The Indian government said that it plans to invest ₹8000 crores ($1.12 billion) in quantum computing research over five years. The country’s finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, said the scheme will boost the research for technology under the National Mission of Quantum Technology and Application project.
India is quite new to the field, with very few projects under works on the new technology. Last year, the Department of Science & Technology (DST), set up a research project named Quantum-Enabled Science & Technology (QuEST), with ₹80 crores ($11.2 million) funding in an institute in the southern city of Hyderabad.
While the country is just beginning its research, private companies such as IBM and Google are already fighting on quantum supremacy — a phenomenon where a quantum computer solves a problem that a classical computer practically can’t. On the other hand, Amazon and Microsoft are already offering cloud services for quantum computing.
IBM‘s newly appointed CEO, Arvind Krishna, said in an interview last year that he hadn’t seen any Indian startups working actively in the quantum computing area. He also expressed the country could lose its technological edge if it didn’t invest in the sector.
To catch up with other countries in the quantum computing field, India will need to invest in the right kind of projects. It might also look to partner with major corporations such as IBM and Google to make use of their expertise in the sector.
FEBRUARY 01, 2020
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