Quantum Computing Applications Lab; Facilitating Breakthrough

Quantum computing has the potential to help countries leapfrog technology generations and achieve scientific leadership.

Quantum computing is an innovative technology that is set to change the computing paradigm. Working on the principles of quantum physics, quantum computing has extraordinary potential to provide breakthroughs in science and technology. It is believed that this technology would be able to solve computational problems which are beyond the reach of classical computers and lead to an innovative transformation in chemical engineering, material science, drug discovery, financial portfolio optimization, machine learning, to name some.

To make India stand-out on the cusp of a new future, the Government of India is taking a pioneering step of establishing a Quantum Computing Applications Lab, in collaboration with AWS. The focus of this initiative of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), India  is to provide scientific, academic, and developer communities an access to a quantum computing development environment, to align with the science and technology priorities of the government. 

Ajay Sawhney, Secretary, MeitY is of the belief that quantum computing will play a key role scientific advancements and learning. He said, “India has a rich legacy in science, technology, and innovation. We believe that India’s path forward will be driven by achieving world-class scientific solutions”. 

Adding to his word, Dr Rajendra Kumar, Additional Secretary, MeitY said, “An early and successful foundation in quantum computing is important to achieve leadership in this emerging field. The MeitY Quantum Computing Applications Lab, established with the support of AWS, is the first of its kind initiative in the world, and aims to enable India’s talented researchers to explore the unchartered applications of quantum computing, and pave the way for discoveries and disruptions”. 

Talking of the core mission of MeitY, Abhishek Singh, President & CEO, National e-Governance Division (NeGD), MeitY said, “Quantum computing has extraordinary potential to help countries leapfrog technology generations, achieve scientific leadership, and deliver answers to complex economic and social challenges. This initiative will augment India’s ongoing efforts in developing Quantum Computing Applications”. 

The Central and State Governments, Research Institutions, and Academia will be provided with a portal where they can register and propose their ideas. A subject matter expert from the government sector will then define the problem statements, and invite applications to address the same. 

The selected applicants will be provided with an access to quantum computing hardware, simulators, and programming tools, via Amazon Braket. These will be provided on-demand and at no cost to enable scientists and developers to build algorithms, conduct advanced simulations, and run experiments. 

This collaboration is all set to overcome the limitations and challenges that scientists and researchers are facing in their quest for scientific discovery. Rahul Sharma, President, Public Sector – AISPL, AWS India and South Asia, said, “Our collaboration with MeitY to establish the Quantum Computing Applications Lab will provide the breadth and depth of AWS services to the research, academic, and scientific community to overcome these challenges and focus on innovation”.

Government is hoping that this new initiative; MeitY Quantum Computing Applications Lab, will be of help to different government bodies and the scientific community to identify problems and opportunities rapidly. Its ability of allowing practical scenario testing, via experiments and prototypes in a low-risk environment makes it an ideal choice for research. It is also expected that the outcomes from these experiments will help researchers to evolve the problem statements, proofs-of-concept, and prototypes, leading to the development of new applications, models, and frameworks in quantum computing.

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