Electronic Mail (better known as E-Mail), is the most used Network Service across the country. National Informatics Centre (NIC) provides different kinds of E-mail services to its users, over NICNET, which is NIC’s satellite-based communication network. The different types of e-mail services being provided include SMTP, UUCP and X.400. The NICNET e-mail service is distributed over many mail servers located at different NIC Centres. These are inter-linked with each other in a way that mails can be exchanged amongst all types of services.
E-mail can be used as part of the electronic file processing in Government of India. All services under e-mail are offered free of cost to all officials under Ministries / Departments / Statutory Bodies / Autonomous bodies of both Central and State/ UT Governments.
The E-mail service is also integrated with a X.500 directory which makes it possible to search for and locate e-mail addresses very easily. It is also possible to send fax messages through E-mail since a gateway is provided for conversion of messages for fax recipients.
Mails are accepted and sent in NICNET from a single entry point i.e. via the SMTP gateways. Over 8 lakh mails are transacted in a day. Once a mail is accepted in the network, based on its address, it is routed to the recipient server.
Messaging services constitute one of the primary applications deployed across the network. Each network connected to the Internet has a Domain Name associated with it, to ensure email and other traffic getting directed to the right recipient.
In the case of NICNET, this domain is known as "nic.in". All emails to the home user are directed to "home.user[at]nic[dot]in" which results in the mail being stored on the NIC mail server, ready to be collected by the home user email client. “Gov.in” domain accounts are also maintained by NIC for use by Government departments.
Under the Digital India initiative, NIC has established a robust Messaging framework that includes core eMial application Gateway services, Short Messaging Service (SMS), OBD (Outbound Dialing) and an IT Platform for citizen engagement (Sampark). These services collectively create a value chain over the existing NIC web portals that host Digital Services and are used extensively by Central & State Governments for citizen engagement & disseminating information.