Centre okays ₹6,000 crore for National Quantum Mission

New Delhi: In an attempt to accelerate quantum technology-led economic growth in India, the Central government on Wednesday approved the National Quantum Mission (NQM) with an estimated investment of over ₹ 6,000 crore. The mission aims to greatly benefit communication, health, financial and energy sectors as well as drug design and space applications among others.

Briefing the media, science and technology minister Jitendra Singh told reporters here that the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved the National Quantum Mission (NQM) to nurture and scale up scientific and industrial research and development in quantum technology.

The mission involves a cost to a total of ₹ 6,003.65 crore from 2023-24 to 2030-31. “The NQM is going to give India a quantum jump in this arena,” the minister said.

India will be the sixth country to have a dedicated quantum mission after the United States, Austria, Finland, France and China. “The new mission targets developing intermediate-scale quantum computers with 50-1,000 physical qubits in eight years in various platforms like super conducting and photonic technology,” he said.

“The satellite-based secure quantum communications between ground stations over a range of 2,000 km within India, long distance secure quantum communications with other countries, inter-city quantum key distribution over 2,000 km as well as multi-node quantum network with quantum memories are also some of the deliverables of the mission. The mission will help develop magnetometers with high sensitivity in atomic systems and atomic clocks for precision timing, communications and navigation,” Singh said.

Singh further said that four thematic hubs (T-Hubs) would be set up in top academic and national research and development institutes on the domains — quantum computing, quantum communication, quantum sensing and metrology, and quantum materials and devices. He said the hubs will focus on generation of new knowledge.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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