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India excludes Pakistan from a Saarc initiative

Author: Aman Sharma
Publication: The Economic Times
Date: January 3, 2017
URL:   https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/india-excludes-pakistan-from-a-saarc-initiative/articleshow/62345991.cms

India has excluded Pakistan from the list of Saarc member countries with which it will be connecting its state-of-theart National Knowledge Network (NKN) for sharing scientific databases and remote access to advanced research facilities.

The government has kicked off the process of appointing a telecom company that will connect and extend the NKN to research and education networks in six South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation member states — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Pakistan is the only Saarc nation that has been left out of this initiative.

India has for long suspended official talks with Pakistan due to continuing terrorist attacks launched by groups from across the border and chill in the relations is now evident in sphere of research cooperation too.

NKN is a multi-gigabit pan-India network which facilitates the development of India's communications infrastructure, stimulates research and creates next generation applications and services. It enables collaboration among researchers from different educational networks such as TEIN4, GARUDA, CERN and Internet2. It also enables sharing of scientific databases and remote access to advanced research facilities.

India has now decided to extend the NKN to the global research and education networks in Saarc nations.

NKN will be connected from Afghanistan to Delhi or Mumbai, from Bangladesh to Kolkata or Delhi, from Bhutan to Kolkata or Delhi, from Nepal to Kolkata or Delhi, from Maldives to Chennai or Mumbai and from Sri Lanka to Chennai or Mumbai. A state-of-the-art management centre and Network Operations Centre will also be set up to run the NKN network. The connection from Afghanistan, Maldives and Sri Lanka to India would be through a submarine cable for international connectivity.

With its multi-gigabit capability, NKN aims to connect all universities, research institutions, libraries, laboratories, healthcare and agricultural institutions across the country to address such paradigm shift. The leading mission oriented agencies in the fields of nuclear, space and defence research are also part of NKN. To strengthen research facility in various critical and emerging areas for NKN community, the network has established its international points of presence or PoP in Geneva, Amsterdam and Singapore, and plans to soon establish a PoP in New York too.
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