Talk on Secure Communication in the Quantum World
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In the emerging quantum world, establishing quantum secure communication is quite demanding and challenging affair. The quantum era is governed by rules of Quantum Physics, which has led to the development of quantum technologies aiming to harness applications in computing, communication, and precision sensing. Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) offers a means for information exchange, which is secure even in the presence of quantum computers. In this context, the VIF under its S&T series organized a talk on “Secure Communication in the Quantum World: Opportunities and Challenges” by Dr Bhaskar Kanseri, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi on 18 December 2023.

Prof Kanseri provided a brief overview of the Quantum Technology (QT), the QKD, and why it is needed. He highlighted the state of the art activities in quantum secure communication both globally as well as India’s standing in this field and what has been done in the country so far. He discussed recent efforts in developing sources of single and entangled photons, and some implementations of fiber based QKD in lab scale and in real field environment with the DRDO. He also discussed the first Indian intercity QKD, long distance fiber-QKD up to 380kms, and entanglement based QKD for 50km. Finally, he touched upon the opportunities and challenges as well as future prospects in the field of QTs.

It was noted that Prof Bhaskar and his team has made noteworthy contribution in this field. They have a very young and energetic research group, which has demonstrated with DRDO with two labs between Prayagraj and Vindhyachal in Uttar Pradesh. It was observed that trusted node-free QKD offers higher security for long distance. Thus, this is a steppingstone for future secure quantum networks and quantum internet. Importantly, by using trusted nodes, secure key can be established between metro cities for up to 2000km. In this regard, India’s private sectors have to play big role in quantum research, development and innovation. There is need of industry wide commitment and effort to upscale research in these cutting-edge technologies in the country.

Director, Dr Arvind Gupta, who chaired talk, said that we are holding a series of talks under the S&T series with an objective to help build an S&T ecosystem in India. It is heartening to see various young scientists doing research on cutting-edge technologies and the talks have been very useful in understanding India’s capacities and capabilities in these frontier areas. This also helps us understanding the current scientific ecosystem in the country where we see an upward trajectory. At the same time, we have a lot of issues and problems which need to be addressed. He underlined the growing significance of QT in the defence and security sectors. The talk was attended by senior members from the armed services, industry representatives, academia and other members from strategic community.

Event Date 
December 18, 2023

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