The union cabinet on Thursday approved setting up of a national knowledge network (NKN) that will connect all major educational institutions like the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and top universities for exchange of information and research.
"One of the important recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission (NKC) is to inter-connect all knowledge institutions through high speed data communication network. This would encourage sharing of knowledge, specialized resources and collaborative research," the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure said.
The government's decision to set up such a network was announced in 2008-09 and an initial amount of Rs.100 crore was allocated to the department of information technology, ministry of communications and IT for this.
The architecture of the NKN will be scalable and the network will consist of an ultra-high speed core (multiples of 10Gbps and upwards), to provide A nation-wide ultra high-speed data-network highway.
The network will connect around 1,500 institutions and the setting up of core network is expected to be completed in a span of two years.
The cabinet said that the network would enable scientists, researches and students from diverse spheres across the country to work together for advancing human development in critical and emerging areas.
"NKN will catalyze knowledge sharing and knowledge 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."
It will allow sharing of high performance computing facilities, e-libraries, virtual classrooms and very large databases.
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.