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NEW DELHI: Tech giant IBM on Tuesday announced it will offer top colleges in India over-the-cloud access to its quantum systems. This includes faculty and students from the Indian Institute of Science Education & Research (IISER) - Pune, IISER - Thiruvananthapuram, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) - Bangalore, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) - Jodhpur, IIT - Kanpur, IIT - Kharagpur, IIT - Madras, Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) - Kolkata, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) - Delhi, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) - Mumbai, and the University of Calcutta, who will be able to access IBM’s quantum resources over the cloud.

The collaborations are part of IBM’s global Quantum Educators programme, which allows colleges access to some of its premium quantum systems, which aren’t included in its open sourced systems. It also allows them to gain priority in the open systems, giving them a larger amount of time on the quantum computers. The company has over 130 organisations of the IBM Quantum Network, which includes academia, corporates, research labs and startups.

The company said IISER - Thiruvananthapuram, ISI - Kolkata, and IIT Madras will use the partnership to offer Quantum Computing Lab courses to their undergraduate and postgraduate students.

According to an announcement by the company in December, over 1,100 participants had registered for Qiskit Challenge India, a skill-building programme meant for those interested in Quantum Computing. “Today, there are 1,400 students trained on Qiskit in India, in addition to Qiskit Advocates, who are actively assisting and contributing to the Qiskit community," the company said at the time.

The Indian government had announced a Rs8,000 crore National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications in the Union Budget last year. The government aims to spend the funds between 2020 and 2025 to build quantum technologies in India.

"The areas of focus for the Mission will be in fundamental science, translation, technology development, human and infrastructural resource generation, innovation and start-ups to address issues concerning national priorities," the Department of Science and Technology had said last year.

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