The Union Cabinet of India has approved the National Quantum Mission (NQM) with a budget provision of Rs 6003 crores. The mission aims to seed, nurture and scale up scientific and industrial R&D, creating a vibrant and innovative ecosystem in Quantum Technology (QT) in India.
The NQM targets the development of intermediate-scale quantum computers with 50-1000 physical qubits in various platforms such as superconducting and photonic technology. Satellite-based secure quantum communications between ground stations over a range of 2000 kms within India, long-distance secure quantum communications with other countries, and inter-city quantum key distribution over 2000 km are also some of the deliverables of the Mission.
The mission will also 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 the fabrication of quantum devices. Additionally, single photon sources/detectors, and entangled photon sources will also be developed for quantum communications, sensing and metrological applications.
To achieve the mission’s objectives, four Thematic Hubs (T-Hubs) will be set up in top academic and National R&D institutes in the domains of Quantum Computing, Quantum Communication, Quantum Sensing & Metrology, and Quantum Materials & Devices. These hubs will focus on generating new knowledge through basic and applied research and promote R&D in areas mandated to them.
The NQM will greatly benefit communication, health, financial and energy sectors as well as drug design and space applications. It will provide a significant boost to national priorities like digital India, Make in India, Skill India, Stand-up India, Start-up India, Self-reliant India, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
In addition, the Cabinet has given its consent to the tabling of the Cinematograph Act 2023 at the next session of Parliament. The act was previously presented in the Rajya Sabha in 2019, and the Standing Committee gave certain recommendations. Extensive discussions with stakeholders were held to ensure that the content doesn’t suffer due to piracy. The Cinematograph Act 2023 has been drafted.
Overall, the National Quantum Mission and the Cinematograph Act 2023 are significant developments for India, boosting the nation’s R&D capabilities and protecting the content of the Indian film industry. With the establishment of T-Hubs in Quantum Technology, India is set to become a leading nation in the development of Quantum Technologies and Applications.