6 National Information Infrastructure

Shantanu Ganguly

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To give an understanding of:

•      The Concept and components of Communication

•      The different kinds of communication

•      The different theories and models of communication


II. Learning Outcomes


On completing this module, you should have a clear idea of what national information infrastructure means and its various components. You should also have a clear idea of the national information infrastructure in place in India and the gaps in India’s information infrastructure


III.  Structure of the Module


1 Introduction

1.1     Information Superhighway

1.2     Potential of National Information Infrastructure

1.3     Emergence of Information Infrastructures

1.4     Characteristics of National Information Infrastructure

1.5     National information policy, information infrastructure and libraries

2 National ICT Policy 2012

2.1     Objectives

3 Strategic Initiatives of the MCIT

3.1     Technologies for Internet, e-Commerce and e-Governance

3.2     Communication, Broadcast & Telemetry

3.3     Software for Indian Languages

3.4     Agro – and Rural Applications

4 National Knowledge Network

4.1     Why National Knowledge Network was set up?

4.2   Architecture

4.3     Connectivity

4.4     Applications

5 National Data Centres

5.1     Cyber Security

5.2     Certifying Authority (CA)

5.3     NIC Messaging Services

5.4     NIC SMS Services

5.5     Video Conferencing Services

6 Select Major National Projects of India

6.1     eCourts

6.2     e-Hospital

6.3     National eServices Dashboard (NeSD)

6.4     mFertilizers

6.5     e-Districts

6.6     ePanchayat

6.7     Data Portal India

6.8     ePost

6.9     eSugar

7 National Information Institutions of India (NIII)

7.1     National Library

7.2     National Social Science Documentation Center

7.3     NISCAIR


7.5     National Institute of Smart Government

7.6     DELNET

7.7     National Mission on Libraries

7.8     National Mission for Manuscript

7.9     National Informatics Center

7.10 National Knowledge Commission

8 References


1.     Introduction


India is a developing country undergoing a gradual process of economic liberalization and globalization since the early 1990s. Uses of information and communications technology — such as fiber optic cable — have had an enormous impact on the creation, reproduction and dissemination of copyrighted works. The emergence of ICT has made possible the development of the National Information Infrastructure (NII) which has generated both unprecedented challenges and important opportunities.


An information infrastructure already exists. Telephones, televisions, radios, computers and fax machines are used every day to receive, store, process, perform, display and transmit data, text, voice, sound and images in homes and businesses throughout the country. Fiber optics, wires, cables, switches, routers, microwave networks, satellites and other communication technologies currently connect telephones, computers and fax machines. The NII of tomorrow will integrate them into an advanced high-speed, interactive, broadband, digital communications system. Computers, telephones, televisions, radios, fax machines and more will be linked by the NII, and users will be able to communicate and interact with each other in digital form.


1.1 Information Superhighway


Information Superhighway is a popular terminology, which sees the NII generally contributing to national economic and technological competitiveness, and providing a tool to improve healthcare, education, training and the like. For instance:


The dawn of the information age


This vision talks of a transformation from the industrial to the information age, causing as substantial a change in society as we move from an agricultural to an information society; production workers replaced by ‘knowledge workers’.


Re-inventing government


New ways of delivering services, increasing public access to government information, enabling the public to express its views by electronic (E)-mail; allowing public participation in decisions on specific issues, shifts of power from national to local/regional level.


Societal and cultural impacts


Harnessing the powers of ICTs to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of education and training, increase the capacity/ manage the demand for transport, improve health service efficiency and help public participation in the democratic system.


1.2 Potential of National Information Infrastructure


The NII has tremendous potential to improve and enhance our lives.

  • It can increase access to a greater amount and variety of information resources that can be delivered quickly and economically from anywhere in the world in the blink of an eye. For instance, hundreds of channels of “television” programming, thousands of musical recordings and literally millions of “magazines” and “books” can be made available to homes and businesses across the world.
  • The NII can provide access to rich cultural resources around the world, transforming and expanding the scope and reach of the arts and humanities. It will provide opportunities for the development of new markets for cultural products. It can broaden our cultural experiences through diversity of content, and increase our understanding of other societies.
  • The NII can support our education systems by, linking students and educators in remote locations around the world.
  • It can also improve the nation’s health care systems by increasing public awareness of health issues, providing continuing education of health care professionals, and allowing patients to take a more active role in their own health care.
  • The NII will benefit authors and consumers by reducing the time between creation and dissemination. It can open additional markets for authors. If authors choose to enter those new markets, it will provide a wider variety and greater number of choices for consumers, which should increase competition and reduce prices.


Thus, the full potential of the NII will not be realized if the education and information products protected by intellectual property laws are not protected effectively when disseminated via the NII. Creators and other owners of intellectual property rights will not be willing to put their interests at risk, if appropriate systems are not in place to permit them to set and enforce the terms and conditions under which their works are made available in the NII environment.


1.3 Emergence of Information Infrastructures


During the last one decade a truly amazing transformation has taken place. In parallel with the increase in popular and media attention directed towards the Internet, the establishment of information infrastructures has been heavily promoted by political actors. The term “information infrastructure” (II) has been increasingly used to refer to integrated solutions based on the ongoing fusion of information and communication technologies. The term became popular after the US National Information Infrastructures (NII) was launched. Following that, the term has been widely used to describe national and global communication networks like the Internet and more specialized solutions for communications within specific business sectors. The European Union has followed up, or rather copied, the ideas in their Bangemann report (Bangemann et al. 1994).


This integrated view on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a result of a long term trend integrating telecommunication and information technologies- leading to a convergence of these technologies.


This convergence may be described as two parallel, and in principle, independent processes:

  • Information Technologies “creeping into” telecommunication technologies and
  • Telecommunication Technologies “creeping into” information systems.


Information Technology (IT) has crept into telecommunication, first of all, through the “digitalization” of telecommunication, i.e. traditional telecommunication components like switches and telephones are changed to digital technologies rather than analog technologies. The latter process has evolved as information systems have been enhanced through use of telecommunication technologies. Remote users have been given access to systems independent of physical location and independent systems have been integrated through information exchange based on services like electronic data interchange (EDI).


In total, the convergence of ICT has opened up for a vast array of new uses of technologies. The “informatization” of telecommunication has opened up for lots of new enhanced telecommunication services, and similarly, the “telecommunicatization” of information systems has opened up for an equally large range of new information systems, supporting information sharing and integrating processes at a global level. The range of new solutions that seems useful and that may be developed and installed may be equally large as the number of traditional information systems developed.


Some examples of solutions of these kinds which may be available to us, not too far into the future are:

  • All goods might be bought through electronic commerce services. This implies that the order, inventory, invoicing and accounting systems of all companies in the world and all systems controlling customers’ bank accounts in the world will be integrated.
  • Global companies are integrating all their information systems globally at the same time as production control and logistics systems are integrated with all their supplies and customers,
  • Individuals can access all the information services from their mobile phone: the information systems they are authorized users of, and the Internet of course – implies that they can get access to all newspapers as well as TV channels.


The infrastructures mentioned so far can be seen as mostly been shared by the “global community.” However, information infrastructures have also been developed along a different, a third path. Inside individual corporations, the number of information systems has continuously been growing. At the same time existing systems have become increasingly integrated with each other. Most companies do not have just a collection of independent systems. The integration of and interdependence between the systems implies that they should rather be seen as an infrastructure -independent of their geographical distribution and the use of telecommunication.


1.4 Characteristics of National Information Infrastructure


Not everyone would recognize a NII at first glance. In general, most envisage it as offering two-way operation, broadband capacity (in technical terms – 2 Mbits/s or more) and near-universal provision across the nation.


Two-way broadband links had to be optical fibre and therefore achieving the NII was a conceptually simple (if expensive) matter of connecting fibre to every home. The capacity of the traditional ‘copper pair’ telephone connection is being radically increased, the abilities of coaxial cable TV connections to support interactivity is changing rapidly, mobile communications are expanding at the same time as the requirements for many ‘broadband’ services are shrinking through digital compression etc. There is thus a strong argument that a fully functional NII can be achieved with relatively modest enhancements to existing infrastructures, or even that the NII already exists because current networks can provide any informational service for which there is a known demand. Reaching a consensus on the necessary performance characteristics of the NII is vital. The investment costs envisaged for a truly high-performance NII are huge, and there will be severe penalties if investment in the NII is wrongly judged.


