Budget 2020-21 announces the largest-ever science mission

The Union Budget 2020-21 has announced a National Mission on Quantum Technologies & Applications (NM-QTA) with a total budget outlay of over US$1.1 billion for a period of five years to be implemented by the Department of Science & Technology (DST)

February 1, 2020

Presenting the budget, Finance Minister Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman said that the new economy was based on innovations that disrupt established, business models

AI, IoT, automation, 3D printing, DNA data storage, quantum computing, drones, among other next-gen innovations, are re-writing the world economic order

A vast variety of commercial applications are expected to emerge from research being done in Quantum technologies that have a hugely disruptive potential

NM-QTA will drive R&D in quantum computing and communication, encryption, cryptanalysis, quantum devices and sensing, quantum materials, and clock, etc

In line with the Government of India’s focus on building capabilities in science and technology, the Union Budget 2020-21 allotted the largest-ever funding for scientific research and development. The Budget, introduced on February 1, announced a National Mission on Quantum Technologies & Applications (NM-QTA) with a total budget outlay of over US$1.1 billion. The mission will be implemented for a period of five years by the Department of Science & Technology (DST). Presenting the budget, Finance Minister Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman said that the new economy was based on innovations that disrupt established, business models. Hence the Indian Government is keen to drive innovation and investment in the space.

Artificial intelligence (AI), Internet-of-Things (IoT), automation, 3D printing, DNA data storage, quantum computing, drones, among other next-gen innovations, are re-writing the world economic order. In her speech, the minister said that quantum technology was opening up new frontiers in computing, communications, cybersecurity with wide-spread applications. Lots of commercial applications are expected to emerge from research being done in Quantum technologies that have huge disruptive potential. The mission will drive innovation in quantum computing and communication, encryption, cryptanalysis, quantum devices, quantum sensing, quantum materials, quantum clock and so on. 

The areas of focus for the mission will be in fundamental science, translation, technology development, human and infrastructural resource generation, innovation and startups to address issues concerning national priorities. Applications that will receive boost include those in aerospace, weather prediction, simulations, communications, and financial transactions, cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing, health, agriculture, education and other important sectors with a focus on the creation of high skilled jobs, human resources development, startups and entrepreneurship leading to technology lead economic growth. Strength in these categories will be key to building a US$5 trillion future-ready economy.