Aimed at catapulting India’s efforts in quantum science, the centre Government approved the National Quantum Mission (NQM) at a total cost of Rs.6003.65 crore.
National Quantum Mission will be the first Indian mission to rely completely on Indian research and technology. The NQM aims to seed, nurture and scale up scientific and industrial R&D and create a vibrant & 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).
The new mission targets developing intermediate scale quantum computers with 50-1000 physical qubits in 8 years in various platforms like superconducting and photonic technology. Satellite based secure quantum communications between ground stations over a range of 2000 kilometres within India, long distance secure quantum communications with other countries, inter-city quantum key distribution over 2000 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. It will also support design and synthesis of quantum materials such as superconductors, novel semiconductor structures and topological materials for fabrication of quantum devices. Single photon sources/detectors, entangled photon sources will also be developed for quantum communications, sensing and metrological applications.
Four Thematic Hubs (T-Hubs) will be set up in top academic and National R&D institutes on the domains – Quantum Computing, Quantum Communication, Quantum Sensing & Metrology and Quantum Materials & Devices. The hubs, which will focus on generation of new knowledge through basic and applied research as well as promote R&D in areas that are mandated to them.
NQM can take the technology development eco-system in the country to a globally competitive level. The mission would greatly benefit communication, health, financial 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 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Quantum technology is a class of technology that works by using the principles of quantum mechanics (the physics of sub-atomic particles), including quantum entanglement and quantum superposition.
QT is an emerging field of physics and engineering. It encompasses technologies that rely on the properties of quantum mechanics, especially quantum entanglement, quantum superposition, and quantum tunnelling. Quantum computing, sensors, cryptography, imulation, measurement, and imaging are some examples of emerging quantum technologies. The development of quantum technology also heavily affects established fields such as space exploration.
Gerard J. Milburn first outlined the field of quantum technology in a 1997 book. Many devices already available are fundamentally reliant on the effects of quantum mechanics. These include laser systems, transistors and semiconductor devices, as well as other devices such as MRI imagers.