DRDO Chief Hints at Forming Special Committee for QT at National Level

Defence Industry

Satheesh Reddy

Pune: In a move to keep the defence sector updated on developments in the field of science and technology, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Chairman G Satheesh Reddy on December 2 indicated that a special committee may be set up at the national level for coordinating a collaborative effort in research and application of quantum technology (QT), an emerging field of physics and engineering which relies on the principles of quantum physics.

Addressing the inaugural session of a four-day meet on ‘Quantum Information Technology’ jointly organised by the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) and the Joint Advanced Technology Centre (JATC) in Pune, he stressed the need for a roadmap to promote the use of QT.

“The country is committed to taking QT forward. Many organisations like DRDO, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), private industries and institutes are working in this field. We need to collaborate to bring out specific solutions. If required, we may form a special committee which will operate nationally to bring synergy in this niche research domain,” said Reddy.

He said quantum computing, communication, sensing, radar, cryptography etc are the key areas which will play a crucial role in the coming years across the globe. “The DRDO’s Advanced Numerical Research and Analysis Group is working on quantum communication project,” he said, adding that working closely with foreign experts and institutes is the need of the hour.

Eleven experts from different countries will address the meet over the next four days. “They will deliver lectures on various subjects of QT. We need to discuss, deliberate and formulate future strategies in this area,” Reddy said.

National Cyber Security Coordinator Lt General Rajesh Pant (retd) said that China has made huge progress in QT over the last four years, which is a matter of concern for India.

Currently, China is building multi-satellite quantum network, he said. “In fact, developed countries have made significant investment in QT. But India doesn’t have a roadmap for QT. We lack required skills,” said Pant.

About 2.5 per cent GDP of the world is lost to cybercrime, he said. “The country wants to become a five trillion-dollar economy by 2024. It would be difficult to achieve it unless we have a full proof cyber security measure, which can be achieved through quantum cryptography,” Pant said.