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Cabinet approves National Quantum Mission, allocates nearly Rs 6,003 crore

The implementation of National Quantum Mission (NQM) will make India a leading nation in development of quantum technologies and applications

Jitendra Singh

Jitendra Singh

BS Web Team New Delhi

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The Union Cabinet, chaired by PM Narendra Modi, on Wednesday, approved the National Quantum Mission to create and nurture an innovative ecosystem in quantum technology. The mission involves a total cost of Rs 6,003.65 crore which will be spent over a period of eight years.

"Union Cabinet approved National Quantum Mission with a budget provision of Rs 6,003 crores. The time period of the Mission will be from 2023-24 to 2030-31. This is one such decision that will take India to new heights," said Union Minister Anurag Thakur during the cabinet briefing.

The implementation of the National Quantum Mission (NQM) will make India a leading nation in the development of quantum technologies and applications. 

"NQM is going to give India a quantum jump in this arena. It will accelerate quantum technology-led economic growth," said Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh.

After the US, Austria, Finland, France, and China, India will become the sixth country to have a dedicated quantum mission.

"This mission will develop intermediate-scale quantum computers with 50-1000 physical qubits in eight years in various platforms like superconducting and photonic technology, " he said in the briefing.

He said the mission will develop magnetometers with high sensitivity in atomic systems and atomic clocks for precision timing, communications, and navigation.

"It will support the design and synthesis of quantum materials such as superconductors, novel semiconductor structures, and topological materials for fabrication of quantum devices", he added.

Singh said single photon sources/detectors and entangled photon sources will also be developed for quantum communications, sensing, and metrological applications.

The National Quantum Mission (NQM) will be implemented by the Department of Science and Technology in partnership with other departments.

Singh said some of the deliverables of the mission include satellite-based secure quantum communications between ground stations over a range of 2,000 km within India, long-distance secure quantum communications with other countries, inter-city quantum key distribution over 2,000 km as well as multi-node quantum network with quantum memories. 

He further said that four thematic hubs (T-Hubs) will be set up in top academic and national research and development institutes in the domains - of quantum computing, quantum communication, quantum sensing and metrology, and quantum materials and devices.

According to Singh, this is going to place India as a frontline nation as far as information and technology are concerned. 

"It will benefit communication, health, pharmaceutical, financial and energy sectors as well as defence data security," said Anurag Thakur.

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First Published: Apr 19 2023 | 6:01 PM IST

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