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DoT announces call for proposals: Quantum Standardization and Testing Labs

The Department of Telecommunications has announced a call for proposals titled “Quantum Standardization and Testing Labs” and has invited submissions from Indian academic institutions or R&D institutions, either individually or in partnership. The main objective is to accelerate research and development in quantum technologies, ensuring quantum communication systems’ interoperability, reliability, and security. These labs will serve as innovation hubs, uniting quantum technology developers, testing equipment manufacturers, and academic researchers to explore and harness the full potential of quantum technologies for the benefit of all citizens.

Enhancing Everyday Life with Quantum Technologies
The initiative aligns with the Prime Minister’s vision for ‘Jai Anushandhan’, aiming to support research and development in telecom products and technologies that directly enhance the lives of Indian citizens. It represents a significant step towards making India self-reliant in quantum technologies and setting global benchmarks in this cutting-edge field. The effort not only supports the development of secure, reliable, and efficient quantum communication systems, but also aims at providing all Indian citizens with advanced technologies that improve everyday communication, data security, and overall digital experience.

Objectives of the Proposed Labs:

  • Quantum Standardization: Establish benchmarks and protocols essential for the seamless integration of quantum communication elements such as quantum key distribution, quantum state analysers, optical fibres, and components into existing and future communication networks.
  • Testing Facilities: Develop reliable testing facilities to validate quantum concepts, processes, devices, and applications created by Indian industry members, including startups, R&D, and academic institutions. This includes verifying their performance under different conditions and certifying their compliance with national and international standards. These facilities will support the development of quantum technologies that can be safely and effectively used by citizens in various sectors, including healthcare, education, and finance.

These labs aims at easy accessibility to industry, startups, and local telecom stakeholders at a nominal fee, ensuring that the benefits of advanced quantum technologies are available to all. By fostering a comprehensive approach, this initiative supports the growth of indigenous quantum technology solutions, positioning India as a leader in global standards.

Proposed technologies for Testing:

  • Single Photon and Entangled Photon Sources.
  • Single Photon Detectors, including superconducting nanowire SPDs and avalanche photodiodes.
  • Quantum Memories and Repeaters.
  • Quantum Communication Modules such as QKD, quantum teleportation, and free-space quantum communications.
  • Trusted Nodes and Untrusted Nodes. And
  • Any other items relevant to the Quantum Communication Domain.
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