Pioneering a new era: Quantum Computing

Pioneering a new era: Quantum Computing

Quantum computing is a cutting-edge paradigm of computing that leverages the principles of quantum mechanics to perform computations in ways that are fundamentally different from classical computers.

While classical computers process information using bits as 0s and 1s, quantum computers use quantum bits or qubits, which can represent 0, 1, or any superposition of these states due to a phenomenon called superposition. 

In simple terms, Quantum computers are super powerful computers that use the advanced rules of quantum physics to solve complex problems much faster than regular computers. They use "qubits" that can be both 0 and 1 at the same time (superposition) and can be linked in a special way (entanglement). This lets them explore many possibilities simultaneously and tackle tasks like simulating molecules or breaking codes much faster.

Features of  Quantum Computing 

  1. Superposition: As mentioned earlier, qubits can exist in multiple states simultaneously, allowing quantum computers to process multiple possibilities at once. This enables quantum computers to potentially solve certain problems much faster than classical computers.
  2. Entanglement: Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon where qubits become correlated in such a way that the state of one qubit instantly influences the state of another, even if they are separated by large distances. This property is used in quantum computations to enhance their efficiency.
  3. Quantum Gates: Just as classical computers use logic gates to manipulate bits, quantum computers use quantum gates to manipulate qubits. These gates perform operations that exploit the properties of superposition and entanglement to perform complex computations.
  4. Quantum Parallelism: Quantum computers can explore multiple solutions to a problem simultaneously, leading to a significant speedup for certain types of calculations. This is particularly useful for problems in fields like cryptography, optimization, and material science.

Significance of Quantum Computing 

  1. Cryptography: Quantum computers have the potential to break currently used encryption schemes, which rely on the difficulty of factoring large numbers. Quantum computers can perform such factorization exponentially faster, raising concerns about the security of sensitive data.
  2. Optimization: Many real-world problems involve optimising solutions within a vast search space. Quantum computers can potentially provide much faster solutions for optimization problems, which are prevalent in logistics, finance, and supply chain management.
  3. Material Science: Quantum computers can simulate quantum systems more efficiently than classical computers. This can lead to advancements in designing new materials, understanding chemical reactions, and solving complex quantum mechanical problems.
  4. Machine Learning: Quantum computing can enhance machine learning algorithms by speeding up tasks such as training neural networks and performing complex data analysis.
  5. Drug Discovery: Quantum computers can simulate molecular interactions and properties more accurately, aiding in drug discovery and development of new materials.
  6. Climate Modelling: Quantum computers can simulate complex quantum systems involved in climate models more efficiently, potentially leading to better predictions and insights into climate change.

Initiatives by the Indian Government

1. National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications (NM-QTA): Launched by the Government of India in 2021, NM-QTA aims to promote research and development in the field of quantum computing and technologies. It focuses on developing quantum computers, secure communication systems, quantum cryptography, and more.

2. Quantum Computing Labs and Centers: The Indian government has been establishing research centers and labs dedicated to quantum computing across various institutes and universities. These centers aim to foster research and collaboration in quantum technologies.

  • Examples: Centre for Development of Telematics established a quantum communication lab in October 2021, which can accommodate more than 100 kilometres of standard optical fibre.
  • The Indian Army established a quantum computing laboratory and an AI hub at a military engineering institute in Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, in December 2021, which is also supported by the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS).

3. Collaboration with Industry: The government has been encouraging collaborations between academic institutions, research organisations, and industry players to advance quantum computing research and applications.

  • Eg: The Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) have decided to work together on the development of quantum computers.

Initiatives by IBM India

IBM is a renowned global technology and consulting company that offers a wide range of products, services, and solutions in various domains, including cloud computing, artificial intelligence, data analytics, blockchain, cybersecurity, and more.

  1. Qiskit Challenge: Qiskit is an open-source software development kit created by IBM for the community of quantum developers.
  2. Qiskit India Week of Quantum: IBM organises India-focused programs on a regular basis, such as Qiskit India Week of Quantum, which highlighted women in quantum to jumpstart their quantum adventures and was attended by around 300 students.
  3. The Qiskit Textbook: The Qiskit textbook is accessible in Tamil, Bengali, and Hindi and was accessed by students in India over 30,000 times in 2021 alone.
  4. IBM Quantum Educators Programme: Through the IBM Quantum Educators Programme, IBM is cooperating with premier educational institutions in India.

These institutions' staff and students will be able to access IBM Quantum systems, quantum learning resources, and quantum tools via IBM Cloud for educational reasons

Way forward

The field of quantum computing is rapidly evolving, and both the Indian government and IBM India are likely to continue their efforts in this domain. The future roadmap may include:

  1. Research and Development: Further investments in research and development to advance quantum hardware, algorithms, and error correction techniques.
  2. Skill Development: Initiatives to train and develop a skilled workforce capable of harnessing the potential of quantum computing for various applications.
  3. Industry Collaboration: Continued collaboration with industry partners to drive innovation and commercialization of quantum technologies.
  4. Policy Framework: Developing a policy framework to address the ethical, security, and regulatory aspects of quantum technologies.
  5. Application Development: Focusing on practical applications of quantum computing in areas such as cryptography, optimization, drug discovery, and more.
  6. Global Collaboration: Collaborating with international institutions, organisations, and experts to share knowledge and resources for advancing quantum computing on a global scale.


Quantum computing represents a transformative paradigm that leverages the principles of quantum mechanics to perform computations beyond the capabilities of classical computers. Its unique features, including superposition and entanglement, hold the potential to revolutionise fields such as cryptography, optimization, material science, and more. The significance of quantum computing lies in its ability to solve complex problems faster than classical computers, offering solutions that were previously considered infeasible.

Looking forward, the trajectory of quantum computing involves continued research and development to overcome technical challenges, education to build a quantum-ready workforce, and collaboration to drive innovation and real-world applications. As the field evolves, policy considerations, ethical implications, and international collaboration will also play pivotal roles in shaping the future of quantum computing. It is an exciting and rapidly evolving journey that holds immense promise for transforming various industries and expanding the horizons of what is computationally possible.