IT Taskforce
Taskforce Diary





On September 5, 1998, the Information Technology Task Force, Government of India concurred in pursuing the proposal of establishing High Speed National Data Network operating in the range of 2.5 to 10 GPS (OC 48 to OC 192) and to connect it to International University Network being established by CMU Pittsburgh USA. Proposal is code named "SANKHYA VAHINI".

The SANKHYA VAHINI Network will be a High Speed Data Network which will connect institutes, private and public corporations, organizations and individuals requiring high data rates for learning, training, research, and other multi-media activities. SANKHYA VAHINI will also provide a test bed for research in developing and proving multi-gigabit technologies that will soon become the norm throughout the world in the next decade.


IUNet Inc. was set up by Carnegie Mellon University ("CMU") a leading educational institution based in Pittsburgh, USA with a charger to design, develop and manage a high technology, high speed data network internationally to primarily promote educational services internationally. The program will also access educational content from other leading US and global scientific institutions.


This document is meant to serve as a Memorandum of Understanding between IUNet Inc. and Department of Telecommunications, Government of India relating to the following:

A joint venture called Sankhya Vahini, India Ltd. Is to be set up in India between IUNet Inc. (a leading technology provider in USA), and the Department of Telecommunications, Government of India along with some selected educational Institutes in India (the educational institutes presently identified being Indian Institutes of Technology, at Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and Indian Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad). The extent/amount of equity contribution in cash/kind by each participating organization will be worked out while developing the final proposal of the joint venture.

Sankhya Vahini, India Ltd. Will design a high speed national data network to support bandwidth in the range of 2.5 Gbps to 10 Gbps, capable of further upgrading, to stay at cutting edge of technology.

International connectivity for this high speed data network shall be on lease from VSNL, India or can be negotiated with bandwidth providing organizations subject to Government approvals for procurement as needed by Sankhya Vahini, India Ltd. to meet the data requirement depending upon the quantum and speed of information flow desired.


The above proposals will require laying of new bundles of advance fibres wherever not available; enhancing the capacity of existing fibres to larger bandwidths; multiplexing and aggregation to free requisite fibres exclusively for the Backbone.

Sankhya Vahini India Ltd. Will assist in setting up of a mechanism for educational institutions in India to create and make available the necessary educational and training content to the network.

The proposed network will exclusively provide for the flow of data only.


Implementation by DOT (India)

A team of 2/5 Members from DOT or from its Nominee Company shall be fielded within a period of 3 weeks from the date of singing of MOU, to work with IUNet Inc. designated team in Pittsburgh-USA, for preparing technical and business plants.

A Task Force will be set up by DOT, which shall also have at least one Member from participating educational institutions to oversee and examine technical/business plans for viability of the Project.

Professional expertise in the legal and financial fields will be engaged, if found necessary, for preparing the Project Document.

The project will establish financial viability of the proposed venture and time frame for breakeven cash flows. The project document will compare the technology of SANKHYA VAHINI with that of other similar technology programs in advanced countries to seek a leading position for India in high speed data networking.

Subject to technical and financial viability of the Project, DOT would make best efforts to secure Government approvals for investment in this Project.

After the grant of requisite approvals by the Government, DOT would initiate steps for setting up the Joint Venture Company in India in which participation of IUNet Inc. would be within the framework of existing policy directives as approved by the Government.


Implementation by IUNet Inc (USA)

IUNet Inc. will identify its own team members and duration for which they will exclusively work with the Government of India nominees for the above project. Their names will be communicated to the DOT within 2 weeks of signing of MOU.

During the course of approvals, IUNet will depute personnel to India as necessary.

IUNet Inc. will participate with representatives from DOT and other organizations in India in preparing technical and business plans.

IUNet Inc. will identify and communicate the names of Members of its Task Force who will interact and contact the Members of the Task Force in India, so as to define respective roles and oversee the implementation of preproject formalities.

Implementation General Clause

Till the Joint Venture Company (JVC) is formed, a Joint Management Committee (JMC) consisting of Members of the Task Force on both sides (2/5 representatives from each side) will be set up to oversee preparation of technical and business plans and take other steps and decisions necessary to further the Project’s approval and setting up of the JVC.

Till the JVC is formed, the expenses incurred on the work relating to the setting up of Sankhya Vahini, India Ltd., shall be borne by both the parties individually without any prejudice to the final outcome of this exercise.

It will be the joint endeavour of the representatives of IUNet Inc. and DOT on the JMC to proceed, and act in a time bound manner so as to ensure that the JVC is set up as early as possible. After the JVC is set up, all implementation and other decisions would be taken by the Board of Directors and Sankhya Vahini, India Ltd. (including the decisions on future direction of the JVC’s business) within the policy framework of the Government of India.



(Sd) Shri Anil Kumar (Sd) Prof. Raj Reddy

Secretary, Department of Telecommunications Chairman, IUNet Inc

Chairman, Telecom Commission Dean, School of Computer Science

Government of India Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh


In the presence of H.E. Shri Naresh Chandra
Ambassador of India to the USA, Washington DC
October 16, 1998.