On January 2, 2018, India has excluded Pakistan from the list of SAARC member countries with which it will be connecting its state-of-the-art National Knowledge Network (NKN) for sharing scientific databases and remote access to advanced research facilities.
The Modi government has also kicked off the process of appointing a telecom company that will connect and extend the NKN to research and education networks in six members of SAARC including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Pakistan is the only SAARC nation that has been left out of this initiative.
NKN is a multi-gigabit pan-India network, which makes possible the development of India’s communications infrastructure, stimulates research and creates next-generation applications and services. This new initiative will enable collaboration among researchers from different educational networks such as TEIN4, GARUDA, CERN and Internet2. It also enables sharing of scientific databases and remote access to advanced research facilities.