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Initiatives of National Internet Exchange of India

  • 16 Apr 2021
  • 6 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has inaugurated three new initiatives/services of National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI).

  • IP Guru, NIXI Academy, NIXI-IP-INDEX have been launched to facilitate adoption of IPv6 and create an environment to ensure smooth transition from IPv4 to IPv6.

Key Points

  • About the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI):
    • NIXI is a not-for-profit organization (section 8 of the Companies Act 2013) working since 2003 for spreading the internet infrastructure to the citizens of India through the following activities:
      • Internet Exchanges through which the internet data is exchanged amongst Internet Service Providers (ISP’s), Data Centers and Content Delivery Network (CDNs).
      • .IN Registry, managing and operation of .IN country code domain and .BHARAT IDN (Internationalized Domain Name) domain for India.
      • Indian Registry for Internet Names and Numbers (IRINN), managing and operating Internet Protocol (IPv4/IPv6).
  • About the Three New Initiatives:
    • IPv6 Expert Panel (IP Guru):
      • It is a group to extend support to all the Indian entities who are finding it technically challenging to migrate and adopt IPv6. It will be offering its services free of cost.
      • It’s a joint effort of the Department of Telecom (DOT), MeitY and industry.
  • NIXI Academy:
    • NIXI Academy is created to educate technical/non-technical people in India to learn and relearn technologies like IPv6 which are normally not taught in Educational Institutes.
    • Successful candidates (after passing examination) can take a certificate from NIXI, which will be useful to find/upgrade jobs in the Industry.
  • NIXI-IP-INDEX:
    • NIXI has developed an IPv6 index portal for the Internet community.
    • NIXI-IP-INDEX portal will showcase the IPv6 adoption rate in India and across the world. It can be used to compare IPv6 Indian adoption rate with other economies in the world.
    • It will also include details about web adoption in IPv6, IPv6 traffic etc.

Transition from IPv4 to IPv6

  • IP: ‘IP’ stands for ‘Internet Protocol’. It is a set of rules that dictate how data should be delivered over the public network (Internet).
  • IPv4:
    • IPv4 was the first major version of IP. It was deployed for production in the ARPANET in 1983.
    • It is the most widely used IP version. It is used to identify devices on a network using an addressing system.
    • The IPv4 uses a 32-bit address scheme. Till date, it is considered the primary Internet Protocol and carries 94% of Internet traffic.
    • It provides an addressing capability of approximately 4.3 billion addresses.
  • IPv6:
    • It is the most recent version of the Internet Protocol. The Internet Engineer Task Force initiated it in early 1994. The design and development of that suite is now called IPv6.
    • This new IP address version is being deployed to fulfill the need for more Internet addresses.
    • IPv6 is also called IPng (Internet Protocol next generation).
    • It has the capability to provide an infinite number of addresses.
    • With 128-bit address space, it allows 340 undecillion unique address space. It can easily accommodate the growing number of networks worldwide and help solve the IP address exhaustion problem.
  • Benefit of Transitioning to IPv6:
    • The most well-known benefit that IPv6 offers is the exponential address space, practically inexhaustible in the foreseeable future. Therefore, it allows simple, seamless, and cost-effective connectivity for service providers, enterprises and end-users.
      • It is considered especially important with the impending move to 5G, which will massively increase the total number of devices connecting to the Internet.
    • The IPv6 operating systems automatically create two IPv6 addresses. One IPv6 with randomised MAC address in the suffix to hide the device identity and another IPv6 with real MAC address which is only used for end-to-end encrypted applications.
    • IPv6 has a privacy protocol to protect end-user privacy. The current internet (v4) lacks effective privacy and effective authentication mechanisms.
  • Importance for India:
    • The sustainable development and evolution of internet infrastructure is essential to the global cyberspace and digital economy, and IPv6 root server, which controls and manages the internet, can serve as a great tool.
    • Creating such critical infrastructure at the national level is important. As a critical internet resource, the IPv6 root server system is pivotal to manage the security and stability of the internet.
    • It will contribute to in-country expertise building on critical information infrastructure as well as promoting ‘a major technological knowledge base within the country’, and having a root server within the country would facilitate surveillance by Indian legal authorities.

Source: PIB

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