National Knowledge Network

The NKN is a state-of-the-art multi-gigabit pan-India network for providing a unified high speed network backbone for all knowledge related institutions in the country. 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 creating a pool of highly trained professionals. The NKN will enable scientists, researchers and students from different backgrounds and diverse geographies to work closely for advancing human development in critical and emerging areas



Globally, research and development activities and innovations are increasingly multidisciplinary, collaborative, and require substantial computational power. The key to successful research today demands live consultations, data sharing and resource sharing. Therefore in order to optimally utilise the potential of institutions engaged in generation and dissemination of knowledge in various areas, it is important to connect them through a high speed broadband network. The idea of setting up a National Knowledge Network first emerged through deliberations between the office of Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India and the National Knowledge Commission. This was followed by extensive discussions with key stakeholders including experts, potential users, telecom service providers, educational and research institutions, which resulted in the design of the National Knowledge Network.

imageThe NKN comprises of an ultra-high speed CORE (multiples of 10 Gbps), complimented with a distribution layer at appropriate speeds. Participating institutions at the Edge will connect to the National Knowledge Network seamlessly at speeds of 1 Gbps or higher. The network is designed to support Overlay Networks, Dedicated Networks, and Virtual Networks. Advanced applications in areas such as Health, Education, Science & Technology, Grid Computing, Bio informatics, Agriculture, and Governance will be an integral part of NKN. The entire network will seamlessly integrate with the global scientific community at multiple gigabits per second speed.

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The purpose of such a knowledge network goes to the very core of the country’s quest to build quality institutions with requisite research facilities and create a pool of highly trained persons. The NKN while impacting the existing academic and student community will also alter the R&D landscape for future generations.


NKN is designed as a Smart Ultra High Bandwidth network that seamlessly interconnects the leading Scientific and Technological institutions – which are pursuing world-class research and development. NKN design is inherently proactive; it takes into account the requirements that may occur in the near term and long term

Some of the salient features of the NKN are:

Establishing Connectivity for Knowledge and information sharing.
Enabling Collaborative Research in emerging areas such as Climate Modelling.
Facilitating distance education in specialized fields such as medicine, emerging, high tech areas covering info-bio-nano technology.
Facilitating an ultra high speed e-governance backbone for information sharing.

NKN will also act as a test bed for research in the area of network, security and delivery models for various services. As NKN is a new initiative, it will leverage existing initiatives, to ensure faster roll out with modest investment



The main services of NKN can be broadly categorised under the following heads:

Generic Services: Internet, Intranet, Network Management Views, e-Mail, Messaging Gateways, Caching Gateways, Domain Name System, Web Hosting, Voice over IP, Multipoint Control Unit (MCU) Services, Video Portals, SMS Gateway, Co- Location Services, Video Streaming etc.

Community Services: Shared Storage, e-Mail List Software Application (LISTSERV), Authentication Service, EVO, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), Collaboration Service, Content Delivery Service, International Collaborations with EU-India Grid, Global Ring Network for Advanced Applications Development (GLORIAD) etc.

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Special Services: Virtual Private Network Stitching Services [[email protected] (Virtual Private Wire Service / Virtual Private LAN Service), [email protected]] e

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