I am one of the first recipients of the REFEDS Distinguished Engineer program, and attended the REFEDS meeting and TNC19 as part of that. I am working as Scientist B (Computer Science) with the INFLIBNET Centre in Software, Research and Development and am the federation operator of INFLIBNET Access Management Federation (INFED). Apart from working as federation operator, I am also involving so many other projects which is initiated by the MHRD, Government of India as follows:
- National Institutional Ranking Framework
- e-National Board of Accreditation
- Study In India
- National Testing Agency
- Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA)
- Shreyas and etc.
I have been involving to setting up the federation management tool, often updating the policy as per eduGAIN standard, setting up the IdP and SP for our members and conducting regular workshop to the institute operators.
Information and Library Network (INFLIBNET) Centre is an autonomous Inter-University Centre of the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India. It is a major National Programme initiated by the UGC in March 1991 with its Head Quarters at Gujarat University Campus, Ahmedabad. Initially started as a project under the IUCAA, it became an independent Inter-University Centre in June 1996. INFLIBNET is involved in modernizing university libraries in India using the state-of-art technologies for the optimum utilisation of information. INFLIBNET is set out to be a major player in promoting scholarly communication among academicians and researchers in India.
The INFLIBNET Centre, as one of its core mandates, provides access to scholarly e-resource to universities and colleges in India under the e-ShodhSindhu, and runs INFED, the first Federation in India. INFED is being set-up as a centralized agency to coordinate with member institutions in the process of implementation of user authentication and access control mechanism distributed across participating institutions using standardized rules and metadata for exchange of attributes. At present there are 85 universities/institutes are availing services through INFED.
INFED has adopted Shibboleth for authenticating authorized users from colleges and universities and provide them seamless access to e-resources from anywhere, anytime.
Indian education community is not aware about federated access mechanisms.
I have attended the APAN 43, 46 and 47 Meetings. It was really helpful to know what is happening in the other country federations. In last 12 months we have grown from 18 institutes to 85 institutes within India. My aim to bring on at least 5000 institutes in a short span of time. The Indian higher education system encompasses more than 50,000 institutions in India. Since INFED is the only federation in INDIA, the whole country will benefit if I succeed.
Achievement through TNC19
After attending the TNC19 conference at Tallinn, Estonia I have made the strategy to strengthen the INFED Services and closely work with the international network of R&E federations and leading industry experts around globe.
I am in the process of forming an international board of advisory group for INFED with the eminent professionals in IAM field around the world. Those contacts I got it from TNC19.
I have already conducted many workshop for setting up IdP for around 100 university/institutions experts. After my return from the TNC19, I conducted another Identity Access Management workshop at our institute and spread the pool of knowledge to my participants.
There are more than 5000 universities / higher education institutes are fully funded by the government. I have made the small study about the research publications published by the public funded institutions and also proposed an idea about National Research Repository. In principle, our centre may setup the centralized repository for hosting pre-print and post-print of the research article. All the resources access will be given through our federation to all of our Higher Education institutes. At the outset each and every institute may get at least 1.5 millions of articles published by our centrally funded institutions if this idea get mature.
I have also made a study that how many centrally funded institutes are using are using proprietary software for availing remote access software. I will recommend all the institutes / universities may use INFED facility for off-campus access purpose. However there are some Indian-based publishers/service providers that do not have SAML-based access. We are encouraging and helping those publishers to provide SAML-based access to institutions.
We have already added new add on features such as download stats, and user access details to the institute administrators.
I have attended the following sessions at the conference.
- Updates from the Working Groups: Sirtfi, Assurance, Federation 2.0, IoLR, OIDC(re)
- FIM4R Update- Status update from FIM4R, progress and next steps
- AARC Retrospective-A look back at the achievements of AARC as the project draws to a close
- Introduction to the FIM4L community: federated identity management for libraries
- Moonshot update
- Baseline: Where do we go from here? – InCommon have had a lot of success with the introduction of their “baseline” programme which is pushing maturity in federation entities. What can we learn from this and how can we replicate within the community?
- Future of federations in a WebAuthn world – What is the future of federations in a WebAuthn world If IdPs don’t get on board with releasing attributes?
- Lightning Talks for various new inventions
Mr. John and Mr. Bradley (my
mentors from AAF) has given very good guidance including how to make
presentation. Even every slide they have checked and given their inputs.
Moreover, we had a con-call before TNC and they offered key inputs how to
envelop more institutions into our Federation. They are very dedicated and
discipline in terms of policies and procedures.
I had a chance to meet many of my counterpart working with other federations. I have requested few of the people to be a board of advisers for Indian Federation after taking consent from our Director. I expressed my views and future work need to be done for INFED. I learnt especially to setup business model to sustain the INFED progress in near future. I am sure in very short span of time we am going to execute.
This is the wonderful opportunity like us small federations. But, if we have proper guidance we can setup at least 5000 potential IdPs for our Higher education institutions. When I met other country federation operators, I personally feel that we are in a starting position and still long way to go. It will take at least 3-4 years of continues support needed from REFEDS. As far as my knowledge DE is the one of the wonderful program initiated by REFEDs.
Once again, thanks a lot for this opportunity.