Home Computing Thematic hubs, skill development crucial for achieving India’s Quantum Mission: Experts

Thematic hubs, skill development crucial for achieving India’s Quantum Mission: Experts

Quantum technology is poised to transform various industries, including drug discovery, multi-robot industries, secure digital networks, environmental monitoring, and self-driving vehicles. This transformation is driven by quantum computers, which operate 100 million times faster than the most advanced supercomputers, accomplishing tasks in seconds that would otherwise take years.

India has embarked on its National Quantum Mission (NQM) with a clear vision to become a global leader in quantum technology. Ajai Chowdhry, Chairman of the Mission Governing Board at NQM, outlined the strategic plan, which includes establishing four thematic hubs focusing on computing, communication, sensors, and materials.

“As per as per the plan that India had created, we are on track. So, what we decided to do was to set up four thematic hubs in the country, one for computing, one for communication, one for sensors and another for materials. We then put out a request for proposals from all researchers, and all institutes in the country. And that request for a proposal happened on January 20. The response has been phenomenal. What we are now working on is shortlisting from there. So we are sifting through those applications.

We will come up with the right applications that we believe are good, then we will have a group sitting and decide on looking at the technical aspects of those people who have actually applied and then at some stage by about August, we would have finalised who will run each of these hubs. And each of these hubs will be Section 8 companies with full authority and full funding and everything provided to them,” Chowdhry stated in an interview with CNBC-TV18.

According to

NASSCOM, quantum technology could add at least $300 billion to India’s GDP by 2030. To support this, the Indian government announced the National Quantum Mission in 2023, with a budget of Rs 6,000 crore. Half of this funding is dedicated to establishing the four technological hubs, aiming to catch up with global advancements and foster innovation.

Chowdhry remarked that there is a need for India to focus on creating skills in quantum technology with thematic hubs under the Quantum Mission Program. He also urged startups to invest in this burgeoning field.

India’s efforts are part of a broader global trend. Over 30 governments worldwide have committed more than $40 billion to quantum technologies over the next decade, as reported by IQM. China leads with an estimated $15 billion investment, followed by the US with nearly $4 billion under its National Quantum Initiative. Major tech companies like Google, Microsoft, AWS, and IBM, based in the US, are at the forefront of quantum computing.

Ajay Kumar Sood, Principal Scientific Adviser of India, noted that while India has about 45 startups in the quantum sector, the number needs to grow to enhance global competitiveness. He added that Software as a Service (SaaS) will be a big theme within quantum computing.

Although India is currently a decade behind leading countries in quantum technology, it has made significant strides by launching its dedicated quantum mission. This move places India among the elite group of nations, including the US, Austria, Finland, France, Canada, and China, that have committed to advancing quantum technology.

Watch the accompanying video for the entire discussion.

 

Reference

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