NEW DELHI-April 19 – As a historic milestone in the nine years of the Modi regime, the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today approved the “National Quantum Mission” (NQM) at a total cost of Rs .6003.65 crore from 2023-24 to 2030-31, with the aim of seeding, nurturing and expanding scientific and industrial R&D and creating a vibrant and innovative ecosystem in Quantum Technology (QT). This will accelerate QT-led economic growth, nurture the ecosystem in the country and make India one of the leading nations in the development of Quantum Technologies & Applications (QTA).
Revealing this to the media at a press conference at the National Media Center here, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science and Technology; Minister of State (Independent Position) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Complaints, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh described this as a true “Quantum” leap for India.
The new mission aims to develop intermediate-scale quantum computers with 50-1000 physical qubits in 8 years on various platforms such as superconductors and photonic technology. Satellite-based secure quantum communications between ground stations within a range of 2,000 km within India, long-distance secure quantum communications with other countries, quantum key distribution between cities over 2,000 km, as well as the quantum network of multiple nodes with quantum memories are also some of the products of the Mission.
The Minister explained that the mission will help develop magnetometers with high sensitivity in atomic systems and Atomic Clocks for precision timing, communications and navigation. He will also support the design and synthesis of quantum materials such as superconductors, new semiconductor structures, and topological materials for the fabrication of quantum devices. Single photon sources/detectors, entangled photon sources for quantum communications, sensing and metrological applications will also be developed, he said.
Dr. Jitendra further informed that our Topic Centers (T-Hubs) will be established in leading academic and national R&D institutes in the domains: Quantum Computing, Quantum Communication, Quantum Sensing and Metrology and Quantum Materials and Devices. The centers that will focus on the generation of new knowledge through basic and applied research, as well as on the promotion of R&D in the areas that correspond to them.
NQM can take the country’s technology development ecosystem to a globally competitive level. The mission would greatly benefit the communication, healthcare, finance and energy sectors, as well as drug design and space applications. It will provide a huge boost to national priorities like Digital India, Make in India, Skill India and Stand-up India, Start-up India, Self-reliant India and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).