New Delhi: The government on Wednesday approved the National Quantum Mission to nurture and scale up scientific and industrial research and development in quantum technology.
The mission involves a cost to Rs 6,003.65 crore from 2023-24 to 2030-31.
The National Quantum Mission (NQM), approved at a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will accelerate quantum technology-led economic growth and nurture the ecosystem in the country.
"NQM is going to give India a quantum jump in this arena," Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh told reporters here.
India will be the sixth country to have a dedicated quantum mission after the US, Austria, Finland, France and China.
"The new mission targets developing intermediate scale quantum computers with 50-1000 physical qubits in eight years in various platforms like superconducting and photonic technology," he said.
He said satellite-based secure quantum communications between ground stations over a range of 2000 km 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.
Singh said 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, Singh said. He said single photon sources/detectors, entangled photon sources will also be developed for quantum communications, sensing and metrological applications.
Singh said four thematic hubs (T-Hubs) will be set up in top academic and national research and development institutes on the domains -- quantum computing, quantum communication, quantum sensing and metrology, and quantum materials and 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," the minister said.
Singh said the mission can take the technology development ecosystem 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), Singh said.