1.5 National information policy, information infrastructure and libraries


The structure of Knowledge-Based Economy (KBE) looks like:

  • Education systems that ensure that citizens are equipped to acquire, use, and share knowledge
  • Innovation systems that bring together researchers and businesses in commercial applications of science and technology
  • An information society infrastructure that gives all people access to affordable and effective information and communications
  • An economic and institutional framework that ensures a stable macroeconomic environment, competition, flexible labor markets, adequate social protection


Information dissemination and accessibility is an underlying factor for sustainable economic, political, communal, and social development. Information policy affects all of us because without information, we cannot function individually and definitely not as a society. The aim of the information society is to gain competitive advantage through using IT in a creative and productive way internationally. The information society produces enormous amount of information, information technologies enable to collect, store, archive information and access it at anytime and anywhere in modern ways. The information policy is determined as the set of rules, regulation and standards that controls the access to information for society. A concept is difficult to understand when it is constantly growing and evolving due to the information it covers and as we know information is always changing. Still, the national information policy is a key issue of culture, knowledge and information institutions.


Libraries are information institutions play a key role as information pipeline. It is important to carefully uphold the standards and policies which support its mission.

  • The general mission for libraries in this dynamic, challenging and globally-networked environment is advancing the world’s knowledge.
  • The online landscape will increasingly resemble the “semantic web” – in which computers become capable of extracting, classifying, categorizing, and analyzing data to create context and new uses for content.
  • Library users will increasingly demand searches that identify sources of quality information and gives new context to content.


The main aims contributing to information infrastructure development shall focus on:

  • Creation of a new understanding of libraries as important actors in the knowledge and information policy
  • Fulfilling the library mission through the guidance of information policy (etc. “Electronic information policy for library users”)
  • Development of analytical tools to assess the efficiency and impacts of library activities
  • Establishment of communication mechanism among libraries and their stakeholders, partners and communities
  • Continual involvement into the process of preparation and improvement of national regulations and guidelines with reference to practices of European and international information policy
  • Observation of trends in information processes, including IT issue, worldwide
  • Application of consolidated solutions of information infrastructure into library activities


The inclusion of given aims into the library policy framework significantly shall increase visibility of libraries in the information policy arena nationally and internationally. In digital, 21st century where the flow of information is instantaneous and without boundaries, library vision shall be strengthened by leading debates and advocacy to national and international information community in strategy and policy and informational standards.


In the future libraries will:

  • Guarantee access for future generations;
  • Enable access to everyone who wants to do research;
  • Support research communities in key areas of social and economic benefit;
  • Enrich the cultural life of the nations;
  • Lead and collaborate in growing the world’s knowledge base
  • Continue to serve as an interactive research space need to continue to demonstrate their value consolidation of print collections, cloud repositories of content, automated preservation and infrastructure will be more common.
  • Be interoperable.


2. National ICT Policy 2012


This has recently approved the National Policy on Information Technology 2012. The policy aims to leverage Information & Communication Technology (ICT) to address the country’s economic and developmental challenges. The policy is rooted in the conviction that ICT has the power to transform the lives of people.


ICT and electronics are contributing significantly to the Indian economy, society and governance. IT is a key driver of the knowledge based global economy. The right policies and investment in infrastructure can strengthen and enhance India’s position as a global IT power-house. Use of IT can transform our economy, enhance equity and lead to improvement in development indices. The policy envisages the growth of the IT market to USD 300 billion and creation of additional 10 million employments by 2020.


The thrust areas of the policy include:

  • To increase revenues of IT and ITES (Information Technology Enabled Services) Industry from 100 Billion USD currently to 300 Billion USD by 2020 and expand exports from 69 Billion USD currently to 200 Billion USD by 2020.
  • To gain significant global market-share in emerging technologies and Services.
  • To promote innovation and R&D in cutting edge technologies and development of applications and solutions in areas like localization, location based services, mobile value added services, Cloud Computing, Social Media and Utility models.
  • To encourage adoption of ICTs in key economic and strategic sectors to improve their competitiveness and productivity.
  • To provide fiscal benefits to SMEs and Startups for adoption of IT in value creation
  • To create a pool of 10 million additional skilled manpower in ICT.
  • To make at least one individual in every household e-literate.
  • To provide for the mandatory delivery of and affordable access to all public services in electronic mode.
  • To enhance transparency, accountability, efficiency, reliability and decentralization in Government and in particular, in the delivery of public services.
  • To leverage ICT for key Social Sector initiatives like Education, Health, Rural Development and Financial Services to promote equity and quality.
  • To make India the global hub for development of language technologies, to encourage and facilitate development of content accessible in all Indian languages and thereby help bridge the digital divide.
  • To enable access of content and ICT applications by differently-abled people to foster inclusive development.
  • To leverage ICT for expanding the workforce and enabling life-long learning.
  • To strengthen the Regulatory and Security Framework for ensuring a Secure and legally compliant Cyberspace ecosystem.
  • To adopt open standards and promote open source and open technologies


The policy attempts to optimally leverage India’s global edge in ICT to advance national competitiveness in other sectors, particularly those of strategic and economic importance. The policy will promote an inclusive and equitable society. The Policy is oriented towards use of ICT to consciously promote decentralization and empowerment of citizens.


The Government of India has recognized the fundamental importance of ICT in any policy for stimulation of national development, in particular, modernization and globalization of the economy, and creating the conditions for the fullest participation by all sections of the population. In this context, the Government has initiated the process of developing a comprehensive National ICT Policy (NICTP).


The NICTP set out in this document serves to guide ICT development, accessibility and its utilization on a national scale to meet the challenges of the information age and will lay the foundation for the development of a comprehensive National ICT Strategic Plan. The NICTP is based on five guiding principles: ICT Infrastructure, Legal and Regulatory Framework, Human Resource Development, ICT Industry and Government which are stated as under.


2.1 Objectives


The broad objectives of the National ICT Policy include five focus areas, namely:


Policy Instruments




• Promote and encourage the existence of a countrywide reliable and efficient ICT infrastructure which shall have

Infrastructure  sufficient capacity and network speeds, provide improved connectivity, be cost-effective and adaptive to the needs of the country.

  • Encourage the private sector to continue their role as an integral part of the development of ICT infrastructure.
  • Promote competitive markets for ICT service provision.
  • Promote effective utilization of all installed ICT infrastructure which shall be so harmonized to contribute to flexibility and redundancy on a national basis.
  • Encourage sharing and co-locating of infrastructure and facilities.
  • Promote widespread accessibility to ICT services.
  • Promote and encourage deployment and maintenance of networks that are interoperable on a national basis.
  • Promote and encourage deployment of infrastructure necessary to allow e-commerce and secure transactions to take place.
  • Introduce initiatives through which ownership by the public of ICT equipment (e.g. computers) can be increased.
  • Encourage continued infrastructure upgrades and investments in new ICT technologies in order to maintain and improve the country’s strong position regionally in the domain of ICT deployment and usage.
  • Promote infrastructure upgrades and investments which improve international access and connectivity to global markets.


Legal and  Regulatory  Framework

  • Review the existing legislations, taking cognizance of international best  practices,  and  foster  a  clear and supportive legal framework that promotes and supports the long term development of the ICT sector.
  • Promote confidence for engagement with the information society through enactment of legislations addressing issues including, inter alia, computer and computer related crime, consumer protection, intellectual property rights, dispute resolution and security.
  • Establish a comprehensive legal framework for e-business and innovation.
  • Develop appropriate regulations that would ensure fair and equitable competition amongst service providers and promote rapid growth of new services and applications.
  • Promote appropriate training for the legal community on regulatory issues, including law enforcement agencies.
  • (vi) Monitor trends in ICT legislation internationally and adopt legislations that will establish a framework for creation of an Information Society and Economy (IS&E).


