‘National Mission on Quantum Technologies & Applications (NM-QTA)’

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    13th Feb, 2020

Context

The government in its budget 2020 has announced a National Mission on Quantum Technologies & Applications (NM-QTA) with a total budget outlay of Rs 8000 Crore for a period of five years to be implemented by the Department of Science & Technology (DST).

About the mission:

  • The new mission will oversee the development of quantum technologies for communications, computing, materials development and cryptography.
  • It will coordinate the work of scientists, industry leaders and government departments
  • Implementing authority: The move will be implemented by the Department of Science & Technology (DST).
  • Focus area: The areas of focus for the Mission will be in fundamental science, translation, technology development, human and infrastructural resource generation, innovation and start-ups to address issues concerning national priorities.

Quantum Technology:

  • Quantum technologies are rapidly developing globally with a huge disruptive potential.
  • 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.
    • Quantum entanglement is when two atoms are connected, or entangled, despite being separated.
    • Quantum superposition is the theory that sub-atomic particles exist in multiple states simultaneously.
  • It concerns the control and manipulation of quantum systems, with the goal of achieving information processing beyond the limits of the classical world.
  • Quantum technology is opening up new frontiers in computing, communications, cyber security with wide-spread applications.
  • It is expected that lots of commercial applications would emerge from theoretical constructs which are developing in this area.
  • Quantum technology promises improvements to a vast range of everyday gadgets, including:
    • more reliable navigation and timing systems
    • more secure communications
    • more accurate healthcare imaging
    • more powerful computing
  • The next generation transformative technologies that will receive a push under this mission include quantum computers and computing, quantum communication, quantum key distribution, encryption, crypt analysis, quantum devices, quantum sensing, quantum materials, quantum clock and so on.

Significance of the mission:

  • Super-secure communication network: The mission may eventually lead to the creation of a super-secure communication network to make online financial transactions hacking-proof besides ensuring full-proof safety of every bit of digital communication.
  • Solution for complex problems: Quantum principles will be used for engineering solutions to extremely complex problems in computing, communications, sensing, chemistry, cryptography, imaging and mechanics.
  • Global recognition: India’s considerable investment in the field places it alongside the United States, Europe and Russia. In 2018, US decided to invest US$1.2 billion over five years in a national quantum initiative, and in 2016, Europe pledged US$1.13 billion for quantum technologies. Russia is also spending huge amount on quantum technologies .

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