According to a local media outlet in India, the government might be planning to launch a national blockchain framework that will cover various sectors in the nation. Sanjay Dhotre, who is the IT minister in India, made this revelation. He made the revelation during a session of the Lok Sabha, India’s lower house of parliament.
In a written submission, he said that due to the potential this technology has, there was to create a common infrastructure for the various use cases. Dhotre also said that the technology was a crucial area of research for the IT ministry. He said that the ministry foresaw various potential applications in finance, banking, cybersecurity, amongst many other use cases.
In 2018, the ministry of IT awarded $900,000 to the institute for Development & Research in Banking Technology. The grant was for a project called Distributed Center of Excellence in Blockchain Technology. Various other institutions have also signed on to the 2-year project and they are working with the IT ministry to achieve its goal.
Actions by the Central Bank
In April this year, the Indian Central bank released a draft framework for the creation of a regulatory sandbox. This sandbox would cover fintech startups working in the finance sector, including those working on the use of the blockchain in the sector. Later on, the central bank created a research unit that would look into the use of blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and AI in the finance sector.
Using the Blockchain to Register Land
India has already made a trial run in using blockchain to register land. The project took place in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. While there are benefits for landowners in regards to the documentation of their land, the issue of corruption has not gone away, according to a Quartz report. This is because while the blockchain is immutable, there is no way to prevent corrupt officials from entering incorrect information.
Hoping to Make a Lasting Impact
The government of Narendra Modi is known for initiating large-scale projects that do not always pan out. A few examples are the Goods and Service Tax, the Digital India Initiative, and the Aadhar scheme. The Aadhar scheme operates like the social security number in the US. It gives citizens a unique ID number that is connected to all aspects of one’s life. For you to access government services, you need this number. To be registered, one had to provide biometric data that included a face, fingerprints, and eye scan.
While the Aadhar scheme has received a lot of praise internationally, it has also been criticized for the lack of global standards to verify data, which has raised concerns about privacy. State governments in India have also been busy in the blockchain sector. For instance, the state of Telangana recently introduced the blockchain to its food-rationing program for the poor. The state of Maharashtra is also working on blockchain technology. It recently announced that it would use the blockchain in various sectors including vehicle registration and the marketing of agricultural produce.
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