Regulators

National Supercomputing Mission to launch with Rs 4500 crore corpus

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NEW DELHI: A National Supercomputing Mission will be launched at an estimated cost of Rs 4500 crore over a period of seven years.

This was decided by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25 March.

A press note said, “This is a visionary programme to enable India to leapfrog to the league of world class computing power nations.”

The Mission would be implemented and steered jointly by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY).

The Mission envisages empowering national academic and R&D institutions spread over the country by installing a vast supercomputing grid comprising more than 70 high-performance computing facilities. These supercomputers will also be networked on the National Supercomputing grid over the National Knowledge Network (NKN).

The NKN is another programme of the government, which connects academic institutions and R&D labs over a high speed network. Academic and R&D institutions as well as key user departments/ministries would participate by using these facilities and develop applications of national relevance.

The Mission also includes development of highly professional High Performance Computing (HPC) aware human resource for meeting challenges of development of these applications.

The Mission implementation would bring supercomputing within the reach of the large Scientific & Technology community in the country; will provide significant qualitative and quantitative improvement in R&D and higher education in the disciplines of Science & Technology; and enable the country with a capacity of solving multi-disciplinary grand challenge problems. Currently, in the top Supercomputing machines in the world, a major share is taken from advanced countries such as the US, Japan, China and the European Union (EU). The mission envisages India to be in the select league of such nations. To provide continuity in maintaining a lead in supercomputing, the Mission also includes advanced R&D. This will create requisite expertise to build state-of-the-art next generation supercomputing. The Mission supports the government’s vision of “Digital India” and “Make in India” initiatives.

The Mission has been conceptualized and evolved keeping in view the ever increasing computing demand of the scientific and academic community in the country, international technology trends and roadmaps of leading countries in the area, strategic importance and emergence of supercomputing as a benchmark for Scientific & Technological advancements. Two key departments of the Government of India, DeitY and DST will be implementing the mission jointly through two leading organizations. These are the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore.

Worldwide supercomputing facilities have enabled countries in their S&T capabilities in areas such as designing vehicles, aeroplanes, massive structures like high rise buildings and bridges, infrastructure, discovery of new life saving drugs, discovery and extraction of new energy sources including oil, natural gas etc. Over the years, supercomputers have benefitted mankind in several ways. Weather prediction has reached accuracy of forecast as well as real time tracking of natural phenomenon. Timely warning of cyclones in the recent past have saved many lives and property.

The Mission aims to further such capabilities beyond current levels.

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