The Union Budget proposal allocating Rs 8000 crore over the next five years to quantum computing has been lauded by industry. Some are predicting that this move could propel India to third-place globally behind the US and China in quantum computing.
Outlining her proposal, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government proposed to provide an outlay of Rs 8000 crore over five years under the National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications.
She explained that quantum computing was set to revolutionize computers and make them more powerful than before. It would impact computing, cybersecurity, communications, etc.
She pointed out that new technologies like IoT, 3D printing, etc. would bring sweeping changes to both public and private sectors across the world. India had already begun adopting such technologies and improved its direct benefits transfer system by increasing transparency, efficiency, and by preventing fraud.
Quantum computing will completely change all computing systems making previously impregnable systems vulnerable; even blockchain firms are looking for new cryptographic techniques as it is expected that quantum computers will be able to compute the hash of blocks in the blockchain. Thus, new cybersecurity systems will have to be developed. On the positive side, large computing power will lead to faster calculations, which will lead to better drugs, better chemical analysis, etc.
Blockchain technology is being increasingly adopted across various industries due to features like security and transparency. As quantum computing will make blockchains vulnerable, it will also impact sectors like finance, banking, supply chains, etc.
Quantum computing technology uses qubits for computing instead of ones and zeroes used in binary systems. Qubits exist in two states, called a state of superposition. This allows for large computing power. Thus, quantum computers will be able to perform tasks that cannot be done even by today’s fastest computers.
Explaining quantum computing Debjani Ghosh, President, Nasscom, said,
Since everyone is talking #quantumcomputing thanks to #Budget2020… it basically allows multiple calculations at once by exploiting the superpositions of qubits, enabling us solve problems that would have taken a normal computer thousands of years to solve.