National Supercomputing Mission (NSM)

• French IT services firm Atos has won a three-year contract to build the first phase of supercomputers under India’s Rs 4,500-crore National Supercomputing Mission (NSM).

Key highlights of the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM)

• The Mission envisages empowering national academic and R&D institutions spread over the country by installing a vast supercomputing grid comprising of 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.

• The Mission includes the development of highly professional High-Performance Computing (HPC) aware human resource for meeting challenges of development of these applications.
• India looks forward to creating a cluster of machines for weather forecasting, drug discovery and data mining.

About the agency involvement

• The Mission would be implemented and steered jointly by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) over a period of seven years.

• The tender to build these high-performance computers (HPC) had been floated by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).

• Atos would be deploying its energy efficient Direct Liquid Cooled Bull Sequana supercomputers in India.

Background

• 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, the 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 an accuracy of the 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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Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Achievements of Indians in science & technology

Prelims level: NSM

Mains level: India’s technological advancement in recent years

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