Human Resource Development

  • Promote and support the development of qualified personnel in ICT in a sustainable manner to meet the market needs.
  • Develop the teaching of ICT at all levels of the formal education system.
  • Promote the use of ICT in the informal education sector.
  • Encourage activities relating to lifelong learning through the use of ICT.
  • Encourage the use of ICT by all educational, scientific and research institutions, libraries, archives, museums, and community centers.Encourage the use of ICT for the delivery of distance education.
  • Encourage and support the training sector to adhere/adopt to internationally acceptable standards of examination and certification of ICT training programmes.
  • Promote the development of national certification and accreditation systems in the ICT sector.
  • Establish appropriate schemes of service for different cadres of ICT personnel in the Government.
  • Create an enabling environment for public and private sector participation in promoting ICT awareness programmes.
  • Encourage gender mainstreaming – in ICT programmes and development.
  • Promote and support the development of appropriately qualified ICT personnel, who will meet the needs of the public and private sector.
  • Develop programs to attract and retain skilled ICT professionals in the economy.
  • Ensure that opportunities exist which will enable all learners to acquire ICT skills and be able to use them confidently and creatively to access employment or further training.



  • Encourage innovations and experimentation in software, hardware and ICT systems development.
  • Encourage the growth of software development by increasing awareness among the public and private sector of the opportunities offered by different forms of software, including open-source, proprietary and free software.
  • Promote the professional recognition of technical professionals in the ICT sector.
  • Encourage Research and Development in the ICT sector.
  • Promote participation of local ICT organizations in international ICT events for acquaintance with the international market, trends and establishment of business contacts.
  • Promote joint ventures between local and foreign entrepreneurs in the ICT sector.
  • Create a culture of innovation, entrepreneurship and technological sophistication in order to support the extensive and innovative applications of ICT.
  • Promote ICT as a catalyst for business modernization, principally for the tourism, fisheries, offshore financial services industries, and to support small and medium enterprises.
  • Encourage the development of electronic content for safeguarding the nation’s environmental, historical, traditional and cultural heritage.
  • Promote the development of multimedia based local content to support locally based, products, services, companies and activities.
  • Support organizations that are actively involved in the development and application of ICT, especially in the areas of national significance.
  • Encourage and promote appropriate mechanisms that foster a dynamic climate for entrepreneurs to venture into ICT and related sectors or ICT-intensive economic activities.
  • Encourage deployment and usage of ICT hardware and software to support cost savings and increased productivity in service delivery, purchasing, communication, etc.



  • Adopt high-level ICT leadership at the national level.
  • Use ICT for enhanced efficiency and effectiveness of Government operations and service delivery.
  • Encourage public Internet access and the use of computers and other ICT equipment within Government.
  • Encourage easy, secure and efficient access to appropriate Government information systems and services.
  • Promote affordable access to computers and the Internet at the community level.
  • Develop methods and services which enhance the use of ICT in the promotion of the country internationally.
  • Encourage and support the use of ICT to predict, monitor and respond to disasters (natural and human-made) and in environmental management.
  • Enhance collaboration and co-ordination in ICT development at the local, regional and international level.


2.2 E-Governance Infrastructure


The network infrastructure (NICNET) utilizes multiple hybrid network technologies to provide connectivity to Central Government Ministries/Departments, 35States/UTs and 616 Districts of India. High speed Terrestrial Circuits have resulted in enhancement of Terrestrial bandwidth of State Capitals to 100 Mbps/1 Gbps and district connectivity to 34 Mbps/100 Mbps. More than 150 districts have been upgraded to 100 Mbps. Secondary link from different National Long Distance (NLD) Service for more number of key districts has been established. Secondary 100 Mbps links from Railtel/PGCIL are commissioned in 125 districts apart from existing primary link on BSNL. Some of the districts have additional STM1 channelized connectivity to include more number of users at district level. Under NICNET International Gateway project, new Internet Gateways have been set up at Chennai, Mumbai and Shastri Park Data Centre.


NIC continues to provide data services through 500 DVB technology VSATs at various NIC districts which are still using the VSAT as a backup medium for their terrestrial connectivity. NICNET is also providing data connectivity to the blocks of Arunachal Pradesh, Lakshadweep and Jammu and Kashmir for running their e-governance applications and transferring the state data. NIC is providing satellite bandwidth from NICNET pool to VSATs of various projects under state governments such as Community & Rural Development; Cooperative Core Banking Solution; Tax Department of Meghalaya; Treasury and Tax department of Uttarakhand etc.


3. Strategic Initiatives of the MCIT


The MCIT (Ministry of Communications and Information Technology) has taken steps to implement a comprehensive action plan to make India an IT superpower to accelerate the Internet revolution emphasizing the creation of useful contents in Indian languages. Development of IT enabled services, IT education, electronics and computer hardware manufacturing and exports, silicon facility, eCommerce and Internet based enterprises has become the thrust area of the Ministry. R&D in emerging technological area has remained a key activity of the Ministry and the promotional efforts in electronics and IT have helped enormously in the laying of solid foundation in the IT industry. The Ministry has set up several autonomous organizations, as given give in Annexure 1 to address the requirements of different sectors of IT in a focused manner. These organizations are playing a major role in the training and development of human power for electronics and computer industry. In addition, they help and guide the electronics industry by providing infrastructure, policy support, design, consultancy, training, testing, accreditation, market support, and are also actively involved in R&D activities in their specific areas. The Ministry supports and funds technology development through councils set up in various fields.


3.1 Technologies for Internet, e-Commerce and e-Governance


Netmaster, a software system for traffic monitoring and bandwidth management of the Internet access link has been developed. Anglabharti, a rule based machine translation system for translating documents from English to Hindi has been developed.


VOICE, a versatile online information system to address the needs of citizens, civic administration and Municipal Corporation has been successfully implemented. Another project, knowledge management system (KMAP) has been developed to help people in an organization to have access to context specific information to help them in the decision making process. Tourism Information system is under development in collaboration with Government of Andhra Pradesh. Products for e-commerce applications i.e Internet based credit card and e-cheque along with digital certification.


3.2 Communication, Broadcast & Telemetry


Digital mobile radio to provide secure and reliable mobile communications with full duplex voice or data with an option for encryption has been prototyped. A stereo console for broadcasting and hardware and software for news room automation has been developed. A system for use in subtitling of feature film telecast in regional languages has been designed and developed. A spread spectrum radio modem has been developed indigenously for various networking applications. UHF wireless data modems for high speed data communications have been designed and developed.


3.3 Software for Indian Languages


Rupanthar, software developed by NCST was used for transliterating documents in large numbers from English to Hindi and have been used by many organizations like universities for translating names from English to Hindi. E-mail in Devanagari and other languages have also been made available in public domain. Development efforts on machine aided translation from English to Indian languages have led to the development of Anglabharati, Matra and Mantra, the machine translation systems; Anusarak, the language accessor; Varthalap, a multilingual internet relay chat application, e-mail in regional languages with cross translation possibilities etc.


3.4 Agro – and Rural Applications


Various agro instruments like fertilizer testing kit, soil and grain moisture indication instruments, soil nutrient measuring instrument, rice polish measurement system and multichannel choke indicator to optimize seed spacing, using a tractor have been developed. These instruments are simple to operate and can be produced at nominal costs. Also IT tools for watershed development have been developed along with irrigation canal control automation. Solar pumps for rural use have been fabricated. Under Microprocessor Application programme, various infrastructural sectors like water treatment, irrigation and road were addressed.


4. National Knowledge Network


National Knowledge Network (NKN) project is aimed at establishing a strong and robust internal Indian network, which will be capable of providing secure and reliable connectivity. Using NKN, all vibrant institutions with vision and passion will be able to transcend space and time limitations in accessing information and knowledge and derive the associated benefits for themselves and for the society. Establishing NKN is a significant step towards ushering in a knowledge revolution in the country with connectivity to more than 1500 institutions. NKN is intended to connect all the knowledge and research institutions in the country using high bandwidth / low latency network.


Globally, frontier research and innovation are shifting towards a multidisciplinary and collaborative paradigm and require substantial communication and computational power. In India, NKN with its multi-gigabit capability aims to connect all universities, research institutions, libraries, laboratories, healthcare and agricultural institutions across the country to address such a paradigm shift. The leading mission oriented agencies in the fields of nuclear, space and defence research are also part of NKN. By facilitating the flow of information and knowledge, the network addresses the critical issue of access and creates a new paradigm of collaboration to enrich the research efforts in the country. The network design is based on a proactive approach that takes into account the future requirements and new possibilities that this infrastructure may unfold, both in terms of usage and perceived benefits. This will bring about a knowledge revolution that will be instrumental in transforming society and promoting inclusive growth.


