The detailed project report for a National Mission on Quantum Technology and Applications (NM-QTA) has been drawn out and finalised.

  • In last year’s budget session, it was proposed that 8,000 crores be set aside to develop quantum science and technology.
  • The detailed project report is now ready and in the next couple of months, this mission might get approval.
  • Recognising the importance of quantum technology, the Department of Science and Technology has also initiated a programme called QuEST to explore the possibilities and engage with the researchers.

About NM-QTA

  • The mission will function under the Department of Science & Technology (DST).
  • It will be able to address the ever-increasing technological requirements of society and take into account the international technology trends.
  • The mission will help prepare next-generation skilled manpower, boost translational research and also encourage entrepreneurship and start-up ecosystem development.

Why need such a mission?

  • Quantum technologies are rapidly developing globally with hugely disruptive potential.
  • The range of quantum technologies is expected to be one of the major technology disruptions that will change the entire paradigm of computation, communication and encryption.
  • It is perceived that the countries who achieve an edge in this emerging field will have a greater advantage in garnering multifold economic growth and dominant leadership role.
  • It has become imperative both for government and industries to be prepared to develop these emerging and disruptive changes.
  • It will establish standards to be applied to all research and help stimulate a pipeline to support research and applications well into the future.

Recent applications

  • Recently, DRDO has successfully demonstrated communication between its two labs using Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) technology.
  • In June 2020, China demonstrated quantum communication technology using the satellite Micius, by conducting a secret conference between two ground stations about 1,120 km apart.
  • They used the satellite not to transmit the entire communication, but to simultaneously send a pair of secret keys to the two ground stations.
  • Other potential applications include secure communication, fast computers that established quantum supremacy, sensors and quantum-inspired devices.

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