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The initial impetus for creating the National Knowledge Network was provided by the office of Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, and the National Knowledge Commission. Given the critical nature of the initiative, NKN was recognized as a priority and supported by the President and the Prime Minister. Subsequently, a large number of stakeholders including Experts, Potential Users, Telecom Service Providers, Educational and Research Institutions collaborated extensively to develop the NKN.
The task of operationalizing the NKN was entrusted to a High Level Committee constituted by the Department of Information Technology, with support from a Technical Advisory Committee.
The HLC acts as the enabling agency for the implementation of the NKN. It has successfully translated the vision of Department of Information Technology into a concrete implementation plan for the establishment of the NKN. Besides providing the strategic direction, HLC also coordinates and monitors the activities pertaining to the NKN. In the recent past, the HLC has played a pivotal role in the resolution of key challenges faced by the implementation team.
NKN being a time bound project, it was felt that the decisions on issues that might arise during its implementation, need to be answered in a timely manner. In order to achieve this, the Chairman HLC, suggested constituting an Executive Committee. The Executive Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr R. Chidambaram would be responsible for taking decisions on implementation issues.
In the First Meeting of the High Level Committee for Establishment of National Knowledge Network held on May 16, 2008, it was recommended that a Technical Advisory Committee under the chairmanship of Prof S V Raghavan be formed. This Expert Group, under the chairmanship of Prof S V Raghavan, was to draft a blue print for setting up a Knowledge Network which included the architecture of the Network, the ways and means for its implementation and the financial implication for setting up of such a network. This group met several times to prepare the detailed project report on NKN and was presented to the HLC for its approval. NKN's Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has been the driving force behind the design and architecture of the NKN. TAC has been continually ensuring that NKN is designed for high reliability, availability and scalability, keeping in mind the unique requirements of the network in future.