4.1 Why National Knowledge Network was set up?


The idea of setting up the NKN was deliberated and finalized by Government of India (GoI) and the National Knowledge Commission (NKC) after a collaborative engagement with the key stakeholders including experts, potential users, telecom service providers, educational and research institutions. The discussions resulted in a consensus for an optimal approach to be adopted for setting up such a network, to provide a unified backbone for all the sectors.


The participating institutions at the edge would seamlessly connect to NKN at gigabit speed. The NKN shall be a critical information infrastructure for India to evolve as a knowledge society. NKN is a significant step which will enable scientists, researchers and students from across the country to work together for advancing human development in critical and emerging areas.


4.2 Architecture

  • Establishing a high-speed backbone connectivity which will enable knowledge and information sharing.
  • Enabling collaborative research, development and innovation.
  • Facilitating advanced distance education in specialized fields such as engineering, science, medicine etc.
  • Facilitating an ultra-high speed backbone for e-Governance.
  • Facilitating integration of different sectoral networks in the field of research, education, health, commerce and governance.


4.3 Connectivity


The backbone of the network starts from 2.5 Gbps and progressively moves onto 10 Gbps connectivity between 7 Supercore (fully meshed) locations pan India. The network is further spread out through 26 Core locations with multiple of 2.5/10 Gbps partially meshed connectivity with Supercore locations. The distribution layer connects the entire country to the core of the network using multiple links at speeds of 2.5/10 Gbps. The end users are being connected upto a speed of 1 Gbps. The network architecture and governance structure allow users with options to connect to the distribution layer as well. NKN enables creation of Virtual Private Networks (VPN) as well for special interest groups. NKN provides international connectivity to its users for global collaborative research.


4.4 Applications


Countrywide Virtual Classrooms


The NKN is a platform for delivering effective distance education where teachers and students can interact in real time. This is especially significant in a country like India, where access to education is limited by factors such as geography, lack of infrastructure facilities etc. The network enables co-sharing of information such as classroom lectures, presentations and handouts among different institutions.


Collaborative Research


The NKN enables collaboration among researchers from different entities like GLORIAD, TEIN3, GARUDA, CERN etc. NKN also enables sharing of scientific databases and remote access to advanced research facilities.


Virtual Library


The Virtual Library is involving sharing of journals, books and research papers across different institutions, is a natural application for NKN.


Sharing of Computing Services


High-performance computing is critical for national security, industrial productivity, and advances in science and engineering. The network enables a large number of institutions to access high-performance computing to conduct advanced research in areas such as weather monitoring, earthquake engineering and other computationally intensive fields.


Grid Computing


The NKN has the capability to handle high bandwidth with low latency and provision to overlay grid computing. Some of the grid based applications are climate change/global warming, science projects like Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and ITER. The NKN can be the platform to realize many such innovative applications. The Garuda Grid has enhanced its power and stability by migrating to NKN.


Network Test Bed


NKN provides test-bed for testing and validation of services before they are made available to the production network. NKN also provides an opportunity to test new hardware & software, vendor interoperability etc.




NKN acts as a super highway for integrating e-Governance infrastructure such as government data centres and networks. NKN provides bulk for e-Governance applications.


5. National Data Centres


The National Data Centre, provides shared hosting and co-location facilities to the Government Ministries/ Departments. The Centre has more than 240 racks with 1750TB of storage. Presently, more than 2000 websites/applications are operational from this centre. The Internet Data Centre (IDC) at Delhi is hosting more than 4000 web based applications / websites of the government in addition to providing co-location services. The storage capacity at this centre has been upgraded to approximately 1Petabyte including enterprise and midrange storage. The National Data Centre at Pune is hosting a number of mission critical applications. National Data Centre at Hyderabad acts as a Disaster Recovery site for IDC, Delhi, NICSI Data Centre and some NIC State Centres. It is also the Disaster Recovery site for NIC’s Messaging Services. The Standing Finance Committee has approved setting up National Data Centre at Bhubaneswar and construction of building has commenced. NIC has launched cloud based services from its Data Centres. Presently, these include Infrastructure as a Service and Platform as a Service. Some of the applications hosted on the cloud are Mobile Fertilizer Management System, National Population Register, Dial.Gov services, UPSC Online, Staff Selection Commission, Cooperative Core Banking Solution, eOffice, Public Distribution System, etc.


5.1 Cyber Security


NIC provides cyber security for network, servers, applications and client systems by introducing security appliances at the critical network segments of NICNET using network firewalls, Intrusion Prevention Systems, Application Firewalls, URL blocking etc. Solutions for Patch Management, Anti-virus, VPN/SSL are in place. Scanning of servers for vulnerabilities and hardening, source-code and black box scanning of applications are undertaken.


5.2 Certifying Authority (CA)


NICCA has facilitated usage of Digital Signature Certificates (DSCs) in Government and approximately 1,00,000 DSCs have been issued during the year. Prominent applications using DSCs are e- procurement/e-tendering application of NIC, MNREGA, MCA21, Bhoomi project, RSBY project, e -Office/e-File, IVFRT, eCourts, PMGSY, E-procurement/E-Tendering application of DGS&D, CPWD, Railways and Defense Estates Management Board, State Election Commissions, Pay & Accounts Offices and e-District project of Kerala State.


5.3 NIC Messaging Services


NIC provides messaging services to entire Central and State Government. A comprehensive web based Messaging Service has been extended to all the Ministries and Departments of the government, including the offices of the President and Prime Minister of India and Indian missions abroad. A Disaster Recovery site has been set up for this service at National Data Centre, Hyderabad. All the NIC messaging domains across India have been consolidated and provided addresses in the format of userid@nic.in or userid@gov.in. Today the service gives messaging cover to over 450 virtual domains.


5.4 NIC SMS Services


An SMS gateway has been setup to integrate the various applications hosted by NIC for sending alerts and updates. Since its launch in May 2010, over 230 applications have been integrated with the gateway. The SMS application is a Web- enabled Government to Business (G2B), Government to Citizen (G2C) and Government to Employee (G2E) interface. This was setup in NIC with the objective to build and operate SMS applications for the employees and affiliates. Projects with scattered field-force can access and update centralized information database, anytime and anywhere from mobile phones using SMS.


5.5 Video Conferencing Services


Multipoint video conferencing services are provided over NICNET from its 631 existing studios spread across India. These services are being extensively used by various Central and State Government departments at all levels. Information Commissioners (7149), Chief Ministers (30), Cabinet Secretary and Chief Secretaries (186), Election Commission(201), Planning Commission (34) and Judiciary(100) VC sessions were chaired. Around 31,872 multisite conferences with total of 2,83,900 site hours of VC sessions were conducted with an estimated savings of Rs. 1000 Crores to the exchequer of Government. Web based VC has been implemented over NICNET for Central and State Govt. Officials across the country. It is also being used by Educational Institutions and Banks, Insurance Companies under Dept. of Financial Services. A total of 66 Virtual Classrooms has been created over NKN/NICNET at 36 Educational Institutions across the country at IITs, NITs, IISERs, IISc. Bangalore etc.


6.     Select Major National Projects of India


6.1 eCourts


6.2 e-Hospital


A total of 11,810 courts have been computerized. During the current financial year, site preparation activity has been completed at 874 courts; Local Area Network has been established at 3,508 courts; Computer hardware has been installed at 3,958 courts and software has been deployed at 2,482 courts. Around 8,300 district and subordinate courts across India have started providing key services like Case Filing, Registration, Case Allocations, Cause Lists, Daily Case Proceedings, Case Registrations, etc.


e-Hospitale -Hospital@NIC has been implemented at 17 different hospitals across the country including All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi, Sports Injury Centre at Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi. Implementation of e-Hospital@NIC has started during this financial year in National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore and Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences (SVIMS), Tirupati. At AIIMS, modules being implemented are OPD Registration including Appointments; Cash & Billing; Inventory Management System; Casualty Patient Registration and In-Patient Registration; Ward Management Module; Lab and Radiology Services and Blood Bank Management. At RML Hospital, migration of e-Hospital@NIC from version 2.0 to 3.0 has been tested and is under implementation.


