India is poised to make significant strides in quantum computing (QC) by leveraging its strengths in IT and engineering, and through strategic investments in research and development. That could lead to significant economic growth, secure communications, solutions for pressing issues such as climate change, and the establishment of new interdisciplinary research centers.
SwissCognitive Guest Blogger: Utpal Chakraborty, Chief Digital Officer, Allied Digital Services Ltd., AI & Quantum Scientist – Unleashing India’s Quantum Leap: Investing in Quantum Computing Technologies
As the world races towards the next frontier in computing, India must invest in quantum computing technologies and propel itself into the future. Investment in these technologies can generate significant economic benefits for India by creating new industries, high-paying jobs, and opportunities for value-added exports. According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, the global quantum computing market is expected to grow to $5-10 billion by 2024 and up to $50 billion by 2030.
India is at a critical juncture where it can capitalize on its existing strengths in information technology and engineering to become a global player in quantum computing. With nations like United States, China, European Union investing heavily in this field, India must not fall behind. By committing resources to QC research and development, India can secure a competitive edge, create high-quality jobs and establish itself as a global technology leader in the field and related technologies.
Quantum computing technologies can spur a new wave of innovation and entrepreneurship in India particularly in the technology sector. By establishing a robust ecosystem for research and development, India can attract top talent, encourage the creation of new startups, and support existing businesses in adopting quantum computing technologies. This will not only foster economic growth but also strengthen India’s position as a hotbed of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Also, Quantum Computing has the potential to revolutionize cryptography and secure communications, which are critical to national security. By investing in it, India can develop new methods for protecting sensitive information and infrastructure from cyber threats as well as enhance its offensive cyber capabilities. Additionally, advancements in quantum computing can aid in intelligence gathering, data analysis, and secure communication, ensuring that India remains at the forefront when it comes to National Security.
The technology offers a powerful tool for addressing some of the most pressing challenges facing by India such as climate change, agriculture, healthcare, resource management etc. For instance, it can be used to develop new materials for renewable energy technologies, optimize the design of energy-efficient buildings, and model the impacts of climate change on agriculture as India being an agriculture rich country. Similarly, it can be employed to analyze complex biological data to accelerate drug discovery, personalize medical treatments, and understand the spread of infectious diseases. By investing in quantum computing technologies, India can unlock solutions to these complex problems and improve the quality of life for its citizens.
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That will strengthen India’s education and research ecosystem by creating new opportunities for students, researchers and educators. It will also help in establishing new interdisciplinary research centers and fostering collaborations between academia, industry and government. This will not only help in bridging the gap between theory and application but also inspire the next generation of Indian scientists and engineers to explore new frontiers in science and technology.
As quantum computing is a rapidly evolving field, international collaboration is crucial to sharing knowledge, resources and best practices. India can forge partnerships with leading research institutions and industry players worldwide. This will not only accelerate India’s progress in this domain but also help in shaping global standards and policies related to QC.
If we talk about the current state, India had made some progress in the field of quantum computing and had outlined several future plans. The government, academia and private companies are actively working on developing these technologies with a strong emphasis on research, innovation and collaboration.
The Indian government has recognized the importance of it and has launched various initiatives to promote its development. In 2020, the Finance Minister announced an allocation of INR 8,000 crores (approximately $1.08 billion) for the National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications (NM-QTA) over a five-year period. The mission aims to accelerate the development of quantum technologies including quantum computing by promoting research, developing human resources and fostering innovation.
Similarly, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) established the Quantum-Enabled Science & Technology (QuEST) program. This program focuses on research and development in quantum communication, QC and simulation etc.
Leading academic institutions in India, such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), are actively engaged in quantum computing research. Several research groups and labs are working on various aspects of it, such as quantum algorithms, quantum error correction, and quantum cryptography. The Quantum Information and Computing (QuIC) group at IISc Bangalore focuses on quantum information theory, quantum computation, and quantum cryptography. The Quantum Science and Engineering Group at IIT Madras is involved in research on quantum information processing and quantum technologies.
Several Indian start-ups and established companies are also working on QC technologies. Some of the notable players include QNu Labs that focuses on quantum cryptography and quantum key distribution (QKD) systems. The company aims to develop solutions for secure communication in the age of quantum computing. Another Indian start-up QuantFarm works on developing quantum algorithms and solutions for various industries, such as finance, healthcare, and logistics. Another start-up, QpiAI provides a platform for building, deploying, and managing QML models.
India is also actively participating in international collaborations to advance quantum computing research. For example, the Indian government has partnered with the European Union to work on quantum communication and secure networks.