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New Microsoft Program to Help Develop the Quantum Computing Workforce of the Future in India

Microsoft is creating a new program to build quantum computing skills and capabilities in the academic community in India.  As part of this initiative, Microsoft Garage is organising a ‘Train the Trainer’ program in collaboration with Electronics and ICT Academies at Malaviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT), Jaipur and National Institute of Technology, Patna. This program will train 900  faculty from Universities and Institutes across India through E& ICT Academies at Institutes of National Importance such as IIT Kanpur, IIT Guwahati, IIT Roorkee, MNIT Jaipur,  NIT Patna, IIIT-D Jabalpur, and NIT Warangal, equipping academics with the required skills to start building their quantum future

Quantum computing applies the properties of quantum physics to process information. Quantum computers will enable new discoveries in the areas of healthcare, energy, environmental systems, smart materials, and beyond.  Microsoft is bringing the capabilities to develop for this quantum future, to the cloud with Azure Quantum. Azure Quantum is an open cloud ecosystem enabling developers to access diverse quantum software, hardware, and solutions from Microsoft and its partners. It is built on Azure, a trusted, scalable and secure platform, and will continue to adapt to Microsoft’s rapidly evolving cloud future. Moreover, it delivers the ability to have impact today through quantum inspired solvers running on classical hardware and to explorations on classical hardware using the open source Quantum Development Kit and the Q# programming language.

The quantum training program through the E &ICT Academies, supports an initiative by Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) to enhance the skills of the academicians in imparting next level technological skills for future generations. Key themes that will be covered include – an introduction to quantum information, quantum concepts such as superposition and entanglement, processing of information using qubits and quantum gates, as well as an introduction to quantum machine learning and quantum programming. 

Rajiv Kumar, Managing Director, Microsoft India Development Center, and Corporate Vice President, Enterprise+Devices India, said, “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.”

Inaugurating the program, Ms. Reena Dayal, Director, Microsoft Garage India & Chair for IEEE Quantum SIG, said, “Quantum computing holds the potential to solve some of the most pressing issues our world faces today. Through this program, 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.”

The training program will be conducted virtually, from August 24 – Aug 29, 2020. The program will also cover practical coding for participants using Microsoft Q# & Quantum Development Kit.

Speaking on the collaboration, Prof. Udaykumar R Yaragatti, Director, MNIT Jaipur said, “The institute is committed to providing state-of-the-art technologies to students and this collaboration with Microsoft will provide further encouragement to faculty members to explore the different aspects of quantum computing.”

Prof. Pradip K Jain, Director, NIT Patna said, “The COVID situation has given an opportunity for going digital with this program. This partnership will ignite the passion in faculty members who will in turn share the knowledge with their students.” 

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