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14/04/24 | 7:00 pm | World Quantum Day

World Quantum Day 2024: India aspires to lead the world in quantum science and technology

India is celebrating World Quantum Day on April 14, with a vision to establish itself as a global frontrunner in the realms of quantum science and technology. This occasion reflects India’s ongoing efforts and aspirations to excel in diverse fields leveraging quantum principles.

The Quantum Leap

Quantum Mechanics, once confined to theoretical realms, has now transitioned into the realm of practical engineering, giving rise to a spectrum of groundbreaking applications. The exploration of atoms and sub-atomic particles has led to the development of technologies like LEDs, lasers, and ultra-precise atomic clocks, instrumental in systems like the Global Positioning System (GPS). The spotlight now shines on harnessing and controlling quantum systems for applications such as Quantum Computing, Quantum Communications, and Quantum Sensing.

World Quantum Day: A Global Initiative

The genesis of World Quantum Day can be traced back to 2022 when an international initiative was launched to elevate awareness and appreciation of quantum science and technology globally. This annual observance, held on April 14th, serves as a testament to the rapid strides made in leveraging quantum principles for tangible advancements.

Leadership in Quantum Technology

Professor Ajay Kumar Sood, the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, underscored the transformative potential of quantum technology, stating, “Quantum Technology is the new frontier, promising applications with immense potential across various sectors from medicine to communications, and from materials discovery to sensitive sensors.”

The National Quantum Mission: A Strategic Initiative

One of the key drivers behind India’s quantum leap is the National Quantum Mission (NQM), conceptualized and propelled by the Prime Minister Science Technology Advisory Council (PM-STIAC). With a substantial investment of Rs 6003.65 Crore over eight years, NQM aims to catalyze scientific and industrial R&D, fostering a robust ecosystem for Quantum Technology (QT) in India.

The NQM, steered by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), adopts a collaborative model, engaging academia, research institutions, startups, and industry players. It focuses on establishing Thematic Hubs in critical domains like Quantum Computing, Quantum Communication, Quantum Sensing & Metrology, and Quantum Materials & Devices. This strategic approach aims to nurture talent, drive innovation, and position India as a frontrunner in quantum technology development and applications.

A Vision for the Future

Reflecting on India’s quantum journey, Professor Abhay Karandikar, Secretary, DST, remarked, “India’s concerted efforts in quantum technologies, bolstered by NQM, position us optimistically as global leaders in this evolving field. The collaboration across sectors and the focus on R&D capabilities are pivotal in realizing this vision.”

The imperative of quantum-safe technologies was also highlighted by Professor Chowdhry, Chairman of the Mission Governing Board (MGB) for NQM. He emphasized the critical role of quantum cryptography in fortifying security measures for essential sectors like banking and infrastructure, aligning with global standards and advancements.

Looking Ahead

The launch of the National Quantum Mission signifies a paradigm shift, propelling India into a realm of innovation and strategic advancement in quantum science and technology. As the world celebrates World Quantum Day, India stands at the forefront of a transformative era, poised to shape the global quantum landscape and unlock new frontiers of possibility.

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Last Updated: 18th May 2024