US-based software giant Microsoft on Monday announced a new online programme to train 900 Indian academicians in quantum computing. The initiative is part of India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) drive to upgrade and update the technical skills of Indian IT professionals.
The plan is to process information using the laws of quantum physics. The technology will allow computers to store enormous amount of information without overloading the machine with data. Quantum computers are expected to dramatically boost sectors like healthcare, energy and smart technologies.
Microsoft’s new India-centric “Train the Trainer” initiative is part of its “Garage” programme designed to push tech enthusiasts to work on projects that they are passionate about. The initiative will train IT professors and teachers from prestigious Indian institutes including the IT colleges in Kanpur, Roorkee and Guwahati and other engineering colleges from Indian cities like Jabalpur, Patna, and Warangal.
“We aim to equip academia in India with the requisite knowledge to develop a comprehensive Quantum learning curriculum in their institutions and help develop these skills among some of the brightest minds in the country,” said Reena Dayal, Director, Microsoft Garage India.
Nearly three million students get an engineering degree in India every year, a 2019 report by BusinessWorld Education revealed. Although engineering streams like civil, mechanic, automobile, software, and computer are available in most Indian IT colleges, only a handful are equipped to train students in core advanced technologies.
As part of the “Train the Trainer” initiative, Microsoft will be teaching IT professors about quantum computing with topics including quantum machine learning, quantum programming superposition and entanglement.
“India is renowned across the world for its science, technology, engineering, mathematics and computing (STEM+C) workforce, and a tech-capable citizenry. Through this initiative in India, we aim to develop skills in quantum at scale, which has the potential to trigger the new frontier of innovation, shaping the future of the IT industry in this part of the world,” Rajiv Kumar, Managing Director, Microsoft India Development Center, and Corporate Vice President, Enterprise+Devices India said.
The five-day virtual training programme will be conducted between 24 and 29 August.
The boom in emerging technologies like AI, ML and quantum computing in recent years has shown that these applied sciences will be drivers of the future of industrialisation as well as globalisation.
A recent report titled -- “Emerging Military Technologies: Background and Issues for Congress” released by the US Congressional Research Service indicated that the US, along with China and Russia have been making steady progress in new technologies including quantum computing.
Earlier this year, India made available $1.07 billion for the research and development of quantum technology as part of its “National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications” initiative that aims to bring Indian tech companies together to work on technologies like cryptography, communications, and materials science.