On SETS’ 23rd Foundation Day, Principal Scientific Adviser Launches Quantum Security Research Lab

Professor Ajay Kumar Sood, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India and Dr. Parvinder Maini, Scientific Secretary, today (June 25, 2024) attended the 23rd Foundation Day of the Society for Electronic Transactions and Security (SETS) in Chennai. Prof. Sood also inaugurated the Quantum Security Research Lab on the occasion.

Conceived by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in 2002, SETS, an initiative of the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, is a cybersecurity R&D organization pursuing research in the core areas of cyber security, cryptology, hardware security, quantum security, and network security.


(23rd Foundation Day Celebration at SETS underway)

The celebration kicked off with Dr. N Subramanian, Executive Director, SETS extending a warm welcome and delivering a brief on SETS’ research and development activities. He mentioned that SETS has developed futuristic solutions like Post Quantum VPN, Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG), Key Distillation Engine (KDE) for Quantum Key Distribution, PKI solution, Ransomware Early Detection Solution, Security for Blockchain, etc. SETS is working with various academic institutions including IITs and IISc Bangalore, government agencies, national R&D organizations, and user agencies such Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Department of Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), and state governments for collaborative research and innovation.

Delivering the presidential address, Prof. Sood congratulated SETS for their efforts in developing and deploying indigenous cybersecurity solutions in areas such as cryptography, secure quantum communication, hardware security, and network security. He also lauded SETS’ success in translating lab research into field applications, including the deployment of VPNs for the strategic sector and the Quantum Random Number Generation (QRNG) solution for industry and strategic agencies.


(PSA Prof. Sood delivering presidential address)

Prof. Sood encouraged SETS to leverage its expertise to lead national efforts in Post Quantum Cryptography and to deepen the collaboration with industry, R&D labs, and academia to ensure the nation’s computing and communication infrastructure is quantum-safe. He emphasized on scaling up successful projects like hardware security testing and post-quantum cryptography.


(Dr. Maini, Scientific Secretary, delivering special address)

In her special address, Scientific Secretary Dr. Maini commended the scientists and staff of SETS for their impactful contributions. She stressed the importance of continuously upgrading cybersecurity measures to address new vulnerabilities and dynamic threat landscapes, citing recent cyber threat incidents. Dr. Maini recognized recent enhancements in SETS’ infrastructure for undertaking the upcoming challenges as these advancements are crucial for SETS to effectively tackle cybersecurity challenges and develop robust solutions.

Dr. Maini also noted SETS’s involvement in cutting-edge projects, including AI for cybersecurity under the National Supercomputing Mission. She asserted the importance of standard-based development for international collaborations in areas like quantum communication and 6G. She also highlighted the need for SETS to collaborate with industry to advance its technologies from research to field deployment.

Dr. Sanjay Bahl, Director General, Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), in his address, mentioned the evolving concerns of cybersecurity in the context of AI, the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT), and drones. He urged that SETS should evolve a roadmap to address these challenges and develop innovative solutions.

This was followed by Prof. Sood inaugurating the Quantum Security Research Lab of SETS. He appreciated the demonstrations carried out by the SETS team on QRNG, post-quantum implementation in Arm-Cortex, True Random Number Generator (TRNG), and KDE. The team also demonstrated the Metro Area Quantum Access Network (MAQAN), jointly being implemented by SETS, IIT Madras, and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).


(PSA Prof. Sood inaugurating Quantum Security Research Lab )

The Foundation Day celebration also witnessed Technology Sessions hosted by SETS’ scientists and provided a technical deep dive into topics including post-quantum cryptography, side-channel analysis & hardware security, quantum communication security, security for blockchain, and network & IoT Security areas.

(Group Photo commemorating 23rd Foundation Day Celebration at SETS)

The event was attended by various agencies like National Informatics Centre, Standardisation Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) Directorate, DRDO, Military College of Telecommunication Engineering (MCTE), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency (TNeGA), Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Controller of Certifying Authorities (CCA), Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc), Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI), IIT Madras, IISc Bangalore, C-DAC along with representatives from industries and startups.


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