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Home > iSGTW 7 January 2009 > iSGTW Feature - India gets its "passport"

India gets its “passport” to the grid


GARUDA had linked 45 institutions in 17 cities via a high-speed network to promote science and computing in India. 
Image courtesy of GARUDA

On the 5th of November, 2008, the Indian Grid Certification Authority (IGCA) was granted accreditation by the Asia Pacific Grid Policy Management Authority, also known as APgridPMA.

Indian researchers can now request user and host certificates to the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), which is located in Bangalore, and get access to worldwide grids.(C-DAC spearheads the Indian National Grid Initiative and is a project partner of EU-IndiaGrid, which joins European and Indian grids.)

Grid Certificates provide a secure key that allows researcher to access the grid, much the same as a passport allows you to enter a country. They are fundamental to guarantee worldwide grid access.

For this reason, supporting the creation of an internationally recognised National Grid Certification Authority represented one of the main goals of the EU-IndiaGrid project.

Since the very beginning C-DAC, in its role as coordinator of the Indian National Grid Initiative, has been identified as the candidate for the Indian Grid Certification Authority. The procedures to obtain the recognition by the International Authority are, for understandable reasons, extremely long and complex and therefore a temporary solution was worked out.

Hyderabad is the capital city of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh and an emerging IT and biotechnology hub.
Image courtesy of charminar, sxc.hu

Thanks to the cooperation with the Academia Sinica in Taiwan, and the EGEE Regional Operation Center in Asia, the EU-IndiaGrid made a trusted certification authority available on a temporary basis right after the project start-up. This way access to worldwide grids for Indian researchers was immediately granted. However this clearly represented a temporary solution.

Today the establishment by C-DAC of the Indian Grid Certification Authority and its recognition by the APgridPMA represents a major achievement not only for C-DAC and the EU-IndiaGrid project but also for the sustainable development of e-Infrastructures in India and their international integration.

In our opinion, the establishment of the IGCA has come at the right time, just a few months after the approval of GARUDA project phase 2 (foundation phase) and when the National Knowledge Network plan  (NKN) has started its first steps. NKN is a recently approved plan for a multi-gigabit, low latency, e-Infrastructure and is a major step forward for Indian Research, as it represents the first step towards developing an ICT-based infrastructure capable of connecting major laboratories and research centres across India.

Alberto Masoni, EU-India

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