The National Quantum Mission (NQM) is the only mission in the country where technology has not been adopted from any advanced country, said Akhilesh Gupta, in-charge of the NQM, which was approved by the Union Cabinet last week.
Dr. Gupta, who is also Secretary, Science and Engineering Research Board at the Department of Technology (DST), addressing a virtual press conference from New Delhi on Monday, said, “In the past, India had adopted technologies developed abroad and implemented them here, but the NQM has a distinction. The NQM is the only mission, so far, wherein Indian scientists will develop our own technology. Though India will need international cooperation, it will be mainly for knowledge exchange,” he said.
To propel research
He added that the ₹6,003.65-crore National Quantum Mission (NQM) will allow Indian scientists to develop indigenous technology, systems, devices, and materials required to propel research and development in quantum technology.
Under the NQM, there will be four thematic hubs (T-hub) operating for each of the four verticals: quantum computing, quantum communication, quantum sensing and metrology, and quantum materials and devices.
Dr. Gupta added that the DST will formally call for proposals to decide the establishment of T-hubs in the country and these will be a consortium of research institutions.
“Based on the expertise of the institute, they will steer the research under the respective vertical,” added Dr. Gupta.
What it benefits
The NQM will be spearheaded by the DST between 2023-24 and 2030-31. The mission is expected to benefit communication, health, finance, and energy as well as drug design and Space applications.
The mission targets the development of intermediate-scale quantum computers with 50-1,000 physical qubits in eight years in various platforms like superconducting and photonic technology. Satellite-based secure quantum communications between ground stations over a range of 2,000 kilometres 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 among the other deliverables.