The Indian government has allocated a budget of 80 billion rupees (~$1.12 billion) to quantum computing, communications and cryptography over the next five years, Nature (opens in new tab)reported today. The budget roughly matches that of the EU ($1.13 billion) and the U.S. ($1.2 billion).
The Indian government essentially increased the budget for quantum computing research by 40x from a previous budget of $27.9 million over five years. The budget was previously reserved for the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems.
The Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology in Delh, Ashutosh Sharma, noted that India is “solid on the theoretical side, but we need to build infrastructure and experimental facilities, we need to build our capacity."
He added that the new effort will coordinate the work of scientists, industry leaders in quantum computing, as well as government departments. The mission will research quantum technologies used in computing, but also communications, cryptography and materials development.
The Indian government seems to have recognized the importance of technology leadership in the world, as it also increased the total budget of the Science Ministry, which oversees the department of science and technology, biotechnology and scientific and industrial research, to 144 billion rupees (~$2 billion).
Google has recently proven quantum supremacy (opens in new tab) (or merely quantum advantage (opens in new tab), if you prefer IBM’s term), attempting to show the world that quantum computing is here to stay and will only become more practical going forward.
Other companies and governments are surely taking notice of this, considering all the benefits quantum computing could offer in terms of general computation, materials science research, drug discovery, optimizing logistics and more.