6.3 National eServices Dashboard (NeSD)


Govt. of India and State Govt. have been implementing large number of e-Governance projects. Various G2C, G2B and G2G services are being delivered by the Ministry/Departments or Government Organization. The requirements of consolidation of all the e-Service transaction counts being delivered at various levels and its view at central point was felt by Senior Management and decision makers of Govt. functionaries. National e-Services Dashboard (NeSD) is conceptualized keeping in view the above mentioned requirements. It is a graphics-rich dashboard and disseminates e -Transaction statistics of Central and State level e-Governance Projects including Mission Mode Projects (MMPs). It receives transaction statistics from web based applications periodically on near real time basis. NeSD presents quick analysis of transaction counts in graphical form (Bar Chart, Pie Chart, Bubble Chart, etc.) and as Tabular Statements to give quick view of transactions done by various e-Governance projects.


6.4 mFertilizers


Mobile based Fertilizer Monitoring System (mFMS) for Phase-I (Information visibility up to retailer level) of Direct Fertilizer Subsidy Transfer project has been made fully operational. The overall objective of project is to disburse subsidy directly to the beneficiaries and to ensure availability of fertilizers in time and in sufficient quantity to the farmers. Technology solution development for Phase-II to capture details of fertilizer sales to farmers and part subsidy payment to companies based on these sales; and for Phase-III for direct transfer of subsidy to beneficiaries, Aadhaar linked bank account based on this fertilizer purchases has been undertaken.


6.5 e-Districts


A number of G2C services are rendered electronically to the citizens at the district /block/sub block level. The list includes different types of certificates such as Income Certificate, Caste Certificate, and Residence Certificate, etc. along with other services such as Scholarship portals, permits, passes, licenses, to name a few. The eDistrict portal provides an analysis of these citizen centric services in various states including the services offered under eDistrict MMP. The services have been categorized into 34 core services for conducting the analysis. The analysis is based on the data compiled and sent by respective DIOs of NIC. It contains data collected from most of the states and union territories across different districts.


6.6 ePanchayat


Panchayat Enterprise Suite (PES) under ePanchayat Mission Mode project was implemented. Data porting activities for some of the existing applications have already been completed. As part of integration activity, PRIASoft and PlanPlus have been integrated with other PES applications, in particular Local Government Directory. Training is being undertaken across the country on all PES applications. So far, more than 3000 people have been trained on one or more PES applications.


6.7 Data Portal India


Data Portal India has been set up in compliance with the National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (NDSAP) at http://data.gov.in to provide single point access to all the datasets published by different government departments in open format. It also provides a strong search & discovery mechanism for instant access to desired datasets. Data Portal has a rich component of citizen engagement. Besides enabling citizens to express their need for specific datasets or apps, it also allows them to rate the quality of datasets, seek clarification or information from respective data controller. Data Portal has a backend system which can be used by government departments to publish their datasets through a predefined workflow. Data Portal also has a ‘Communities’ component which facilitates forming of communities around datasets, domain of interest such as agriculture, education, health, or it could be application developer’s community or even of data journalists.


6.8 ePost



Through ePost, customers can send their messages to any address in India with a combination of electronic transmission and physical delivery through a network of more than 1,55,000 Post Offices. ePost sends messages as a soft copy through internet and at the destination, it is delivered to the addressee in the form of hard copy. ePost costs just Rs. 10 per page of A4 size. New enhanced version of ePost was released with the additional features of multilingual support, PDF File upload, prepaid cash module, online registration with payment at Post office facility, reprinting of ePost message and eGreetings.


6.9 eSugar


Sugar is an essential commodity under Essential Commodities Act. Directorate of Sugar is being computerized, and the major activities under computerization have been (i) Collection of data online from sugar mills (ii) Collection of data online from State Governments and Food Corporation of India (iii) Collection of data online from State Cane Commissioners (iv) Levy Release Order Management System and (v) Non-levy Release Order Management System. The production, dispatches and stock data of every month are filled online by every sugar mill by 10th of every month. The Levy Release Order Management System calculates the levy obligation, generates schedule, generates levy allocation for sugar mills, generates levy pricing along with Release Order and intimation letters for the respective State Government.



7. National Information Institutions of India (NIII)


In India, over the years a large number of libraries and information institutions were set up to facilitate best of the services to the civil society. Some of the information institutions are stated as under:


•      National Library

•      National Social Science Documentation Center

•      NISCAIR (Including the National Science Library)

•      National Medical Library

•      Indian Agricultural Research Institute Library


•      NASSCOM

•      National Institute of Smart Government

•      DELNET

•      National Mission on Libraries

•      National Mission for Manuscripts

•      National Informatics Center

•      National Knowledge Commission


7.1 National Library


Historical Background


Calcutta Public Library (CPL)


Calcutta Public Library was established in 1836. It was not a Government institution. It ran on a proprietary basis. Any subscriber paying Rs 300 at one time or in three installments was considered a proprietor. Poor students and others were allowed to use the library free of charge for a specified period of time. Dwarkanath Tagore was the first proprietor of Calcutta Public Library. Both Indian and foreign books, especially from Britain, were purchased for the library. In the report of 1850 we find that the library has started collecting books in Gujarati, Marathi, Pali, Simhalese and Punjabi. Donations were regularly received from individuals and from the Government of Bengal and North Western Provinces.


The Imperial Library


The Imperial Library was founded in 1891 but the use of the library was restricted to the superior officers of the Government.


Amalgamation of CPL and Imperial Library


Lord Curzon, Governor General of India in the early years of the twentieth century, is usually credited with the idea of opening a library in Kolkata for public use. He found that the Imperial Library and Calcutta Public Library were not being used as expected because of limited access and lack of amenities. He decided to merge the collection of Calcutta Public Library with that of the Imperial Library, subject to certain terms. The new library, called Imperial Library, was formally opened to the public on 30 January 1903 at Metcalf Hall, Kolkata. The aims and objectives of the Imperial Library were well defined in a Notification in the Gazette of India: ‘It is intended that it should be a library of reference, a working place for students and a repository of material for the future historians of India, in which, so far as possible, every work written about India, at any time, can be seen and read.’


From the Imperial Library to the National Library


After Independence the Government of India changed the name of the Imperial Library to the National Library, with the enactment of the Imperial Library (Change of Name) Act, 1948, and the collection was shifted from the Esplanade to the present Belvedere Estate. On 1 February 1953, the National Library was opened to the public, inaugurated by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.


Aims of the National Library

  • Acquisition and conservation of all significant national production of printed material, excluding ephemera.
  • Collection of printed material concerning the country, no matter where it is published, and as a corollary, the acquisition of photographic records of such material that is not available with in the country
  • Acquisition and conservation of foreign material required by the country.
  • Rendering of bibliographical and documents services of current and retrospective material, both general and specialised.
  • Acting as a referral centre purveying full and accurate knowledge.


Indian Languages Collection


The National Library receives books and periodicals in almost all Indian languages. These are received under the Delivery of Books and Newspapers (Public Libraries) Act 1954 (D.B. Act). Language divisions acquire, process and provide reading materials in all major Indian languages. Hindi, Kashmiri, Punjabi, Sindhi, Telugu and Urdu language divisions maintain their own stacks. Other language books are stacked in the Stack division. Language divisions are also responsible for answering reference queries.




1.     Reading Membership

2.     Lending Services

a.  Local Membership

b.  Outstation Membership

3.     Inter Library Loan

4.     Bibliographic Services

5.     Reprographic Services

6.     Services for Children

7.     Training and Guidance


The National Library has now acquired databases such as Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford Bibliographies On-line and ProQuest Dissertations (Full Texts). The Web-OPAC now has around 8,50,000 records, including books in foreign languages, bound journals, and maps. We have plans of digitizing select rare and brittle documents starting in the second quarter of the financial year. The last semester saw a number of important events, including major exhibitions and conferences. Tagoreana in the National Library, which put on public view rare manuscripts and books of Rabindranath Tagore on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of the poet.


7.2 National Social Science Documentation Center

Source: http://www.icssr.org/doc_main.htm


National Social Science Documentation Centre (NASSDOC), was established in 1969 as a Division of the ICSSR with the objective to provide library and information support services to researchers in social sciences; those working in academic institutions, autonomous research organisations, policy making, planning and research units of government departments, business and industry etc. NASSDOC also provides guidance to libraries of ICSSR Regional Centres and ICSSR supported Research Institutes. It has a rich collection of reference sources, bibliographies, 5,200 doctoral theses, 3,100 research project reports (funded by the ICSSR) and 12,500 books and documents. This includes books on social science research methodology and also subjects like economics, political science, sociology, psychology, computer and information technology etc. It also has working papers, seminar papers etc. The library also keeps priced and non-priced publications of ICSSR including those, for which, the Council has provided publication grants. The collection is further augmented by about 450 current Indian/ foreign periodicals, including ICSSR journals and other abstracting and indexing journals in social sciences. The library has over 11,000 bound volumes of periodicals, census reports and other government publications. Some of the research project reports and theses are also available on microfilm and microfiche.


