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Sam Pitroda: The Man Behind India’s Telecom Revolution

Sam Pitroda: The Man Behind India's Telecom Revolution

Sam Pitroda’s Views on Inheritance Tax

Sam Pitroda, a name often associated with controversial statements impacting the Congress Party, has once again stirred the pot, this time advocating for ‘inheritance tax.’ Pitroda’s views on inheritance tax have sparked significant political debate. The BJP has launched an attack on the Congress, claiming that introducing this tax system would be detrimental to businesses.

Explaining Inheritance Tax

Sam Pitroda explains inheritance tax by drawing comparisons with the United States. In the US, if someone possesses assets worth $100 million and they pass away, 45% of the assets go to their children, while 55% goes to the government for public welfare. However, Pitroda points out that such a law doesn’t exist in India. Here, upon someone’s demise, their entire wealth is inherited by their children. Let’s delve deeper into who Sam Pitroda is and his connection with the United States.

Who is Sam Pitroda?

Born in 1942 in Titilagarh, Odisha, Sam Pitroda’s full name is Satyanarayan Gangaram Pitroda. Coming from a Congress family in Gujarat, he was sent to a boarding school in Gujarat for his education. After completing his schooling, he pursued a degree in Physics and Electronics from Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara. In the 1960s, he was sent to the United States for further studies, where he pursued his Master’s degree.

Pitroda’s Stint in the United States

In 1964, Sam Pitroda obtained his Master’s in Physics from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. Pitroda is considered close to the Gandhi family. Currently, he is the chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress. According to information available on Pitroda’s website, he resides in Chicago with his wife. The Congress leader has always remained in the limelight due to his statements.

Relinquishing American Citizenship Upon Return to India

After completing his studies in the US, Pitroda ventured into the telecom industry in 1965. In 1975, he invented the electronic diary as his first patent. Coming from a Gandhian ideology-accepting family, Pitroda had close ties with the Congress. During his stay in America, he also acquired US citizenship. However, in 1984, upon the insistence of the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, he returned to India.

Second Stint in America in 1990

After Indira Gandhi’s assassination and several years of work in India, Sam Pitroda returned to the US once again in 1990. He resumed his work from Chicago and launched several companies. In 1995, Sam Pitroda was appointed as the Chairman of the International Telecommunications Union’s WorldTel Initiative. However, almost two decades later, he returned to India.

Role in the UPA Government under Manmohan Singh

In 2004, following the victory in the elections, the UPA government led by the Congress was formed. Manmohan Singh was appointed as the Prime Minister. Immediately, Prime Minister Singh invited Sam Pitroda to return to India once again. This marked his return to the country. On coming back to India, Manmohan Singh appointed him as the Chairman of the National Knowledge Commission, a position he held from 2005 to 2009.

Return to America in 2009

However, after the UPA government returned to power in 2009, Sam Pitroda was once again called back to India. This time, he was appointed as an advisor to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and he was also conferred the rank of a Cabinet Minister. According to Pitroda’s website, he holds approximately 20 honorary PhDs and nearly 100 global patents. He has authored five books and published several papers.

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