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Saturday, December 07, 2019

DIAT plans to make Pune hub of quantum technology in country

Quantum technology concerns the study, control and manipulation of quantum principle-based systems with the goal of achieving information processing, secure communication and superior sensors beyond the limits of classical systems.

By: Express News Service | Pune | Updated: November 29, 2019 9:24:01 am
Defence Institute of Advanced Technology, DIAT, DIAT Pune, Pune DIAT, Pune city news At the event on Thursday. (Express Photo)

Defence Institute of Advanced Technology, DIAT, DIAT Pune, Pune DIAT, Pune news, City news, Indian Express

The Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) is planning to make Pune a hub for quantum technology in the country. “The plan is to make Pune a hub for quantum technology. There is a big talent pool available in and around Pune and we thought it apt to take the lead and project Pune as a hub for quantum technology. The focus is on security and defence application of quantum technology, along with other areas, too,” said DIAT Vice Chancellor Dr CP Ramanarayanan on Thursday.

He was speaking at an event to announce the International Symposium on Quantum Information Technology (ISQIT 2019), being jointly organised by DIAT, DRDO, NTRO and JATC of IIT-Delhi between December 2 and 5 in Pune. DIAT is a city-based deemed university under the Department of Defence Research and Development of the Ministry of Defence.

Ramanarayanan said the aim is to make DIAT the nodal agency in the country for research in quantum technology.

“The idea behind this conference is that at the end of each session, we want to identify the area where there is a technology gap and the areas in which foreign universities are willing to work with us. We will be the nodal agency in this regard. This conference is being hosted by our parent organisation DRDO supported by NTRO, IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay, TIFR and many key academic institutions in India. 40 scientists from DRDO, 15 from NTRO, 10 from IIT Delhi and more along with delegates from Army, Navy, Air Force and the joint Cyber Command. The plan is to make Pune a hub for quantum technology. We want to make this conference a yearly affair and plan to invite the Google chief for the event next year.”

Quantum technology concerns the study, control and manipulation of quantum principle-based systems with the goal of achieving information processing, secure communication and superior sensors beyond the limits of classical systems. It is a deeply interdisciplinary field, lying in the crossover of areas such as quantum physics, condensed matter physics, computer science, mathematics and electrical and electronics engineering.

Elaborating on the plan, Ramanarayanan said, “The first aim will be to pool the talent in this country. We will enable academic institutions where this talent is available to work together. Being affiliated to the central ministry, we will be able to bring these institutions together to work on common goals.”

The conference will be attended by DRDO Chairman G Satheesh Reddy, NTRO Chairman Satish Chandra Jha, Director General of Sudhir Kamath, Director General (Micro Electronic Devices and Computational Sciences) M H Rahaman, experts from various DRDO laboratories like ANURAG, SAG, CAIR and DYSL-QT, experts from DIAT, C-DAC Pune, TIFR Mumbai, IIT Delhi, IIT Madras and IIIT Pune.

Manisha Nene of DIAT, who is the co-convener for the event, said, “The four verticals that the conference will focus on are quantum computations and algorithms, quantum communication, quantum sensing and post-quantum cryptography. We hope that the knowledge and research shared by the experts in these areas will benefit all stakeholders. This event will help to formulate the roadmap to bring India to the forefront of progress in quantum technologies applicable to defence, medical and other civilian applications.”

MTech in quantum technology at DIAT Ramanarayanan said, “We have an MTech programme in artificial intelligence and from the coming academic year, we are starting an MTech course in quantum technology also. Maybe, we will be first to do so in the country. Foreign faculty will be also roped in for the course. The students will be from both services and civilian backgrounds.”

Nene added, “The course aims to develop skill sets on utilising quantum computing capabilities. The global IT giants have already put in efforts toward development of this technology. The course will also focus on the physics aspect as sensing and communication depends a lot on it.”

Ramanarayanan said DIAT has recently signed MoUs with several foreign agencies, including one with French aviation major Dassault. “They want our students to work with Dassault. Once the students complete the two-year postgraduation course here, they will continue with a one year course in France and move to work for the company either in France or at its design centre in Pune,” he said.

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