The government in its budget 2020 has announced a National Mission on Quantum Technologies & Applications (NM-QTA) with a total budget outlay of Rs 8000 Crore for a period of five years to be implemented by the Department of Science & Technology (DST).

 About Quantum technology:

  • Quantum technology is an emerging field of physics and engineering, which relies on the principles of quantum physics. 
  • It concerns the control and manipulation of quantum systems, with the goal of achieving information processing beyond the limits of the classical world.
  • It is about creating practical applications - such as quantum computing, quantum sensors, quantum cryptography, quantum simulation, quantum metrology and quantum imaging - based on properties of quantum mechanics.
  • Quantum technology is opening up new frontiers in computing, communications, cyber security with wide-spread applications. 
  • Conventional computers process information in ‘bits’ or 1s and 0s, following classical physics under which our computers can process a ‘1’ or a ‘0’ at a time.
  • Quantum computers compute in ‘qubits’ (or quantum bits). They exploit the properties of quantum mechanics, the science that governs how matter behaves on the atomic scale.
    • In this scheme of things, processors can be a 1 and a 0 simultaneously, a state called quantum superposition.
    • Because of quantum superposition, a quantum computer — if it works to plan — can mimic several classical computers working in parallel.

The applications of Quantum technology which will receive boost include those in 

  • Aero-space engineering, 
  • Numerical weather prediction, 
  • Simulations, securing the communications & financial transactions, 
  • Cyber security, advanced manufacturing, health, agriculture, education etc.

National Mission on Quantum Technologies:

  • Quantum Technology is one of the 9 missions of national importance, being driven by the Prime Minister‘s Science and Technology Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) through the (Principal Scientific Advisor) PSA‘s office to leverage cutting edge scientific research for India‘s sustainable development.
  • Aims 
    • Evolve a long-term strategy (10 years) with short-term (5years) targets and associated calculated investiments. An integrated approach and convergence model for academia, industry and government organizations to jointly accelerate the growth of the quantum technology ecosystem.
    • Develop and demonstrate Quantum Computers, Quantum Communication and Produce quantum algorithms and new applications.
    • Develop conventional technology and intellectual property needed to support and enable quantum technology
  • Objectives 
    • To promote and foster R&D in Quantum Technologies and related areas like quantum computing, quantum cryptography, quantum communication, quantum metrology and sensing, quantum enhanced imaging etc
    • To develop and demonstrate quantum computers, quantum communication (Fiber and Free Space), Quantum key distribution.