New Delhi, April 19
In a major step that will boost India’s strategic edge over other countries, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the National Quantum Mission for domestic development of technologies in secure communications, healthcare responses and disaster management through better predictions. The mission, from 2023-24 to 2030-31, will cost Rs 6,003.65 crore and will nurture scientific and industrial Ramp;D, besides creating a vibrant and innovative ecosystem in quantum technology (QT) in India.
About quantum tech
- Quantum technology (QT) is based on the principles of quantum mechanics developed in the early 20th century to describe nature at scale of atoms and elementary particles
- Using quantum superposition, a set of unbreakable codes or super-speedy information processing, quantum computers are able to mimic several classical computers working in parallel
- Quantum technology computers are highly secure, process information faster
With the Cabinet’s approval, India enters the league of six other nations currently engaged with QT research and development in the government sector. These countries are the US, China, Finland, Austria, Canada and France. In India, the mission will be led by the Department of Science and Technology, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur and Minister of State for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh said, adding the industry would be roped in at a post-development stage.
The new mission targets developing intermediate scale quantum computers with 50-1,000 physical qubits in eight years in various platforms such as superconducting and photonic technology. Immediate deliverable is development of intermediate scale quantum computers with 20-50 physical qubits within three years, 50 to 100 physical qubits in five years and 50 to 1,000 physical qubits in eight years on various platforms such as superconducting and photonic technology. “The mission will develop satellite-based secure quantum communications between two ground stations over a range of 2,000 lm within India and inter continent by the end of eight years of the mission,” the goal of the mission states.
The most important outcome of the mission would be secure communications which would boost national strategic goals and enhance Indian capacities against China.
“The mission will not only make processing of information technology much faster and easier, it will also ensure secure communications with research suggesting that cracking the quantum technology encryption key could take almost 3 lakh thousand years unlike cracking the encryptions in classical computers which are easy,” Singh said flagging mission’s advantages for governance, medicine, healthcare and startups.