​New NKN international​ network to boost EU-India collaboration

Cambridge | September 15 2016

NKN-logo.jpgAs part of a new international network being deployed by the National Knowledge Network (NKN) – India’s main NREN – a further 10Gbps of R&E connectivity is now operational between India and Europe. The new capacity is provided over two diverse cable systems from Mumbai to Amsterdam where it interconnects with GÉANT via Netherlight. This is additional to the TEIN project’s EU-India connection which was upgraded from 2.5 to 10Gbps earlier this year, with NKN co-financing the link as a TEIN project partner.  

During a recent visit at Tallinn University of Technology which is connected to the Estonian GÉANT NREN partner EENet, The Honourable Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, Ravi Shankar Prasad officially inaugurated the NKN-GÉANT peering. He said: "NKN has been at the forefront of connecting knowledge institutions in India to enable collaborative research among institutes of similar nature. Over 1600 top universities and R&D institutions are currently connected to NKN. Collaboration with counterparts in Europe via GÉANT and within Asia via TEIN has opened new doors for NKN connected institutions across India. I believe that the high-speed data exchange among the participating institutions will be of immense mutual benefit for researchers from both India and Europe. This will also spread the mission of digital India far and wide."

Funded by the Indian Government and implemented and operated by the National Informatics Centre, NKN delivers a state-of-the-art backbone for R&E across India. It currently connects over 4 million users across 1600 institutions at gigabit speed, providing robust and reliable network connectivity, cloud-based services and applications support. Its new international network will also connect India to North America and other parts of Asia.


In welcoming the peering agreement, Steve Cotter, CEO GÉANT, commented: "Our long-standing partnership with NKN has now been further cemented by this new interconnection. NKN's new international capacity gives a strong base for increasing collaboration projects between European and Indian scientific and computing communities. Global collaboration is a must for our many researchers, academics and students and international connectivity is vital for them to succeed. We look forward to working with NKN to make this happen."

The new link to GÉANT has been welcomed in particular by the high-energy physics community, as it is set to further support participation of Indian scientists in the LHC and other experiments at CERN. Additional R&E collaborations between Europe and India expected to benefit from the capacity boost include environmental monitoring, telemedicine, genomics, remote instrumentations and e-learning. 

Additional information

National Knowledge Network (NKN)