The Indian government has adopted blockchain technology to harness digital platforms and deliver e-governance solutions. In December 2021, the Ministry for Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) announced India’s national blockchain strategy which aims to promote the national blockchain platform and establish legal and regulatory frameworks, standards and human resources development, and potential use cases in the country.
Blockchain implementation in governance is still in its early stages around the world. But given the continuous development of different applications of blockchain technology, it can lend itself to delivering effective government services. Besides the advancements in its capacity for various financial services, some applications will also allow governments to establish more streamlined systems for securing permits, registrations, and records for various public services.
In the national blockchain strategy, the MeitY identified 44 key areas where blockchain models can be utilized. These applications are eyed in sectors like government, education, finance, healthcare, logistics, media, and energy, among others. It also plans to harness blockchain technology to create a digital platform that can be used for e-Governance, which has stronger cyber security measures and can be utilized for legal purposes.
The MeitY also proposes a collaborative framework between government institutions to enable a more streamlined implementation of the national blockchain strategy. Similarly, it plans to tap blockchain startups in the country to deliver these applications and ensure the enhanced security and tamper-proofing of sensitive information from the government as well as its users.
The roadmap for the adoption of blockchain technology for e-Governance services must address the value proposition of the digital platform and other blockchain applications, the effectiveness of pilot deployments and prototypes, the capacity of these platforms, and how these applications can be adopted for other sectors in the future.
The current framework must also establish how scalable and secure the proposed digital platform can be. It must also show that it is capable of interoperability, especially between different users and applications from both the public and private sectors. Data localization and the disposal of records are also important before implementing the adoption of this digital platform for government institutions.
In the city of Firozabad, the police department announced its partnership with blockchain startup Polygon to launch the Firozabad Public Grievance Management System. This platform will enable citizens to submit their complaints and store them securely on the blockchain to make sure the details are not tampered with. The blockchain system secures sensitive information that is expected to remain consistent especially when used in an investigation.
Other planned use cases for blockchain technology in India include digital healthcare through medical records management, smart contracts for government engagements, land registry, and customs duty payments, among others. These applications will use blockchain technology to strengthen user identification and provide secure authorization from the owner of the asset.
The state of Telangana, considered a blockchain hub in India, has already implemented the use of blockchain technology to update land records. This allows easy verification and transfer of land ownership and verifying sale deeds. Modernizing what used to be bothersome government processes and adopting innovations to make them future-proof will benefit both local and central governments and promote trust and ease of doing business among Indian citizens as well as foreign investors.
Establishing the potential use cases for blockchain technology in India will no longer be a feat, given the history of its applications in different areas. Its adoption will require cooperation between government institutions, collaboration with innovative developers, and a strong digital infrastructure. Rolling out a national digital platform will enable more secure transactions and better public services, as long as trust in the technology is built.
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