[Answered] What is Quantum Technology? Discuss its potential applications and the significance of ‘National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications’ in this direction.


Demand of the question

Introduction. What is Quantum Technology?

Body. Discuss potential applications of quantum technology and significance of the National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications.

Conclusion. Way forward.


Quantum technology is an emerging field of physics and engineering, which relies on the principles of quantum physics (the physics of subatomic particles). Quantum technology promises improvements to a vast range of everyday technology.


Potential applications of quantum technology:

  1. Industrial revolution 4.0: Quantum computing is an integral part of Industrial revolution 4.0. Success in it will help in Strategic initiatives aimed at leveraging other Industrial revolution 4.0 technologies like the Internet-of-Things, machine learning, robotics, and artificial intelligence across sectors will further help in laying the foundation of the Knowledge economy.
  2. Financial Portfolio Optimisation: Finding the optimum mix for a basketful of investments based upon projected returns, risk assessments, and other factors is a daily task within the finance industry. By utilizing quantum technology to perform these calculations, one could achieve improvements in both the quality of the solutions as well as the time to develop them.
  3. Logistics and Scheduling: Many common optimisations used in industry can be classified under logistics and scheduling. Quantum computing can make logistics more efficient. For example, airlines can figure out how to stage their airplanes for the best service at the lowest cost.
  4. Pharmaceutical: Quantum computing could reduce the time frame of the discovery of new molecules and related processes to a few days. For instance, tracking protein behaviour or even modelling new proteins with the help of quantum computers could be made easier and faster.
  5. Cyber Security: Various techniques to combat cyber security threats can be developed using some of the quantum machine learning approaches mentioned above to recognize the threats earlier and mitigate the damage that they may do.
  6. Research: It can help in solving some of the fundamental questions in physics related to gravity, blackhole etc. Similarly, the quantum initiative could give a big boost to the Genome India project, a collaborative effort of 20 institutions to enable new efficiencies in life sciences, agriculture and medicine.
  7. Disaster Management: Tsunamis, drought, earthquakes and floods may become more predictable with quantum applications. The collection of data regarding climate change can be streamlined in a better way through quantum technology.

Significance of National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications (NMQTA):

  1. Accommodation: Artificial intelligence, Internet-of-Things (IoT), 3D printing, drones, DNA data storage, quantum computing, etc. are re-writing the world economic order. Mission will help India to accommodate in a new economic order.
  2. Security: It will prepare India to develop these emerging and disruptive technologies in order to secure our communications and financial transactions.
  3. Socio-economic development: This will help India to remain competitive, drive societal progress, foster economic growth and to improve the overall quality of life.
  4. Employment generation: With a solid research base and workforce founded on significant and reliable government support, it can lead to the creation of innovative applications by industries, thereby stimulating economic growth and job creation, which will feed back into a growing quantum-based economy.
  5. Technology requirements: The Mission will be able address the ever increasing technological requirements of the society, and take into account the international technology trends and road maps of leading countries for development of next generation technologies.
  6. Addressing specific issues: Implementation of the mission would help develop and bring quantum computers and associated technologies within reach in the country and help address India specific national and regional issues like in agriculture.
  7. Scientific skilled ecosystem: The mission will help prepare next generation skilled manpower, boost translational research and also encourage entrepreneurship and start-up ecosystem development.
  8. R&D: It will establish standards to be applied to all research and help stimulate a pipeline to support research and applications well into the future.
  9. Industrial application: Their applications which will receive boost include those in aero-space engineering, weather prediction, simulations, cyber security, advanced manufacturing, health, agriculture, education and other important sectors.

Quantum technology is opening up new frontiers in computing, communications, cyber security with wide-spread applications. It is expected that lots of commercial applications would emerge from theoretical constructs which are developing in this area.

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