Arun K. Singh, former ambassador to France and the United States have been roped in to share a seat at the table.
But the bigger post of NSAB chairman remains unoccupied. Former NSAB chair RK Raghavan, who was the Ambassador to Russia, has ended his term and Amar Sinha, former Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan, completed his term in December. it remains to be seen who will lead the committee.
Based on inputs from the NSAB, NSA Doval advises PM Narendra Modi and the Cabinet Committee on security matters across six verticals, including Defence, internal security, strategic (nuclear) matters, space, external affairs and intelligence. Doval additionally receives advice from three deputy NSAs and a military advisor.