Following the PM Modi’s emphasis on technology, the Indian government has initiated the process of developing at least 70 supercomputers in the country to promote and enable high level research in different fields including weather forecast, predictions of natural disasters and defense applications. According to reports, government has granted Rs 4,500 crores and is willing to make every possible effort to complete development of these supercomputers within next seven years i.e by 2022.
“The project, which costs around Rs. 4,500 crore is in its nascent stage. It will come up with association of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Department of Information and Technology (DIT). These super computers will be in different parts of country,” Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary of DST, said.
First Indian supercomputer programme was started in late 1980s because India was denied for import of Cray supercomputers. By 1990, Indian scientists at Centre for Development of Advanced Computing successfully developed India’s first supercomputer named PARAM 8000. Currently, India has 9 systems in the list of top 500 supercomputers in the world with Aaditya ranked 71 being India’s best. Aaditya has a theoretical peak of 790.7 teraflop/s, and is used for climate research. However, these new supercomputers would have a theoretical peak of nearly 20 petaflops/s. A petaflop is a measure of a computer’s processing speed and can be expressed as a thousand trillion floating point operations per second.
“We will be having these computers across the country where scientists can come and do their research… These can do calculations which your normal desktop or laptop cannot. It can help in defense simulation, computing, biology and material science and earth science,” Sharma said.
Apart from government-affiliated scientists, researchers working for private firms could also use these masterpiece equipments for their research. Sharma added that many scientists leave India for their research as they are deprived of using such supersystems, but with the installation of these super fast devices all these scientists could do their research in India itself. Although the government is willing to boost research but it has several limitations and skilled man force to operate these monster computers is the biggest challenge.