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India Planning to invest Rs.8000 crores ($1.12 billion) over five years in quantum computing research

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The Indian government on 1st Feb 2020 Budget day said it is planning to invest some 8,000 crores ($1.12 billion) over five years in quantity computing research. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of the country said the scheme would improve technology research in the context of the National Mission of Quantum Technology and Application project. India’s investment comes quite late as many nations have already earmarked research grants in the area.

In 2016, the European Commission announced funding of € 1 trillion ($1.13 billion) for quantum computing projects. In 2018, US President Donald Trump signed a bill pledging $1.2 billion of investment. Meanwhile, over the years, China has already committed more than $2 billion to fuel Quantum Research. Other countries like Japan, Germany and Canada also announced different schemes to boost quantum computing programs.

India is quite new, with very few new technology ventures underway. Last year, a research project called Quantum-Enabled Science & Technology (QuEST) was set up by the Department of Science & Technology (DST) with funding of some 80 crores ($11.2 million) at an institute in the southern city of Hyderabad.

While the country is just starting its research work, private firms like IBM and Google are already working on quantum dominance — a phenomenon where a quantum computer is solving a problem that a classic computer can’t do. Amazon and Microsoft are already providing quantum computing cloud services.

In an interview last year, IBM’s newly appointed CEO, Arvind Krishna, said that he had not seen any Indian companies working actively in the quantum computing area. He also expressed that if India did not invest in the sector, the country could lose its technological edge. To catch up with other countries in the field of quantum computing, India will need to invest in projects of the right kind. It may also look to work with major corporations including IBM and Google to take advantage of their business experience.

Quantum technologies and engineering (QuTeE) focuses on modeling and control techniques to engineer quantum devices and processes. Quantum computing is the most important technology in development. It’s hard to dispute that the industry is witnessing an inflection point. Tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, Intel, and IBM have invested a lot and promises for their own quantum development.

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