India launches National Quantum Mission
Science & Technology
21st Apr, 2023
The Union Cabinet cleared Rs 6,003 crore National Quantum Mission seeking to realise a host of frontier technologies related to quantum computing, quantum communication and quantum sensing that only a handful of countries possess.
- The new mission comes four years after the central government in December 2018 announced Rs 3,660 crore National Mission on Cyber-Physical Systems, which is being executed through 25 hubs.
What is the National Quantum Mission?
- Duration: Eight years
- Verticals: The mission involving research institutions and industry will have four verticals
- three on quantum computing, communication and sensing
- a fourth one on developing novel materials and devices that would aid in the three core programmes
- Aim: To accelerate quantum technology-led economic growth and nurture the ecosystem in the country.
- The new mission targets developing intermediate scale quantum computers with 50-1000 physical qubits in eight years in various platforms like superconducting and photonic technology
- Global race: India will be the seventh country to have a dedicated quantum mission after the US, Austria, Finland, France, Canada and China.
- All these countries are also at the R&D stage.
What is Quantum technology?
- Quantum technology is a class of technology that works by using the principles of quantum mechanics (the physics of sub-atomic particles), including quantum entanglement and quantum superposition.
- Example-Smartphone is a type of quantum technology – its semiconductors use quantum physics to work.
What is Qubit?
- A qubit (or quantum bit) is the quantum mechanical analogue of a classical bit.
- In classical computing the information is encoded in bits, where each bit can have the value zero or one.
- In quantum computing the information is encoded in qubits.
How Quantum technology can be a good ‘solution’?
- Effective functioning:In modern day computing, information is relayed and stored in binary digits or bits, that is, 0 or 1. In quantum computing, information sharing, and storage is done in qubits, which exist as 0 or 1 or a combination of both.
- This allows for a quantum computer to perform a multitude of applications at the same time, at a much faster rate, surpassing the processing ability of a conventional computing system.
- Increased processing capabilities:Quantum computers will exponentially increase the processing capabilities of a modern-day computer and address impediments linked to combinatorics.
- Wide range of application: It has immense potential in a wide range of applications from ultra secure military communication to extra-precise MRI machines.
- Multiple benefits:Near-term and long-term quantum applications will:
- augment AI solutions
- improve financial forecasting
- drastically reduce failures in the manufacturing sector
- accentuate drug development
- push for better cybersecurity paradigms
How this mission will give India a quantum leap?
- Valuable deliverables: Satellite-based secure quantum communications between ground stations over a range of 2000 km within India, long distance secure quantum communications with other countries, inter-city quantum key distribution over 2000 km as well as multi-node quantum network with quantum memories are also some of the deliverables of the mission.
- Development of atomic systems: The mission will help develop magnetometers with high sensitivity in atomic systems and atomic clocks for precision timing, communications and navigation.
- Development of quantum materials: It will also support design and synthesis of quantum materials such as superconductors, novel semiconductor structures and topological materials for fabrication of quantum devices.
- Beneficial for different sectors: The mission would greatly benefit communication, health, financial and energy sectors as well as drug design, and space applications.
- Boost to national priorities: It will provide a huge boost to National priorities like Digital India, Make in India, Skill India and Stand-up India, Start-up India, Self-reliant India and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).