Money & Banking

₹8,000 crore quantum tech fund awaits budgetary approval

Ayushi Kar Mumbai | Updated on August 01, 2021

The detailed project report still remains under wraps   -  istock.com/William_Potter

The fund, which was to be launched this month, may get further delayed

The ₹8,000 crore quantum technologies fund may get further delayed as the project is yet to get budgetary approval. Announced by the Union Budget in February 2020, the National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Application (NM-QTA) was expected to be launched this month.

“The current status of the project is that it is under processing for approvals and allocation of budget,” Dr KR Murali Mohan, Scientist-G & Head, Frontier & Futuristic Technologies Division, Department of Science and Technology (DST) said while responding to queries from BusinessLine.

Funding

NM-QTA is seeking to dole out ₹8,000 crore in funding to uplift research and entrepreneurship in the quantum ecosystem. The mission aims to focus on four key areas — quantum communication, quantum simulation, quantum computation, and quantum sensing and meteorology.

NM-QTA was in the process of getting final approvals for this project from several ministries including The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Defence Research and Development Organisation, Indian Space Research Organisation among others. These approvals seem to be complete.

“In the last few months, several Ministries have also finalised their activities and participation in the Mission including ISRO, DRDO, MeitY, CSIR, etc. This would bring even greater synergies and muscle to the Mission,” Mohan said.

Selection of projects

The detailed project report, outlining the core strategies behind how this budget will be spent, still remains under wraps. However, he said that the mission is a pan-India one and selection of projects and disbursement of the funds would be carried out on merit and competitive basis through open calls with transparent mechanisms.

According to Abhishek Chopra, Founder & CEO of BosonQ Psi, a quantum computing SaaS-based enterprise, funding from the government for burgeoning quantum technologies is necessary.

“At the moment, investor interest in quantum technologies, especially quantum computing is very limited. Quantum technologies are treated as the technology of tomorrow out of science fiction. In this scenario, it becomes hard for start-ups to invest into core R&D and hire immerse tech talent that India has to offer.”

“India has some of the greatest technological minds and has already missed out on key global technological waves ushering in a new era of computing technology. It can be one of the global leaders here and it is important that they capitalise on this now,” he said.

Published on August 01, 2021

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