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Approach:

  1. Introduction – about QC and its working principles.
  2. Write why should India focus on QC ?
  3. Government’s initiatives to promote QC.
  4. In conclusion, write significance – how is it better than supercomputers ?

The 21st century will be an era of cutting edge technology that will enable humans to achieve the hitherto impossible tasks. Amongst these game changing technologies, a critical role would be played by quantum computing and technology. Quantum computing is an emerging field of physics and engineering, which relies on the principles of quantum physics (the physics of subatomic particles).

Working Principle: It is a type of computation that harnesses the collective properties of quantum states, such as superposition, interference, and entanglement, to perform calculations. It works on the principles of :

  • ‘Superposition’ meaning they can exist in multiple states (both 0,1 at the same time) at the same time. It is unlike classical computers where information is processed in ‘bits’ or 1s and 0s, following classical physics.
  • ‘Entanglement’ where two or more particles are inextricably linked & mirror each other exactly, even when separated by great physical distance.

Why India’s focus on Quantum computing : Quantum computing is an integral part of Industrial revolution 4.0. Success in it will help in Strategic initiatives aimed at leveraging other technologies like the Internet-of-Things, Machine Learning, robotics, and artificial intelligence across sectors and lay the foundation of the Knowledge economy.

The adoption of quantum technologies across industries could potentially add US$ 280–310 billion value to the Indian economy by 2030. Manufacturing, high-tech, banking, and defence sectors will remain at the forefront of quantum-led innovation.

Initiatives taken by India to promote QC:

  • The National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications (NM-QTA): It is a government of India programme that aims to create a workforce of over 25,000 in India over the next 5-7 years. It has a total budget outlay of ₹8,000 crore for a period of five years.
  • The next generation transformative technologies that will receive a push under this mission include quantum computers and computing, quantum communication, quantum key distribution, encryption, quantum devices, quantum sensing, etc.
  • The areas of focus for the Mission will be in fundamental science, translation, technology development, human and infrastructural resource generation, innovation and start-ups to address issues concerning national priorities.
  • QuEST: The Department of Science and Technology launched the Quantum-Enabled Science and Technology (QuEST) initiative to invest INR 80 crores to lay out infrastructure and to facilitate research in the field.
  • Quantum Computer Simulator (QSim) Toolkit : It provides the first quantum development environment to academicians, industry professionals, students, and the scientific community in India.

Significance – Conventional computers and Supercomputers process information with bits (ones and zeroes). Quantum computers, on the other hand, use quantum bits or qubits that can process the ones and zeroes simultaneously due to a property known as superposition. This allows them to process a lot more information than conventional computers. Conventional Supercomputers combine processing power of thousands of computers. However, supercomputers aren’t very good at solving certain types of problems. Contrarily, the computing power of quantum computers increases exponentially (by a factor of 2) with increase in qubits e.g., In 2019, Google said it had performed a calculation on a quantum processor in 300 seconds that would have been practically impossible to achieve with the algorithms available at the time.

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