Cabinet approves connecting knowledge institutions

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Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure has approved the establishment of the National Knowledge Network...

Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure has approved the establishment of the National Knowledge Network (NKN) with an outlay of Rs.5990 crore to be implemented by NIC over a period of 10 years.

The setting up of the network suggesting inter connectivity of all knowledge institutions through high speed data communication network is a landmark recommendation of the National Knowledge Commission (NKC) which would encourage sharing of knowledge, specialized resources and collaborative research.

The approval was given during the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure (CCI) chaired by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.

The government's decision to set up such a NKN was announced by the Finance minister in the Budget speech of 2008-09. An initial amount of Rs.100 crore for FY 2008-09 was allocated to the Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and IT for establishing the NKN.

A high-level committee was set up under the Chairmanship of Dr. R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Adviser to the government of India, to coordinate and monitor the establishment.

Focusing on its implementation and strategy, the architecture of the NKN will be scalable and will consist of an ultra-high speed core (multiples of 10 Gbps and upwards). The core shall be complemented with a distribution layer at appropriate speeds. The participating institutions can connect to the NKN at speeds of 1 Gbps or to the distribution layer through a last mile connectivity bandwidth.

It will provide nation-wide ultra high-speed backbone/data-network highway. Various other networks in the country can take advantage of this ultra high-speed backbone, with national and international reach to create independent and closed user groups.

It will have about 25 core Point of Presence (PoPs) and 600 secondary PoPs. It will connect around 1500 institutions. The Physical Infrastructure (setting up of core network) is expected to be completed in a span of 24 months.

Its establishment is expected to have a major impact, as it will enable scientists, researchers and students from diverse spheres across the country to work together for advancing human development in critical and emerging areas.

It will catalyse knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer between stakeholders seamlessly - that too across the nation and globally and is expected to encourage a larger section of research and educational institutions to create intellectual property.

NKN would enable use of specialized applications, which allow sharing of high performance computing facilities, e-libraries, virtual classrooms and very large databases.

3.2 Health, education, grid computing, agriculture and e-governance are the main applications identified for implementation and delivery on NKN.

Applications such as countrywide classrooms will address the issue of faculty shortage and ensure quality education delivery across the country. The crux of the success of the Knowledge Network is related to the education related applications, databases and delivery of services to the users on demand.

In the initial phase, a core backbone consisting of 15 PoPs have been established with 2.5 Gbps capacity. Around 40 institutions of higher learning and advanced research have already been connected to the network and six virtual classrooms set up.

Source: [ ]

Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure, National Knowledge Network, Knowledge Institutions, High Speed Data Communication Network, National Knowledge Commission, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister, Budget, Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communications, Chairmanship of Dr. R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India, Point of Presence, High Performance Computing Facilities, E-libraries, Virtual Classrooms, Advanced Research

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