Private players can use knowledge network

April 13, 2011

The National Knowledge Network (NKN), established to connect around 1,500 educational and research institutions in the country through high-speed data communication network, would benefit private players operating in segments like telemedicine, according to R Chidambaram, principal scientific advisor to the Government of India.

“We are currently establishing the network, which will be beneficial to execute services. Telemedicine segment, to take the healthcare services to the rural area, would be a major beneficiary of the project. The services could also be used by the private players, once established,” said Chidambaram.

He was speaking to reporters after inaugurating the seventh Indo-Australian conference on IT security, organised by Society for Electronic Transactions and Security (SETS), Chennai, Queensland Univerisity of Technology (QUT), and Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IITM).

National Informatics Centre (NIC), the agency executing the project, is linking the institutes and universities through 31 main points of presence (PoPs) in various state capitals. The network has already linked around 500 institutes, said S V Raghavan, scientific secretary, office of the principal scientific advisor to the Government of India.

The project was started in April 2009 with a timeline to link 1,500 knowledge institutions in two years.

NKN is designed with emphasis on resilience, where the information in the network would not be affected by any major shake up in the system, said Raghavan.

The network would equip stakeholders to spread knowledge within the institutes and scientists across the nation and internationally, using specialised applications which permit sharing of high performance computing facilities, e-libraries, virtual classrooms and huge database. It consists of an ultra-high speed network with multiples of 10 Gbps, supported with a distribution layer at appropriate speeds. Participating institutions would be connected to the network seamlessly at speeds of 1 Gbps or higher.

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