Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST: Quantum Energy plan will be set in a few months
Earlier this year, one of the US Department of Energy’s partnering Universities had set up a quantum loop to transfer protons. And, in the period of two weeks, the same department has released its blueprint for quantum internet. While similar to this, Delhi Universities will also be testing a similar project by the end of 2020. India is heading towards it even though it does not not have any such groundbreaking research in this field.
In a conversation with Ishaan Gera, Prof Ashutosh Sharma who is the secretary at the department of science and technology has said, “For the developments in the field of quantum technology, the Government of India is moving towards creating a holistic ecosystem. It has been also announced that a National Quantum Technology Mission would be set up with investment of about Rs 8,000 crore for the period of over five years.”
Quantum Technology is one of the most disruptive in nature, and is expected to move and expand at a significant rate. For the same, the Department of Science and Technology in 2018 had started an initiative on this technology.
For this, the department had done a mapping of the researchers across the country so as to see who all are there who are interested and have been working on quantum technology and how far the infrastructure has been built for its further advancements. This is also done to check what kind of human resources are needed and what kind of training that is needed.
Today, there have emerged many applications in quantum technology from quantum computing, communication, security/quantum key distribution, to imaging devices, sensors, among others.
However, progress has been in smaller-sized areas and about fifty groups have been identified. But, there has been a keen interest which has been developed in the field of quantum technology today. Various departments such as ISRO, MeiTY, and DRDO have already taken initiative towards this area. For instance, ISRO is working across satellites for quantum communication.