CoWin led by Dr. RS Sharma wins 'Voice & Data Pathbreaker of the year, 2021' award

PCQ Bureau
New Update

During the 21st Telecom Leadership Forum, the annual flagship event by India’s Oldest and foremost Telecom Industry Magazine Voice&Data, recognised the pioneering works in the telecom industry, and the contribution of the eminent personalities.


For the unparalleled feat of bringing an essential service to citizens, at a time of unprecedented crisis, Voice&Data Jury recognised CoWin as a Pathbreaker platform for the year 2021.  The CoWin Platform - developed under the chairmanship of Dr. Ram Sewak. Sharma, CEO, National Health Authority. Leading from the front, Dr. Sharma played a vital role in helping CoWin being set up at short notice -- this was at a time of extreme panic in the country due to the Pandemic. The technology-enabled platform had a simple aim – to simplify and speed up delivery of vaccinations for citizens. The CoWin platform became the backbone of India’s vaccination drive. It literally saved millions of lives by ensuring fast and accurate information on availability and appointments.

The Voice&Data Telecom Person of the Year Award for 2021, to Anshu Prakash, former Chairman, DCC and former Secretary, Telecom - for his untiring efforts in new policy initiatives that are set to revive the Telecom sector and The Voice&Data Jury awards were presented at the 21st Telecom Leadership Forum, held virtually on March 22, 2022 and attended by over 1045 participants from the Telecom Ecosystem and across verticals. 

Anshu Prakash Telecom Person of the Year

The Voice&Data Jury awarded the Lifetime achievement award to Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Professor of Electrical Engineering IIT Chennai for his life’s work over 40 years -- bringing industry and academia together, playing a catalyst's role in the telecommunications revolution of the late 90’s through is innovative CorDECT platform, founding Tejas Networks and inspiring generations of new entrepreneurs as a mentor to over 100 start-ups in the technology sector.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Held every year over the past 21 years, the annual Voice&Data awards are the most coveted Telecom Industry awards. The award process follows a stringent 3 tier evaluation process, including open nomination, research by the V&D editorial research team, and an award Jury process.


The Voice&Data Jury awardees were selected by a 10 member Jury team consisting of Industry leaders, influencers and Cyber media editors, who met on January 27th, 2022, for deliberations on the winners. The Jury Chair was Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthy, Director, IIT Madras and Jury Co-chair was Pradeep Gupta, Chairman, CyberMedia group. The Jury members were Anand Bhaskar, MD, Service Providers business, CISCO; Bharat B Bhatia, President, ITU-APT Foundation; Jagbir Singh, CTO, Vodafone Idea; K S Rao, Group Chief Corporate Officer, STL; Hari Om Rai, CMD, Lava International; Dr. Rajkumar Upadhyay, ED & Chairman, C-DOT; Lt Gen Dr. S P Kochhar, DG, COAI; and Som Satsangi, Sr. VP & MD, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. 

The Voice&Data Awards ceremony was preceded by the Telecom Leadership Forum (TLF) event which consisted of panel discussions on hot industry topics, interviews, fireside chats with industry veterans and Policy experts.

The opening session of the TLF featured Anshu Prakash, former Chairman, DCC and former Secretary, Telecom, in conversation with Pradeep Gupta, Chairman, CyberMedia Group. “The philosophy behind telecom reforms witnessed in 2021 was making things simple, promoting ease of doing business, addressing certain legacy issues, ensuring industry has sufficient liquidity, and promoting investment and FDI in the industry," said Prakash. This was needed to deal with enormous challenges that the industry was facing.


Akhil Gupta, Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises, one of the stalwarts and earliest movers in the Telecom industry in India said, "There is one common thread that runs among all technological developments, and that is bandwidth. All of them need bandwidth which a telecom operator provides. if it is something like Metaverse it would require large dollops of bandwidth. With 5G, there will be technological developments which would not work without very high bandwidth and that is where Telecom Operators play a major role." He said this in his fireside chat with Mao Mohapatra, CEO, Comviva. 

Other panelists and key note speakers included: Harjit Singh, CEO, Tata Teleservices Ltd; Lt Gen S P Kochhar, DG, COAI; Himanshu Gupta, Country Manager, Telecom Media & Entertainment, HPE India; Arun Karna, MD & CEO, AT&T India; Prateek Pashine, President - Enterprise Business , Jio; R K Bhatnagar DG, Voice; and many others. 

49 speakers in all addressed the 1000+ participants at the conference, over 26 sessions. The sessions focused on burning issues in the sector, like 5G, Multilingual Internet for the next 500 million users, Open RAN, Electronics manufacturing, PLI scheme, Enterprise of the Future, Space Race given the launch of LEO satellites and many more. 

There were another 30 winners of Voice&Data Excellence Awards. These winners were selected and shortlisted based on various parameters like innovation, impact, pioneering work, excellence in services, by a select panel comprising of industry experts and CyberMedia editors. 

The categories were Multilingual Internet, Broadband services, 5G mobile devices, Innovation, Mobile handset Exports, Customer Service, and more.

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