National Knowledge Network Launched web site launched, NKN to Propel India in to a Knowledge Society

National Knowledge Network (NKN) is a revolutionary step towards creating aknowledge society without boundaries.
It will provide unprecedented benefits to theknowledge community and mankind at large. The purpose of such a knowledge network goes to the very core of the country’s quest for building quality institutions with requisite research facilities and creates a pool of highly trained professionals. The NKN is a state-of-the-art Pan-India network. It will facilitate the development of India's information infrastructure, stimulate research, and create next generation applications and services. NKN is designed to provide high availability, Quality of Service, security and reliability
 
National Knowledge Network (NKN) project is aimed at establishing a strong and robust internal Indian network which will be capable of providing secure and reliable connectivity. bring together all the stakeholders from science, technology, higher education, healthcare, agriculture and governance to a common platform.    
 
Using NKN, all vibrant institutions with vision and passion will be able to transcend space and time limitations in accessing information and knowledge and derive the associated benefits for themselves and for the society. Establishing NKN is a significant step towards ushering in a knowledge revolution in the country with connectivity to 1500+ institutions. NKN is intended to connect all the knowledge and research institutions in the country using high bandwidth / low latency network.
 
Globally, frontier research and innovation are shifting towards multidisciplinary and collaborative paradigm and require substantial communication and computational power. In India, NKN with its multi-gigabit capability aims to connect all universities, research institutions, libraries, laboratories, healthcare and agricultural institutions across the country to address such paradigm shift. The leading mission oriented agencies in the fields of nuclear, space and defence research are also part of NKN. By facilitating the flow of information and knowledge, the network addresses the critical issue of access and create a new paradigm of collaboration to enrich the research efforts in the country. The network design is based on a proactive approach that takes into account the future requirements and new possibilities that this infrastructure may unfold, both in terms of usage and perceived benefits. This will bring about a knowledge revolution that will be instrumental in transforming society and promoting inclusive growth.
 
Background
The idea of setting up the NKN was deliberated & finalised at the office of Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to the Government of India (GoI) and the National Knowledge Commission (NKC) after a collaborative engagement with the key stakeholders including experts, potential users, telecom service providers, educational and research institutions. The discussions resulted in a consensus for an optimal approach to be adopted for setting up such a network, to provide a unified backbone for all the sectors.
Government of India has constituted a High Level Committee (HLC) for establishment of NKN, under the Chairmanship of the PSA to GoI. National Informatics Centre has been designated as implementing agency for NKN. The vision of NKN has been translated into an action plan by the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) set up by the HLC.
 
NKN was approved in March 2010 by the Cabinet with an outlay of Rs 5990 Crores. As a forerunner of NKN Initial phase has been successfully executed by National Informatics Centre (NIC).
Highlights
 
The architecture of NKN has been designed for reliability, availability & scalability. The network consists of an ultra-high speed core, starting with multiple 2.5/10 G and progressively moving towards 40/100 Gigabits per Second (Gbps). The core is complimented with a distribution layer covering all districts at appropriate speeds.
 
The participating institutions at the edge would seamlessly connect to NKN at gigabit speed. The NKN shall be a critical information infrastructure for India to evolve as a knowledge society. NKN is a significant step which will enable scientists, researchers and students from across the country to work together for advancing human development in critical and emerging areas.
 
– Establishing a high-speed backbone connectivity which will enable knowledge and information sharing.
– Enabling collaborative research, development and Innovation
– Facilitating advanced distance education in specialized fields such as engineering, science, medicine etc.
– Facilitating an ultra high speed backbone for e-Governance
– Facilitating integration of different sectoral networks in the field of research, education, health, commerce and governance.
 
Connectivity
The backbone of the network starts from 2.5 Gbps and progressively moves onto 10 Gbps connectivity between 7 Supercore (fully meshed) locations pan India. The network is further spread out through 26 Core locations with multiple of 2.5/10 Gbps partially meshed connectivity with Supercore locations. The distribution layer connects entire country to the core of the network using multiple links at speeds of 2.5/10 Gbps. The end users are being connected upto a speed of 1 Gbps.
 
The network architecture and governance structure allows users with options to connect to the distribution layer as well.NKN enables creation of Virtual Private Networks (VPN) as well for special interest groups.
 