Documentation Library and Reference Services Services


•      Library and Reference Service

•      Bibliography on demand

•      Online Databases/CDs

•      Literature Search from Electronic Resources

•      Acquisition of Phd theses/ Grey literature

•      Document Delivery / Inter-Library Loan Service




•      Annotated Index to Indian Social Science Journals

•      Directory of Social Science Research and Training Institutes in India, 2005

•      Directory of Social Scientists in India, 2006

•      Holding List of Periodicals, 2007

•      ICSSR Research Project Reports, 2000-2005 (Abstracts)

•      INSPEL (Indian Social Science Periodical Literature) up to 1970 (Retrospective Index)

•      Union List of Current Social Science & Humanities Periodicals: Delhi Libraries, 2004-05.

•      Digitized PhD theses


Current Awareness Service is being provided by bringing out different publications on regular basis:


•      New Arrivals

•      Bibliographic Reprints

•      Conference Alert

•      Doctoral Dissertation Abstracts


Web-hosting of ICSSR Journals


•      ICSSR Journal of Abstracts and Reviews: Economics

•      ICSSR Journal of Abstracts and Reviews: Geography

•      ICSSR Journal of Abstracts and Reviews: Political Science

•      ICSSR Journal of Abstracts and Reviews: Sociology and Social Anthropology

•      Indian Psychological Abstracts and Reviews


Consortium of E-resources: ICSSR has established ICSSR Consortium of e-resources. Provides access to JSTORE to ICSSR Research Institutes


Bibliographical and Documentation Projects


National Social Science Documentation Centre (NASSDOC) has a programme of supporting projects which may include research proposals in the field of library and information sciences and compilation of research / reference tools for the social scientists. The project proposals should fall under one of the following categories:


•      Research in the fields like bibliometric analysis, information seeking behaviour, library users’ study etc.

•      Compilation of users’ guide, directory, literature survey with annotated bibliography , union catalogue etc. , meant for locating information on a specific subject / topic of interests.


Programmes Study Grant Scheme: Financial assistance to PhD Scholars for consulting libraries and archives anywhere in India.


Grants-in-Aid to Bibliographical and Documentation Projects: Financial assistance for research in Library and Information Science and compilation of research/reference tools for social scientists.


Continuing Education Programme: Short-term training workshops / seminars / interactive sessions / lectures for the social science community & Library and Information Science Professionals to upgrade their knowledge. Provides also grant to organize workshops/seminars/lectures etc.


Apprenticeship and Internship: Practical training for library and information Science students.




























National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR) came into existence on 30 September 2002 with the merger of National Institute of Science Communication (NISCOM) and Indian National Scientific Documentation Centre (INSDOC). Both NISCOM and INSDOC, the two premier institutes of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), were devoted to dissemination and documentation of S&T information.


Mandate of NISCAIR

  • To provide formal linkages of communication among the scientific community in the form of research journals in different areas of S&T.
  • To disseminate S&T information to general public, particularly school students, to inculcate interest in science among them.
  • To collect, collate and disseminate information on plant, animal and mineral wealth of the country.
  • To harness information technology applications in information management with particular reference to science communication and modernizing libraries.
  • To act as a facilitator in furthering the economic, social, industrial, scientific and commercial development by providing timely access to relevant and accurate information.
  • To develop human resources in science communication, library, documentation and information science and S&T information management systems and services.
  • To collaborate with international institutions and organizations having objectives and goals similar to those of NISCAIR.
  • Any other activity in consonance with the mission statement of NISCAIR.


Major Achievements


1. Implementation of Online Access of NISCAIR’s Primary Journals

A solution called “NISCAIR ONLINE PERIODICALS REPOSITORY (NOPR)” has been implemented based on the open source digital repository system software. This has enabled NISCAIR to host online its research journals. All the 17 research journals have been added under Open Access mode for accessing full text [http://nopr.niscair.res.in]. The repository has about 6400 articles. Research communities including students not only in India but all over the world are being benefited by open access of NISCAIR journals. This will also help in enhancing the accessibility, visibility and subscription base of NISCAIR journals at National and International level.


2.     National Knowledge Resource Consortium (formerly CSIR e-Journals Consortium)


NISCAIR is the nodal organization for developing a “Consortium for CSIR Laboratories for Accessing e-journals”. The activity ranges from creation to monitoring of the access facility of scientific periodicals published by leading international institutions. Under this scheme, CSIR scientists are able to access these journals and download material for their use. Such access to worldwide journal resources will play a very vital role and strengthen research and development in CSIR laboratories, thus leading to knowledge generation useful for socio-economic development of the country. The objectives are:


•      to strengthen the pooling, sharing and electronically accessing the CSIR library resources.

•      to provide access to world S&T literature to CSIR labs.

•      to nucleate the culture of electronic access resulting into evolution of digital libraries.


Resources subscribed include publishers like M/s Blackwell, M/s John Wiley, M/s Springer, M/s AIP, M/s ASCE & others, Journals/Conference Proceedings, Patents, Standards, and Databases like Web of Science, JCCC, & SCI-Finder.


3. TKDL project


The proposal submitted by India based on the TKDL project on the International Patent Classification (IPC)-Traditional Knowledge Resource Classification (TKRC) concordance list prepared. The list provides the searchers, who are carrying out research in the field of traditional medicine documentation published in India, by indicating how an IPC symbol relating to a specific subject matter corresponds to a TKRC symbol concerned with the same or similar subject matter.


Activities and Services


National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR) is devoted to science communication, dissemination and S&T information management systems and services using modern IT infrastructure. Broadly the core activity of NISCAIR is to collect/store, publish and disseminate S&T information through a mix of traditional and modern means, which benefits different segments of society.


The institute offers wide range of information services ranging from literature search to production and printing of S&T publications.


The institute has strong Human Resource Development Programme for training personnel in library & information science, documentation, science communication and herbarium techniques.


NISCAIR also undertakes projects on turnkey basis for other organizations. The projects cover design and development of databases, automation and modernization of libraries, editing and production of various publications like journals, books, conference proceedings, annual reports, etc.





INFLIBNET, known as Information and Library Network a computer communication network for linking libraries and information centres in universities, deemed to be universities, colleges, UGC information centres, institutions of national importance and R & D institutions, etc. avoiding duplication of efforts. To promote and establish communication facilities to improve capability in information transfer and access that provide support to scholarship, learning, research and academic pursuit through cooperation and involvement of agencies concerned. Some of the other objectives of this organization are stated as under:

  • to promote and implement computerization of operations and services in the libraries and information centres of the country, following a uniform standard;
  • to evolve standards and uniform guidelines in techniques, methods, procedures, computer hardware and software, services and promote their adoption in actual practice by all libraries, in order to facilitate pooling, sharing and exchange of information towards optimal use of resources and facilities;
  • to evolve a national network interconnecting various libraries and information centres in the country and to improve capability in information handling and service;
  • to provide reliable access to document collection of libraries by creating on-line union catalogue of serials, theses/ dissertations, books, monographs and non-book materials (manuscripts, audio-visuals, computer data, multimedia, etc.) in various libraries in India:
  • to provide access to bibliographic information sources with citations, abstracts, etc. through indigenously created databases of the Sectoral Information Centres of NISSAT, UGC Information Centres, City Networks and such others and by establishing gateways for on-line accessing of national and international databases held by national and international information networks and centres respectively;
  • to develop new methods and techniques for archival of valuable information available as manuscripts and information documents in difference Indian languages, in the form of digital images using high density storage media;
  • to optimize information resource utilization through shared cataloguing, inter-library loan service, catalogue production, collection development and thus avoiding duplication in acquisition to the extent possible;
  • to enable the users dispersed all over the country, irrespective of location and distance, to have access to information regarding serials, theses/dissertation, books, monographic and non-book materials by locating the sources wherefrom available and to obtain it through the facilities of INFLIBNET and union catalogue of documents;
  • to create databases of projects, institutions, specialists, etc. for providing on-line information service;
  • to encourage co-operation among libraries, documentation centres and information centres in the country, so that the resources can be poled for the benefit of helping the weaker resource centres by stronger ones; and
  • to train and develop human resources in the field of computerized library operations and networking to establish, manage and sustain INFLIBNET.


