Promoting Science and Technology – Missions,Policies & Schemes

India to triple Supercomputing capabilities


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Supercomputing

Mains level: National Supercomputing Mission


Central Idea

  • India is set to significantly enhance its supercomputing capabilities by installing an 18-petaflop system this year.
  • This development aims to improve complex mathematical calculations, particularly in weather forecasting, by providing greater processing power and accuracy.

Understanding Supercomputers

  • A supercomputer is a high-performance computer capable of processing massive amounts of data at extraordinary speeds.
  • Performance is measured in floating-point operations per second (FLOPS) rather than million instructions per second (MIPS).
  • Supercomputers have the ability to perform trillions (peta) of FLOPS.

India’s Journey in Supercomputing

  • India’s supercomputing journey began in the late 1980s when the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) was established in response to technology embargoes imposed by the United States.
  • Since then, India has steadily progressed, unveiling the PARAM 800 in 1991, which was the world’s second-fastest supercomputer at the time.
  • The National Supercomputing Mission (NSM), launched in 2015 with a budget of ₹4,500 crore, has been instrumental in propelling India’s supercomputing capabilities.
  • The mission aims to create a network of supercomputers across academic and research institutions in the country, supporting academia, researchers, MSMEs, and startups.

Current Supercomputing Infrastructure

  • India’s most powerful civilian supercomputers, Pratyush and Mihir, have a combined capacity of 6.8 petaflops.
  • Pratyush is located at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) in Pune, while Mihir is housed at the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) in Noida.
  • These supercomputers became operational in 2018 after an investment of ₹438 crore.
  • Both institutions are affiliated with the MoES.

Acquisition of New Supercomputers

  • The new supercomputers, sourced from French corporation ATOS, were procured as part of a deal signed between the Indian and French governments in December 2018.
  • The Government aims to acquire high-performance computers worth ₹4,500 crore by 2025, with an estimated cost of ₹900 crore for the new earth-sciences Ministry computers.

Enhanced Capabilities and Future Outlook

  • Upgrading the supercomputing systems every 4-5 years is essential to improve performance.
  • The new system will enhance resolution from the current 12×12 km to 6×6 km, providing greater clarity and accuracy in local weather forecasts.
  • The ultimate goal is to represent areas using 1 km-square grids, enabling the prediction of rapidly evolving weather phenomena such as cloudbursts.
  • The current fastest high-performance computing system in the world is the Frontier-Cray system at Oakridge National Laboratory in the United States, with a peak speed of 1 exa-flop (equivalent to 1,000 petaflops).

Way forward

To further enhance India’s supercomputing capabilities and maintain technological advancements, the following steps can be considered:

  • Continued investment in research and development to stay at the forefront of supercomputing technology.
  • Collaboration with international partners and organizations to leverage global expertise.
  • Encouraging academia, researchers, MSMEs, and startups to utilize the supercomputing infrastructure for scientific breakthroughs and innovation.
  • Strengthening the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) by expanding its network and providing adequate resources.
  • Regularly upgrading supercomputing systems to keep up with evolving computational demands and maintain competitiveness on a global scale.

Also in news

Recently, India’s AI Supercomputer ‘AIRAWAT’ has been ranked at No. 75 in the world at the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC 2023) in Germany.

About Airawat

  • The supercomputer ‘AIRAWAT’ has recently been named in the 61st edition of the Top 500 Global Supercomputing List.
  • Installed at C-DAC in Pune, ‘AIRAWAT’ is an AI supercomputer implemented under the National Program on AI by the Government of India.
  • The manufacturer of ‘AIRAWAT’ is Netweb Technologies.
  • ‘AIRAWAT’ PSAI stands out as India’s largest and fastest AI supercomputing system, boasting an impressive speed of 13,170 teraflops.

Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your personal mentor for UPSC 2024

Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your 1: 1 personal mentor for UPSC 2024

Attend Now

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.

💥Mentorship New Batch Launch
💥Mentorship New Batch Launch