NKN provides international connectivity to its users for global collaborative research. Presently, NKN is connected to Trans Eurasia Information Network (TEIN3). Similar connectivity to GLORIAD network is in the pipeline.
 
Applications
 
Countrywide Virtual Classroom
The NKN is a platform for delivering effective distance education where teachers and students can interact in real time. This is especially significant in a country like India where access to education is limited by factors such as geography, lack of infrastructure facilities etc. The network enables co-sharing of information such as classroom lectures, presentations and handouts among different institutions.
 
Collaborative Research
The NKN enables collaboration among researchers from different entities like GLORIAD, TEIN3, GARUDA, CERN etc. NKN also enables sharing of scientific databases and remote access to advanced research facilities.
 
Virtual Library 
The Virtual Library involving sharing of journals, books and research papers across different institutions, is a natural application for NKN.
 
Sharing of Computing Resources
High-performance computing is critical for national security, industrial productivity, and advances in science and engineering. The network enables a large number of institutions to access high-performance computing to conduct advanced research in areas such as weather monitoring, earthquake engineering and other computationally intensive fields.
 
Grid Computing
The NKN has the capability to handle high bandwidth with low latency and provision to overlay grid computing. Some of the grid based applications are climate change/global warming, science projects like Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and ITER. The NKN can be the platform to realize many such innovative applications. The Garuda Grid has enhanced its power and stability by migrating to NKN.
Network Technology Test-bed
NKN provides test-bed for testing and validation of services before they are made available to the production network. NKN also provides an opportunity to test new hardware & software, vendor interoperability etc.
 
National Knowledge Network (NKN) is a significant step towards ushering a knowledge revolution in the country and poses a challenge to the ways we think and work. Technology is enabler but efforts beyond that are required to inform, educate and empower people of the country. This was stated by Shri Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for Communication and Information Technology (C&IT) at the launching of Logo and Website of the NKN here today. He said we need to work even harder to reap the benefits of this kind of network and put it to the use of the children and people in the remote parts of India. 
 
Speaking from Chicago through video conferencing, Shri Sam Pitroda, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations appreciated and thanked the entire team for making the NKN possible in a very short period. He emphasised the need to take fibre based connectivity to all the 2,50,000 panchayats and all the municipalities in the country. 
 
Later speaking on the occasion, Shri Sachin Pilot MoS for C&IT said in this era of Information Communication Technology (ICT) influencing every life NKN will enable Indians to reach new heights. The Government’s endeavour is that with best IT infrastructure India must keep an edge over the world to be the super power in the field of Information Technology. This NKN will equip young Indians to face the global challenges in the times to come. 
 
Dr. R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India and Chairperson of the NKN High Level Committee made an interactive presentation demonstrating how the NKN will connect various stakeholders. Representatives from IIT Indore, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Guwahati, IIT Madras, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, CSIR , Ministry of Earth Sciences and BARC participated in the live interaction . 
 
Speaking on the occasion, the Secretary, Shri S.K. Sharma, Department of Information Technology said that the NKN will transform the knowledge landscape of the country. 
 
National Knowledge Network (NKN) envisages connecting all higher centres of learning and research by bringing together all stakeholders from science, technology, higher education, healthcare, agriculture and governance to a common platform. Initially, the decision to set up NKN was announced in 2008-09 with an allocation of Rs.100 crore to the Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and IT. Hon’ble President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil inaugurated the NKN on 9th April, 2009. Since then this vision has translated into a concrete implementation plan with approval form Cabinet in March, 2010. An outlay of Rs. 5,990 Crore has been approved for this project and it shall be implemented by NIC over a period of next two years and operated for over next 10 years. 
 
The implementation of NKN is currently underway and aims to accomplish connectivity to approximately 550+ institutions across the country by March, 2011. 
 
In Phase-I, the Service Providers are connecting the NKN Points of Presence (PoPs) with 2.5Gigabits bandwidth links. The bandwidth of these PoP’s shall be enhanced from 2.5G to 10G in the next year. So far, 76 links for the creation of the backbone for NKN project have been established. Also, connectivity with 200 edge links for various institutions has been accomplished. 

 

The Union Minister for Human Resource Development and Communications and Information Technology, Shri Kapil Sibal launching the website & logo of National Knowledge Network, in New Delhi on February 05, 2011. The Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology, Shri Sachin Pilot is also seen.

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