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National Quantum Mission Takes Shape with Mission Governing Board's First Meeting

National Quantum Mission Takes Shape with Mission Governing Board’s First Meeting

New Delhi:  The inaugural meeting of the Mission Governing Board (MGB) for the National Quantum Mission (NQM) was held under the leadership of Dr. Ajai Chowdhry, focusing on the implementation strategy, timelines, and the establishment of the Mission Coordination Cell (MCC). Chaired by Dr. Chowdhry, the board discussed the critical role of manpower and startups in advancing quantum technology in India.

The Mission Coordination Cell (MCC), to be instituted as a coordinating agency, will operate in collaboration with the Mission Secretariat under the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The MCC’s location will be determined by DST based on merit and existing infrastructure, functioning under the guidance of the Mission Technology Research Council (MTRC).

Dr. Ajai Chowdhry emphasized the significance of focusing on manpower and startups, anticipating that NQM would propel India forward in the quantum technology domain.

Professor A K Sood, the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, stressed the importance of creating human resources, proposing to empower the Hubs to build human capacity.

Dr. V K Saraswat, Member of Niti Aayog, highlighted the need for the industry to play a pivotal role in technology and fund sharing, emphasizing the development of indigenous systems.

Professor Abhay Karandikar, Secretary DST, outlined NQM’s plan to establish four mission hubs in Quantum Computing, Quantum Communication, Quantum Sensing & Metrology, and Quantum Materials & Devices. These hubs will consist of consortia comprising academia, research and development labs, and industry stakeholders.

Dr. Akhilesh Gupta and Dr. Ekta Kapoor presented a comprehensive implementation plan, which was extensively deliberated upon by the MGB. The board approved a “Call for Pre-proposals” to invite proposals for establishing the four technology hubs under NQM.

Several dignitaries and officials, including Dr. Samir K Kamat, Dr. Rajat Moona, Shri Vishvajit Sahay, and representatives from various government departments and agencies, participated in the meeting.

The Union Cabinet sanctioned the National Quantum Mission (NQM) on April 19, 2023, with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) overseeing its implementation. With a total outlay of Rs. 6003.65 Crore for eight years, the mission aims to propel India into a leadership position in Quantum Technologies & Applications (QTA), fostering a dynamic and innovative quantum technology ecosystem.

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