With 70 super computers across the country, India is foraying into a mega-project that will connect the Indian defence establishments, hi-gi research institutes and early warning mechanism at a whopping cost of Rs.4,500 crore, said IT and communications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
The grid-like connection of these R&D facilities in the country has been approved b y the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s return from his foreign trip. The committee works under the Prime Minister directly and it is mooted as part of the “Make in India” and “Digital India” campaigns.
The project, unprecedented in India, envisions huge network of IT workforce connected with full backing from the R&D centres throughout the country during the emergencies and natural disasters, especially during the earthquakes and estimating sonsequent landslides and floods and the areas which require evacuation.
The budget will be provided from both the Ministry of Science and Technology allocations amounting to Rs.2,800 crore and another Rs.1,700 crore from the Information and Technology department, said Prasad.
The areas of R&D to benefit from these supercomputers include defence, biology, weather forecast, climate change and earnly warning defence systems. The Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Electronics and Information Technology will be the prime managers and beneficiaries of the mission to be completely set up by 2022.
India has nine PARAM family of supercomputers and ranks way down at 74 compared to china, which has overtaken the US and Japan to become the No.1 nation with maximum number of super computers and also has the fastest supercomputer in the world.
Supercomputer are far superior in terms of providing computing at 0.5 petaflop to 20 petaflops and each petaflop denotes a quadrillion floating point operations per second. With an expected speed to reach 50 petaflops, the project will remain a major testament to Indian foray into the field of science, bereft of any political considerations.
Mreover, the project also entails an equal contribution and manpower training across the country that would reach any international standards. Unlike the political patronage that has stymied the growth of science and technology in India due to patronisation and nepotism, the new project should make R&D more transparent and centralised in terms of monitoring and output.
Moreover, with a huge strategic and nuclear establishments across the country, Indian defence establishments need faster early forecast and preparedness to withstand and launch counter-attack and these supercomupters will become a necessity then.