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India Works on National quantum mission .National quantum mission is an ambitious initiative launched by the Government of India to establish India as a global leader in quantum technology research and innovation.
The mission was announced by the Finance Minister in the Union Budget 2020-21 and has been allocated a budget of Rs. 8,000 crore over a period of five years. In this article, we will discuss the National Quantum Mission in detail.
Quantum technology is a rapidly advancing field that has the potential to revolutionize industries such as healthcare, finance, and cybersecurity. The National Quantum Mission aims to develop indigenous technology capabilities in quantum computing, communication, and cryptography, among other areas.
The mission will also promote collaboration between industry, academia, and government research institutions to accelerate the development of quantum technology in India.
India has entered the world of quantum technology thanks to the National Quantum Mission announcement. It is anticipated to be a dedicated mission towards use-case development and applications that will support QuEST and NM-ICPS quantum mission efforts and move India one step closer to achieving quantum readiness and, consequently, future leadership.
Covid-19, led by the charismatic PM Narendra Modi, demonstrated that India is capable of offering solutions to deal with urgent global issues, whether they pertain to food, health care, or other industries. We are also one of the biggest users and service providers of information technology (IT), and it is now time for India to assume global leadership in deep technologies, like Quantum Technologies (QT), to guarantee that India offers digital solutions for future demands, resolving issues in fintech, automotive, banking, and security, defense, and agriculture.
India has entered the global quantum map as a result of the National Quantum Mission announcement. (Shutterstock).
India has entered the world of quantum technology with the announcement of the National Quantum Mission. (Shutterstock).
The development of the first quantum revolution into the second quantum revolution led to QT, the potential technologies of the future. India’s main advantage is the priority and support that Prime Minister Modi and the government he leads have given to their quantum dreams. India is therefore making preparations to be quantum-ready, including developing its own quantum computers, developing a skilled workforce, and building the infrastructure needed to adopt QT, including the standards needed for quantum systems.
One of the verticals of the much broader QT for which India is building its capabilities is quantum information and computing. The vertical deals with the creation of a quantum computer’s hardware, which is based on qubits—quantum bits—such as neutral atoms or ions that have quantum mechanical properties.
The vertical also includes the creation of reliable algorithms for performing operations on quantum machines, which use programming languages like Qiskit, PennyLane, Cirq, and Q (Q-Sharp). Because gate operations on advanced quantum processors with about 100 qubits are still not fault-tolerant, the field of quantum computing is currently considered to be in the Noisy Intermediate-scale Quantum (NISQ) era. Fully error-corrected qubits are constrained due to the processors’ susceptibility to outside noise.
The National Quantum Mission will be implemented by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) in collaboration with other government agencies and research institutions. The mission has several key objectives, including:
Development of indigenous quantum technologies and products
Creation of a trained workforce in quantum technology
Establishment of world-class research facilities for quantum technology
Encouragement of collaboration between industry, academia, and government institutions
Promotion of international cooperation in quantum technology
The National Quantum Mission has the potential to transform India’s economy by creating new opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship. The mission will enable Indian companies to develop quantum products and services that can compete globally, leading to job creation and economic growth.
In conclusion, the National Quantum Mission is a bold and visionary initiative that aims to establish India as a global leader in quantum technology research and innovation.
The arrival of deployable field systems on the market has given quantum sensing and metrology—another QT vertical—more prominence in the Indian quantum context. In order to measure absolute acceleration caused by gravity or weak magnetic fields, sensors based on quantum phenomena are being developed that are more sensitive than conventional sensors. Both healthcare and resource mapping underground will use these.
Additionally, the demand for precise timing in satellite communication or trading has sparked research in the field of metrological devices that provide accuracy in time measurements, spurring the creation of atomic clocks and GPS-free navigational tools based on quantum rotation and acceleration measurements.
National institutes and agencies place a lot of emphasis on quantum communications, another crucial QT vertical. A key component of any cryptographic system, such as the basis of any banking, security, or defense communications system, it secures key distribution and enables safe and quantum-secure communications over optical fiber or in free space. Additionally, nationwide multi-node quantum networks are being built for wide-area, secure communications based on reliable quantum repeaters.
India has expertise in the materials used in the development of QT; the field is moving toward advanced research stages, and devices are being made using these materials. Materials like superconductors, semiconductors, 2D materials, and topological materials are all included in the category of quantum materials.
The manufacturing of quantum devices to create qubits for use in quantum computing, single photon sources or detectors, and entangled photon sources for use in quantum communications, sensing, and metrological applications are also included in this vertical. Although there is a lack of infrastructure and resources, the area is developing more quickly.
India has launched its national quantum missions in small steps in comparison to countries like China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, which have allotted and spent sizable budgets on such missions.
The mission has several key objectives, including the development of indigenous quantum technologies, creation of a trained workforce, and establishment of world-class research facilities.
The National Quantum Mission has the potential to transform India’s economy and create new opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship.
The success of the mission will depend on the collaboration between industry, academia, and government institutions, and the support of the entire quantum technology ecosystem in India.
But it was primarily due to PM Modi’s personal indulgence that India started down this path in 2018, with the introduction of the Quantum Enabled Science and Technology (QuEST) program, which provided 51 national quantum labs with funding totaling $250 crore and built the infrastructure needed to advance with QT advancements.
Additionally, it assisted the government in locating national quantum labs and experts and in creating an ecosystem and national umbrella under which they could cooperate for the benefit of the country.
The program also increased interaction within the quantum ecosystem and quantum-related research. Following the QuEST program, India established the I-HUB Quantum Foundation or I-HUB QTF in Pune in 2020 as part of the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS), which has a budget of $170 crore set aside for the advancement of QT.
High-scale technology development is being accelerated by this ground-breaking mission. The NM-ICPS mission and the QuEST program both use quantum effects to create subsystems for quantum communications using photons, isolated atoms and ions, artificial “atoms,” electronics spins, atomic defects in solid matrices, and the collection of atoms/molecules in the liquid state.
The hub includes the creation of products and quantum technologies, the development of quantum skills, and the encouragement of international partnerships and quantum-based startups as a means of fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. The indigenization of key technology enablers, such as the materials, devices, instrumentation and control systems, algorithms, and software needed for quantum technologies, is encouraged at the hub to support indigenization.
India now has a place on the world’s quantum map thanks to the National Quantum Mission announcement. It is anticipated to be a dedicated mission towards use-case development and applications that will support QuEST and NM-ICPS quantum mission efforts and move India one step closer to achieving quantum readiness and, consequently, future leadership.