National Knowledge Network (NKN)

National Knowledge Network (NKN): The idea of setting up of a NKN was deliberated at the office of Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India and the National Knowledge Commission. Collaborative engagements were held with key stakeholders including experts, potential users, telecom service providers and educational and research institutions. This project is again a part of the Knowledge Commission headed by Sam Pitroda.
The decision to set up NKN was announced in 2008-09 with an initial allocation of INR 100 crore to the Department of Information Technology (DIT), Ministry of Communications and IT. However, to provide the much needed impetus to this initiative the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure in March 2010 approved the establishment of NKN at an outlay of INR 5,990 crore to be implemented by National Informatics Centre (NIC) over a period of 10 years. The project is being monitored by a High Level Committee headed by Dr. R Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister of India. Under this project, nearly 2500 institutes like all state universities, central universities, IITs, government medical and engineering colleges, R & D institutes like ICMR, BARC, etc. are going to be connected.

NKN will provide a unified high bandwidth (low latency) network backbone for all the sectors. It will also provide necessary equipment required to connect the institute to the network. It will encourage and enable the use of specialized applications, which allow sharing of high performance computing facilities (for example GARUDA through mutual consent with the owner of HPC services), R & D Networks (for example GLORIAD, an Indo-Us initiative, TIEN 3, an Indo-European initiative, etc), e-libraries, virtual classrooms, large databases and high speed internet. It will be a critical infrastructure for India to evolve as a Knowledge Society.

At present, 15 Points of Presence (PoP) for NKN have been established across the country. The target of NKN shall be to connect 1,500+ institutes by March, 2012.

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