Major Activities


The technology being a driving force in the contemporary education system, the UGC has taken-up a major initiative for the benefit of academic community in universities under its purview. The initiative called “UGC-Infonet Digital Library Consortium” provides access to selected scholarly electronic journals and databases in different disciplines. The Centre is responsible for execution and monitoring this initiative. The Centre also extends access to e-resources to all Govt. / Govt-aided colleges under a project entitled “National Library and Information Infrastructure for Scholarly Content (N-LIST)” funded by the MHRD under its National Mission on Education through ICT.


The Centre, on behalf of the UGC, has taken-up a number of new initiatives for the benefit of the academic community. These initiatives include i) Shodhganga: a reservoir of Indian Theses and Dissertations; ii) Shodhgangotri: a repository of approved synopsis submitted to the universities for registration under Ph.D. programme; iii) OJAS@INFLIBNET: An open access journal publishing platform; iv)   Shibboleth-based access management system; v) Open source software R & D; vi)  InfoPort: A comprehensive gateway to all Indian electronic scholarly content; vii) e-PG Pathshala: e-Content for PG Courses; and viii) Measuring Research Output of Indian Universities.




The National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) is the industry association for the IT-BPM sector in India. A not-for-profit organisation funded by the industry, its objective is to build a growth-led, sustainable, technology and business services segment in the country. NASSCOM’s membership has grown over the years and currently stands at over 1,500. The member organisations represent 95 per cent of industry revenues and have enabled the association to spearhead initiatives and programmes to strengthen the sector in the country and globally. The IT-ITeS Sector Skills Council (SSC) formed in partnership with the National Skill Development Council (NSDC) is an integral part of NASSCOM and is committed to developing the workforce for the IT and IT-enabled products and services industry sectors. NASSCOM has also contributed to the development of two organisations—the Data Security Council of India, which is focused on security and the NASSCOM Foundation, which helps drive Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

  1. NASSCOM’s vision is to help the IT and IT-enabled products and services industries in India to be trustworthy, respected, innovative, and society-friendly.
  2. NASSCOM’s mission is to expand the IT-BPM industry’s footprint in its core markets and beyond, and enable it to build strategic partnerships with its customers. It seeks to establish India as a hub for innovation and professional services.
  • NASSCOM collaborates with the Government of India at the centre and states to build a policy framework that is conducive to the growth of the IT-BPM industry in the country.
  • NASSCOM works closely with its member organisations, encouraging them to share best practices and experiences, and mentor smaller organisations that are still on the learning curve.
  • NASSCOM conducts industry research, surveys and studies on emerging IT-BPM trends and sector performance to provide factual perspectives on the industry and the growth opportunities ahead.
  • NASSCOM is engaging with a broad spectrum of academia, industry and governments to devise policies, curriculum and assessments that achieve this objective. In order to enhance the employability of the talent pool in the country the NASSCOM IT-ITeS Sector Skills Council has launched the following programmes:
  • NASSCOM Assessment of Competence (NAC): An assessment and certification framework that ensures a steady supply of quality professionals to meet the present and future requirements of the IT-BPM industry
  • Global Business Foundation Skills (GBFS): Program to help increase the industry readiness of students who intend to have a career with the BPM industry
  • Foundation Skills in Information Technology (FSIT): Program to help increase the industry readiness of students who intend to have a career with the IT industry
  • NOS (National Occupational Standards) across verticals in the IT-BPM industry: Performance standards that individuals must achieve when carrying out functions in the workplace, together with specifications of the underpinning knowledge and understanding


The 10,000 Start-ups Programme is aimed at incubating, funding and supporting 10,000 technology start-ups in India over the next ten years. The programme’s vision is to foster entrepreneurship, build entrepreneurial capabilities at scale and strengthen early stage support for tech start-ups by bringing together key stakeholders of the eco-system including start-up incubators/accelerators, angel investors, venture capitalists, startup support groups, mentors and technology corporations.


7.6 National Institute of Smart Government


NISG is a not-for-profit company setup in a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) in 2002 under the recommendations of The National Taskforce on Information Technology and Software Development, with 51% equity contributed by the private sector and 49% by the public sector. NASSCOM, Government of India and Government of Andhra Pradesh are the main promoters with ILFS, Government of Chhattisgarh, Government of Meghalaya and Vizag Municipal Corporation being the other stakeholders.


The main idea behind setting up of NISG was the revolution in Information and Communication Technologies which necessitates the government to keep up with the changing environment and revolutionized the way the Government interacts with citizens and business entities. In order to transform Government departments and agencies from department-centric mode of working to a citizen-centric way, the National e-Governance Programme (NeGP) was conceived with the vision of “Making all Government services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets and ensure efficiency, transparency & reliability of such services at affordable costs to realize the basic needs of the common man.” Therefore, NISG was envisaged as an advisory and consulting body which offers the orientation and efficiency of the private sector combined with the accountability of the public sector which would aid and guide the public sector in planning and implementing e-solutions to improve service delivery mechanisms and efficiency of the public departments.


Over the years, NISG has grown in stature and acquired the status of a reliable advisory and consulting body to the Central Government, State Governments and PSUs in their endeavor to adopt and implement ICT solutions to improve service delivery and efficiency of the departments.






DELNET, Developing Library Network was set up as a society in 1992. It was initially supported by the National Information System for Science and Technology (NISSAT), Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India. It was subsequently supported by the National Informatics Centre, Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India and the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.


DELNET has been established with the prime objective of promoting resource sharing among the libraries through the development of a network of libraries. It aims to collect, store, and disseminate information besides offering computerised services to users, to coordinate efforts for suitable collection development and also to reduce unnecessary duplication wherever possible.


DELNET has been actively engaged with the compilation of various Union Catalogues of the resources available in member-libraries. It has already created the Union Catalogue of Books, Union List of Current Periodicals, Union Catalogue of Periodicals, CD-ROM Database, Database of Indian Specialists, Database of Periodical Articles, Union List of Video Recordings, Urdu Manuscripts’ Database, Database of Theses and Dissertations, sample databases of language publications using GIST technology and several other databases. The data is being updated in these databases and is growing rapidly. All the DELNET databases have been resident on DELSIS, an in-house software developed on BASISPlus, an RDBMS, the product of Information Dimensions Inc. of USA which has been provided to DELNET courtesy National Informatics Centre, New Delhi.


DELNET provides an array of facilities. DELNET’S relentless efforts in resource sharing have proved extremely effective. It has contributed a lot towards the modernization of libraries in India.


The main objectives of DELNET are:

  • To promote sharing of resources among the libraries by developing a network of libraries, by collecting, storing and disseminating information and by offering computerised services to the users;
  • To undertake scientific research in the area of Information Science and Technology, create new systems in the field, apply the results of research and publish them;
  • To offer technical guidance to the member-libraries on collecting, storing, sharing and disseminating information;
  • To coordinate efforts for suitable collection development and reduce unnecessary duplication wherever possible;
  • To establish /facilitate the establishment of referral and /or research centres, and maintain a central online union catalogue of books, serials and non-book materials of all the participating libraries;
  • To facilitate and promote delivery of documents manually or mechanically;
  • To develop specialised bibliographic database of books, serials and non-book materials;
  • To develop databases of projects, specialists and institutions;
  • To possess and maintain electronic and mechanical equipment for speedy communication of information and delivery of electronic mail;
  • To coordinate with other regional, national and international networks and libraries for exchange of information and documents;


7.8 National Mission on Libraries


National Mission on Libraries has been set up by Ministry of Culture, Government of India, on May, 2012 in pursuance of National Knowledge Commission recommendations for sustained attention for development of Libraries and Information Science Sector.


National Mission on Libraries set up four working groups and after deliberating on the recommendations of the working groups formulated the scheme “National Mission on Libraries (NML) – upgradation of libraries providing service to the public”. The scheme consists of four components.


1.     Creation of National Virtual Library of India (NVLI)

2.     Setting up of NML Model Libraries

3.     Quantitative & Qualitative Survey of Libraries

4.     Capacity Building


The purpose of National Virtual Library of India is to facilitate a comprehensive database on digital resources on information about India and on information generated in India, in an open access environment.


