GS Paper - 3 (Computer)

Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras) is the first academic institute in the country to join an IBM programme promoting quantum computing development and research. As a member of the IBM Quantum Network, IIT Madras will get cloud-based access to the American company’s advanced quantum computing systems and expertise to explore applications. The network has about 50-53 academic institutes from across the world.


  1. Today IBM Quantum eco-system consists of over 400,000 registered users of quantum technology, an ecosystem of 100 organisations that has access to the largest fleet of more than 20 qbits computers today.
  2. The collaboration will open new avenues to work with industry partners to accelerate research, make quantum real and create a vibrant quantum ecosystem in India.
  3. IIT Madras’ Centre for Quantum Information, Communication and Computing (CQuICC) will focus on advancing core algorithms in research areas like quantum machine learning, quantum optimisation, and applications research in finance.
  4. IBM and IIT Madras have a long association in education and research areas like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
  5. Last year, IIT Madras joined IBM’s Quantum Education Program to provide its students and faculty access to the company’s quantum learning resources, quantum tools, and quantum systems for education and research.
  6. In August last year, IBM Quantum and IIT Madras jointly offered a course on quantum computing to over 10,000 participants.

What is Quantum Computing?

  1. Quantum computing is an area of computer science that uses the principles of quantum theory. Quantum theory explains the behavior of energy and material on the atomic and subatomic levels.
  2. Quantum computing uses subatomic particles, such as electrons or photons. Quantum bits, or qubits, allow these particles to exist in more than one state (i.e., 1 and 0) at the same time.
  3. Theoretically, linked qubits can "exploit the interference between their wave-like quantum states to perform calculations that might otherwise take millions of years."
  4. Classical computers today employ a stream of electrical impulses (1 and 0) in a binary manner to encode information in bits. This restricts their processing ability, compared to quantum computing.