IIT Bombay launches trust lab to create a Secure and Responsible Digital India

IIT Bombay launched a foundational initiative called the ‘IIT Bombay Trust Lab’ on September 15, 2022. The Trust Lab’s vision is to be a leading contributor to the demanding enterprise of creating a more trustworthy digital environment for today and the future as well as work towards a secure and responsible Digital India.

As the latest step in IIT Bombay’s mission of creating world-class research ecosystems in key technology areas, the Trust Lab is being established with the generous contribution made by the Institute’s alumnus Dr. Shridhar Shukla (B. Tech, EE, 1983). The Lab will be set up at IIT Bombay’s Department of Computer Science & Engineering (CSE). It will be headed by Prof. Manoj Prabhakaran, Vijay Vashee and Sita Vashee Chair Professor at IIT Bombay.

The Lab will drive several activities related to research, education, development, outreach, and entrepreneurship by leveraging IIT Bombay’s expertise in the domains of security, privacy, and, more broadly, digital trust. The Lab will focus on developing foundational science, building new technologies and fostering a digital trust ecosystem through educational activities and by translating the scientific advances made at the Lab into technology and policy inputs to meet industrial and societal needs.

Speaking about the ‘IIT Bombay Trust Lab’, Prof. Subhasis Chaudhuri, Director, IIT Bombay said, “With digital experiences rapidly becoming an integral part of our lives, security, privacy, population-scale access and usability, citizen empowerment, etc. become fundamental enablers for a safe and prosperous society and nation. The establishment of the ‘IIT Bombay Trust Lab’ will allow the Institute to take the lead in the digital trust domain and support nation-building significantly. We are deeply grateful to Dr. Shukla for his generosity that has enabled the Institute to take a huge step forward in this direction and accelerate its mission of playing a key role in solving national and global challenges”.

Commenting on his contribution towards the establishment of the ‘IIT Bombay Trust Lab’, Dr. Shridhar Shukla said, “India is leading the world in going digital at population scale. As we do that, Digital Security becomes as critical as food, energy, and border security. The IITB Trust Lab is all about building a strong foundation for Digital Security and more broadly Digital Trust”.

Presenting his views on the ‘IIT Bombay Trust Lab’, Prof. Manoj Prabhakaran said, “A trustworthy digital world is a grand challenge for our times, involving domains ranging from silicon to civilization. One of the primary thrust areas at the Trust Lab is to develop a ‘Science of Trust’ that can also span this vast range, by bringing experts from different disciplines together under one roof. We are also sensitive to the immediate needs of the industry and the users, and will work on building new technologies and on strengthening the digital trust ecosystem in India”.

About the ‘IIT Bombay Trust Lab’

The Trust Lab will focus on ‘trust’ issues in our digital environment including security, privacy, accountability and the trustworthiness of the environment as a whole. The core mission of the Lab is to excel in the field of digital trust through multifarious activities:

i) Attract and nurture world-class researchers to build a globally competitive research program create a deep societal impact in the area of digital trust, through collaborations with industry and government agencies in the form of joint research projects, expert consulting, providing policy inputs, developing and curating resources like state-of-the-art free and open-source software (FOSS), incubating start-ups, and more

iii) develop and implement an educational framework related to all aspects of digital trust.

With the establishment of this lab, IIT Bombay’s objective is to develop processes for seamlessly translating science to technology, commercialising the technologies, and responsibly deploying the technologies in society. Through the Trust Lab’s initiatives, the Institute will develop synergies between various pockets of excellence already present in the country to help create a solid foundation of digital trust that can support the society and the economy in the coming years. In particular, via the Lab’s TrustNet initiative, the Institute will create coursework stacks that can form the basis for degrees in digital trust around the country and abroad.

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