The setting up on NML Model Libraries would develop 6 Libraries under Ministry of Culture, 35 State Central Libraries and 35 District Libraries with particular emphasis on economically backward districts, as model Libraries. In addition, 629 district libraries across the states would be provided network connectivity.


The Quantitative and Qualitative Survey of Libraries would be undertaken to prepare a baseline data of libraries in India through a survey of 5000 Libraries.


The Capacity Building would be undertaken to enhance the professional competence of library personnel.


7.9 National Mission for Manuscript



The National Mission for Manuscripts was established in February 2003, by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Government of India. A unique project in its programme and mandate, the Mission seeks to unearth and preserve the vast manuscript wealth of India. India possesses an estimate of five million manuscripts, probably the largest collection in the world. These cover a variety of themes, textures and aesthetics, scripts, languages, calligraphies, illuminations and illustrations. Together, they constitute the ‘memory’ of India’s history, heritage and thought. These manuscripts lie scattered across the country and beyond, in numerous institutions as well as private collections, often unattended and undocumented. The National Mission for Manuscripts aims to locate, document, preserve and render these accessible—to connect India’s past with its future, its memory with its aspirations.

  • Locate manuscripts through national level Survey and Post-Survey.
  • Document each and every manuscript and manuscript repository, for a National Electronic Database that currently contains information on one million manuscripts making this the largest database on Indian manuscripts in the world
  • Conserve manuscripts incorporating both modern and indigenous methods of conservation and training a new generation of manuscript conservators
  • Train the next generation of scholars in various aspects of Manuscript Studies like languages, scripts and critical editing and cataloguing of texts and conservation of manuscripts
  • Promote access to manuscripts by digitizing the rarest and most endangered manuscripts
  • Promote access to manuscripts through publication of critical editions of unpublished manuscripts and catalogues
  • Facilitate public’s engagement with manuscripts through lectures, seminars, publications and other outreach programmes


Challenges before the Mission

  • The manuscript wealth of India is estimated at around five million manuscripts and is perhaps the largest collection of in the world.
  • Manuscripts are found in a vast number of languages and scripts many of which can no longer be read.
  • Manuscripts are found in different kinds of repositories—ranging from museums, institutions of learning to private homes and houses of worship, big and small.
  • Manuscripts are often found to have been neglected for decades and in very poor physical state—insect ridden, fungus infected or brittle, fading and fragile.
  • And finally, and perhaps most critically, there is a major lack of connection between so-called ‘modern knowledge’ and the knowledge contained in manuscripts. Scholars who can study and use manuscripts are fast disappearing and a new generation of scholars is not able to rise to the challenge.


Often, the knowledge in manuscripts is not seen as relevant to our times. Now that there is world-wide interest in traditional systems of medicine such as Ayurveda and Unani, building science such Vaastu Shastra and in older canons of literature and philosophy, there is revival of the search for manuscripts.


7.10 National Informatics Center



National Informatics Centre (NIC) was established in 1976, and has since emerged as a “prime builder” of e-Government / e-Governance applications up to the grassroots level as well as a promoter of digital opportunities for sustainable development. NIC, through its ICT Network, “NICNET”, has institutional linkages with all the Ministries /Departments of the Central Government, 35 State Governments/ Union Territories, and about 625 District administrations of India. NIC has been instrumental in steering e-Government/e-Governance applications in government ministries/departments at the Centre, States, Districts and Blocks, facilitating improvement in government services, wider transparency, promoting decentralized planning and management, resulting in better efficiency and accountability to the people of India.


“Informatics-led-development” programme of the government has been spearheaded by NIC to derive competitive advantage by implementing ICT applications in social & public administration. The following major activities are being undertaken:


•      Setting up of ICT Infrastructure

•      Implementation of National and State Level e-Governance Projects

•      Products and Services

•      Consultancy to the government departments

•      Research and Development

•      Capacity Building


During the last three decades, NIC has implemented many “network centric” application software for programme implementation in various ministries and departments, using state-of-the-technology software tools. During 1980s and early part of 1990s, the policy thrust was on creating “Management Information System (MIS)” and “Decision Support System (DSS)” for development , planning and responsive administration in governments which led to the genesis of present day “e-Governance” / “e-Government”. “Bridging the Digital Divide”, “Social and Financial Inclusion through ICT” and “Reaching- the-Unreached” concepts were tried and made operational in the late nineties.


NIC has vast expertise and experience in the design, development and operationalization of various e -Government projects in the areas of Public Administration and Governance like Agriculture & Food, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Forestry & Environment, Industry, Health, Education, Budget and Treasury, Fiscal Resources, Transport, Water Resources, Court Management, Rural Development, Land Records and Property registration, Culture & Tourism, Import & Exports facilitation, Social Welfare Services, Micro-level Planning, etc.


NIC provides Nationwide Common ICT Infrastructure to support e-Governance services to the citizen, Products and Solutions designed to address e-Governance Initiatives, Major e-Governance Projects, State/UT Informatics Support and district level services rendered.


NIC has set up state-of-the-art ICT infrastructure consisting of National and state Data Centres to manage the information systems and websites of Central Ministries/Departments, Disaster Recovery Centres, Network Operations facility to manage heterogeneous networks spread across Bhawans, States and Districts, Certifying Authority, Video-Conferencing and capacity building across the country. National Knowledge Network (NKN) has been set up to connect institutions/organizations carrying out research and development, Higher Education and Governance with speed of the order of multi Gigabits per second. Further, State Government secretariats are connected to the Central Government by very high speed links on Optical Fiber Cable (OFC). Districts are connected to respective State capitals through leased lines.


Various initiatives like Government eProcurement System(GePNIC), Office Management Software (eOffice), Hospital Management System (eHospital), Government Financial Accounting Information System (eLekha), etc. have been taken up which are replicable in various Government organizations. As NIC is supporting a majority of the mission mode e-Governance projects, the chapter on National e-Governance Projects lists the of details of these projects namely National Land Records Modernization Programme (NLRMP), Transport and National Registry, Treasury Computerisation, VAT, MG-NREGA, India-Portal, e-Courts, Postal Life Insurance, etc. NIC also lays framework and designs systems for online monitoring of almost all central government schemes like Integrated Watershed Management (IWMP), IAY, SGSY, NSAP, BRGF, Schedule Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act etc.


7.11 National Knowledge Commission

The National Knowledge Commission is a high-level advisory body to the Prime Minister of India, with the objective of transforming India into a knowledge society. In its endeavour to transform the knowledge landscape of the country, the National Knowledge Commission has submitted around 300 recommendations on 27 focus areas during its three and a half year term. While the term of the NKC has come to an end, the implementation of NKC’s recommendations is currently underway at the Central and State levels.


The ability of a nation to use and create knowledge capital determines its capacity to empower and enable its citizens by increasing human capabilities. In the next few decades, India will have the largest set of young people in the world. Following a knowledge-oriented paradigm of development would enable India to leverage this demographic advantage. In the words of our Prime Minister, “The time has come to create a second wave of institution building and of excellence in the field of education, research and capability building so that we are better prepared for the 21st century.”


With this broad task in mind, the National Knowledge Commission (NKC) was constituted on 13th June 2005 with a time- frame of three years, from 2nd October 2005 to 2nd October 2008. As a high-level advisory body to the Prime Minister of India, the National Knowledge Commission has been given a mandate to guide policy and direct reforms, focusing on certain key areas such as education, science and technology, agriculture, industry, e-governance etc. Easy access to knowledge, creation and preservation of knowledge systems, dissemination of knowledge and better knowledge services are core concerns of the commission.




The overarching aim of the National Knowledge Commission is to enable the development of a vibrant knowledge based society. This entails both a radical improvement in existing systems of knowledge, and creating avenues for generating new forms of knowledge. Greater participation and more equitable access to knowledge across all sections of society are of vital importance in achieving these goals. In view of the above, the NKC seeks to develop appropriate institutional frameworks to:

  • Strengthen the education system, promote domestic research and innovation, and facilitate knowledge application in sectors like health, agriculture, and industry.
  • Leverage information and communication technologies to enhance governance and improve connectivity.
  • devise mechanisms for exchange and interaction between knowledge systems in the global arena.
you can view video on National Information Infrastructure

8.     References

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