Recently, the Indian government stated that it plans to invest 80 billion rupees (about $1.12 billion) for quantum computing research in the next five years. Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the plan will promote quantum technology research under the co-ordination of quantum technology and applied national mission projects.
However, before India, many countries have already taken the lead in deploying quantum computing.
In 2016, the European Commission announced an investment of 1 billion euros (approximately $1.13 billion) for quantum computing projects. In 2018, US President Donald Trump signed a bill promising to invest $1.2 billion in vector computing. At the same time, China also plans to invest $2 billion in quantum computing research in the coming years. Other countries, such as Japan, Germany, and Canada, have announced plans to promote quantum computing projects.
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In contrast, India has very little experience in this field, and there are few research projects on new technologies. Last year, the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology (DST) set up a research project called “Quantum Empowering Science and Technology” (QuEST) at an institute in the southern city of Hyderabad, with a total investment of about 800 million rupees (about $11.2 million).
Although India is just beginning to get involved in quantum research, IBM and Google are already fighting for quantum hegemony. In fact, quantum computers can solve problems that traditional computers can’t. On the other hand, Amazon and Microsoft Cloud have also begun services for quantum computing.
Arvind Krishna, IBM’s newly appointed chief executive, said in an interview last year that he has not seen any Indian startups actively working in the field of quantum computing.
To keep up with other countries in the field of quantum computing, India needs to invest in the right projects. Perhaps India can also cooperate with big companies such as IBM and Google for mutual benefit.