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Indian IT Seeks Solace in Quantum Tech

Having laid low for several years as the world went ga-ga over quantum tech, Indian IT giants are not waking up to its potential

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Notwithstanding the quirky headline of the story that you are about to read, the fact remains that Indian IT companies have woken up to the potential of quantum computing technologies and are showering both money and time into forming partnerships with technology institutions to acquire the know-how around it. 

The investments and partnerships are going towards getting a better understanding of quantum physics, still at a very nascent stage across Indian academic institutions. In addition, these IT companies are also setting up labs and seeking talent that is capable of building quantum computing based applications for the metaverse. 


What’s on the anvil now?

Towards the latter half of July, Tech Mahindra announced an agreement with Mahindra University to set up what they called the Makers Lab to boost R&D in quantum mechanics and the Metaverse. The announcement came right on cue after Mphasis tied up with IIT Madras to accelerate fundamental and applied research in quantum computing. 

Mphasis also came out with a Rs.21 crore grant to develop and attract fresh talent in the area through scholarships while also announcing that they would provide early stage funding to startups in the domain. The company already has a tie-up with the University of Calgary in Canada as does HCL with the Sydney Quantum Academy in Australia. 

Meanwhile, market leader TCS has also stated that they’re very much in the fray, having stepped up engagements with universities, industry players at a global level and quantum tech vendors. All of this would be used to build, expand and manage a substantially larger quantum network by the year 2023. 


The impact of quantum computing

Quantum computers have made news for some time now, having used the principles of quantum physics to deliver computing that is way beyond what is currently on offer. Quantum computing uses principles such as superposition to represent the binary simultaneously unlike the present where it is represented alternatively. 

This increases overall processing power substantially and allows the resolution of more complex problems within a fraction of the time that modern computing takes. Of course, till date a real quantum computer does not exist, IT companies are hoping to leverage the computing potential of such machines in their solutions by preparing early. 

Some of the areas where experts believe that quantum computing could play a key role include fraud detection in the banking and insurance systems, placement of satellites into more precise orbits, cryptography as well as healthcare and drug discovery. 

Earlier this year, Nasscom had stated in a report that early adoption of quantum computing could grow from the current levels of one to two percent to as high as 35 to 40% over the next ten years. However, unlike cloud technologies quantum computing needs an understanding of core quantum physics, which is probably why IT giants are now spending on academia. 

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