India is soon going to connect its educational, medical and research institutes with other institutes in South Asian countries, thanks to the Union Ministry of Electronics and IT for taking such initiative.

Through National Knowledge Network (NKN), a high-speed broadband network, the initiative is going to benefit over 50 million students and researchers in the South Asian countries by sharing information and ideas across major fields.

The NKN is a state-of-the-art pan-India network and a revolutionary step towards creating a knowledge society without boundaries.

Established in March 2010 at an outlay of INR 5990 crore, the NKN will usher a knowledge revolution in the country with connectivity to 1500+ institutions. It was developed to connect all the knowledge and research institutions in the country using high bandwidth / low latency network.

Through the NKN, about 1,700 institutes, including IIMs, ISRO, DRDO, central universities and medical institutes have already been connected in the country by the Union Ministry of Electronics and IT.

“To take a step forward, an agreement in this regard has been signed with Sri Lanka to extend NKN to connect 10 Sri Lankan universities with Indian ones. The internet connectivity has already reached Sri Lanka,” a senior ministry official was quoted as saying by a news agency.

The NKN connectivity to the SAARC countries such as Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh will be done through undersea cable and is under process.

“The NKN with its high-speed connectivity will enable knowledge and information sharing. It will also enable collaborative research, development and innovation as well as facilitate advanced distance education in specialized fields such as Engineering, Science, Medicine,” the official added.

The official further said that a link to global networks will also be created to collaborate with research communities across the globe.

“A point of presence has reached few countries including Geneva, Amsterdam and Singapore,” he added.

This NKN project along with BharatNet, a project to connect rural India with the internet, will give a major boost to the digital initiatives of the Central government, thus making the country fully move towards a digital society.

Many government applications such as e-governance, e-hospital and other related services will also get major help from the NKN initiative.

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