Thursday, January 21, 2010

knowledge network in24 months

21 Jan 2010


From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: The National Informatics Centre(NIC) that runs government computers and hosts its portals on Thursday got an "in principle" nod to go ahead setting up the National Knowledge Network (NKN) linking up 1500 higher education and research institutions in a span of 24 months.

The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure gave the approval to build NKN with 25 core points of presence (PoPs) and 600 secondary ones.The most significant advantage of the network will be to mount "countrywide classrooms" to resolve the issue of faculty shortage and ensure quality education delivery across the country.

NIC sources said they have already connected 40 institutions of higher learning and advanced research and set up six virtual classrooms with 2.5 Gbps capacity at 15 PoPs.

NKN will enable scientists, researches and students from diverse spheres across the country to work together for advancing human development in critical and emerging areas.

Conceptualised by the Sam Pitroda-headed National Knowledge Commission, NKN will catalyse knowledge sharing and transfer between stakeholders seamlessly – that too across the nation and globally. NKN is expected to encourage a larger section of research and educational institutions to create intellectual property by providing them high performance computing facilities, e-libraries, virtual classrooms and very large databases.

BACKGROUND: The goal is to inter-connect all knowledge institutions trough high speed data communication network. This would encourage sharing of knowledge, specialized resources and collaborative research. The government's decision to set up the network was taken in 2008-09, with initial allocation of Rs 100 crores to the Information Technology Department to establish it.

IT and Communication Minister A Raja had sought Rs 6,000 crores for the project, but the Cabinet Committee felt the money can be sanctioned in the next budget while giving the "in principle" clearance to complete the initial steps using Rs 100 crores.

The architecture of NKN will be scalable and the network will consist of an ultra-high speed Core (multiples of 10 gigabits per second 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.

The NKN will provide nation-wide ultra high-speed backbone/data-network highway while various other networks in the country can take advantage of it providing national and international reach to create independent and closed user groups.

Health, Education, Grid Computing, Agriculture and e-Governance are the main applications identified for implementation and delivery on NKN. 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.


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