Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said the country has produced over 40 quantum technology startups in 2 years, a few of them with global potential.

Chairing a review meeting of the Department of Science and Technology in New Delhi on Saturday, he directed the officials to focus on the National Quantum Mission and work on the development of quantum technologies and quantum communication.

"India is currently on an equal pedestal with other nations in terms of quantum technologies," the Minister said, adding that our mission should be to establish the country as a global leader in quantum technologies.

Quantum technology harnesses the principles of quantum mechanics to perform complex calculations. It plays a vital role in the fields of cryptography, chemistry, healthcare, medicine, and logistics among others.

Highlighting the role of startups and the private sector in the development of science and technology, the Minister shared the success story of ‘QuNu Labs’, a Bangalore-based startup incubated by IIT Madras which has signed an MoU with the Technology Development Board (TDB) for development of security products based on quantum technologies.

Women’s Participation in extramural research and development (R&D) doubled in the last 10 years.

The Minister shared that around 300 women scientists are going to receive research grants for 3 years from Government under ASPIRE scheme.

He expressed satisfaction that the country is becoming the ‘Startup capital of the world’ from a few hundred before 2014 to more than 1.25 lakh in 2024 and more than 110 unicorns with startups doing excellent work even in critical areas such as space sector.

He also highlighted the massive jump in the country’s ranking in the Global Innovation Index from 81st in the year 2015 to 40th in 2023. He emphasised the fact that India ranks 3rd in terms of the number of publications and number of PhDs awarded in Science and Engineering.

”Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s resolve to empower and provide ease of living to the last man standing should be the aim of our innovation” said Dr. Jitendra Singh while motivating the team DST on their future course of action.

He categorically mentioned that it is the best time for the development of science and technology in the country due to the conducive environment. He shared that the Government has invested around ₹900 crore from 2016- 2023 in the National Initiative for developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) which is supporting budding entrepreneurs in the field of S&T.

The Union Minister also enquired about the progress of the existing National geospatial mission, the Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Mission. He also highlighted the Government’s efforts in bringing legislation on Anusandhan NRF.