The Quantum Mission of India
GS 3 Growth & Development Science & Technology
- The India National Quantum Mission could be a game-changer in a variety of industries, including defense, energy, the environment, healthcare, and civil applications.
About Quantum Technology :
- It is based on the principles of quantum mechanics devised at the beginning of the 20th century to describe nature at the level of atoms and elementary particles.
- Quantum theory has been expanded to explain biological phenomena such as scent, consciousness, enzyme catalysis, photosynthesis, avian navigation such as that of the Robin, the origin of life, and the effects of coronavirus.
- It manifests itself via implementations in secure communication, disaster management via improved prediction, computing, simulation, chemistry, healthcare, cryptography, and imaging, among others.
About National Quantum Mission (NQM)
- It will focus primarily on bolstering India’s research and development in the quantum field, as well as the indigenous construction of quantum-based (physical qubit) computers that are significantly more capable of solving the most complex problems in a highly secure manner.
- DST will oversee this national mission, with assistance from other agencies.
- Quantum technologies are currently being researched and developed in the United States, Canada, France, Finland, China, and Austria.
- Over the next eight years, the mission will concentrate on developing quantum computers (qubit) with physical qubit capacities spanning from 50 to 1000 qubits.
- Computers with up to 50 physical qubits will be developed within three years,
- 50 – 100 physical qubits within five years, and
- 1,000 physical qubit computers within eight years.
- It will also facilitate the design and synthesis of quantum materials for the fabrication of quantum devices, including superconductors, novel semiconductor structures, and topological materials.
- For quantum communications, sensing, and metrology applications, single-photon sources/detectors and entangled photon sources will be developed.
- Four Thematic Hubs (T-Hubs) will be established in the following domains:
- Quantum Computing,
- Quantum Communication,
- Quantum Sensing & Metrology, and
- Quantum Materials & Devices in major academic and national R&D institutes.
- The hubs will prioritize the generation of new knowledge through fundamental and applied research, as well as the promotion of R&D in their assigned areas.
· Simultaneously advancing research on novel architectures to incorporate quantum materials into functional units has led to the concept of “quantum devices.”
· A significant emphasis on quantum materials and devices is an integral component of any mission involving quantum technology.
- Investments in quantum materials and devices can produce a highly competent workforce for India.
- As India prepares to become the world’s third-largest economy by 2027, a densely interconnected physical infrastructure will be essential.
- It will serve not only quantum technologies but also other significant scientific megaprojects such as semiconductor mission, neutrino observatory, and gravitational wave detection.The communication, health, financial, and energy sectors, as well as drug design and space applications, would benefit significantly from this innovation.
- It will significantly advance national priorities such as digital India, Make in India, Skill India, Stand-up India, Start-up India, Self-Reliant India, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
- Research will be required to develop low-loss materials for superconducting quantum electronics that preserve quantum information over a long period of time, as well as novel semiconductor nanostructures for the high-brightness source of entangled photons, among other things.
- The influence of much of the research spans multiple quantum technology disciplines, necessitating specialized and centralized material/device infrastructures.
- Achieving these objectives will necessitate leveraging the nation’s evolving scientific infrastructure and aligning with some of the most important national directives.
- Over the past two decades, capacity development under national initiatives such as the Nano Mission has resulted in a fivefold increase in research publications in this field.
Need of new talent
- The National Quantum mission will necessitate that a substantial portion of materials research be conducted by goal-oriented multi-institutional consortia.
- To ensure that the mission’s deadlines are met, this will necessitate the strategic recruitment of new talent, synergistic multi-institutional collaboration, and political will to relax bureaucratic norms and prevent infrastructure construction delays.
Benefitting from existing initiatives
- These activities could also be supported by the government via the Startup India initiative and other programs.
- India must establish a well-balanced R&D ecosystem in which material research for near-term goals and applications must coexist and collaborate with those pursuing more fundamental and long-term goals.
- Material domains in all aspects of quantum technology — computing, communications, and sensing — are still evolving.
- Therefore, there is a possibility that India will emerge as a global leader in the field through timely investment and efficient management.
Daily Mains Question
[Q] The National Quantum Mission of India could transform multiple industries. Indicate how India can become a world authority in the field of quantum technology.