Recognizing that national competitiveness depends on the availability and quality of national Information and Communication Technology networks that support higher education (HE) and research, many countries have developed such infrastructure for their publicly funded HE and research institutes. The National Knowledge Network (NKN), India set up in 2009-10, and the Joint Academic Network (JANET), UK set up in 1984 are examples. These national knowledge networks are embedded within the larger context of HE and research institutions and ICT infrastructure in the country. For an emerging economy like India, effectiveness of NKN is important as resource availability for investment in such a network has to compete with other developmental priorities.
A Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) was set up in 1993 with the objective of overseeing ICT in HE and research and managing JANET. In comparison to JANET, set up in 1984, NKN set up in 2009-10 is still at an early stage. However, it is an opportune time to review its effectiveness as it has a huge potential for all educational and research organizations in India. The evolution of JANET/JISC, not only in terms of the technical capability, but also its organizational form would be of importance to researchers and policy makers in India to formulate the implications for NKN.
Towards this end, in this study we develop a framework for analysing elements that have contributed JANET/JISC to support HE and research. These include rationale, objectives, organizational structure and processes, funding, pricing, outcomes and review mechanisms. We also aim to suggest possible learning from this for NKN. This would have implications for other countries planning similar infrastructure.
Publication Details : IIMA Working Paper No. 2015-03-29, March 2015