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Indian govt first Blockchain project: To offer digital degrees at IIT-B, DU colleges


Being bullish on the use of Blockchain, the Indian government is all set to kick off IndiaChain, a blockchain-based solution, with digital certification of educational degrees in coming months.

The government will first start with pilot trials under the NITI Aayog. Once the trial is successful, it will go for full-scale implementation. The plan is to start issuing digital certificates on the blockchain (IndiaChain) from the 2019 batch onwards, said The Factor Daily report quoting a source privy to the development.

NITI Aayog plans to first implement it in Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay and colleges under the Delhi University (DU) with digital certification of education degrees. The degrees, as per the programme, will be issued to 2019 graduate batches using the distributed computing technology.

According to an estimate, more than 50 lakh students graduate every year in the country.

Last week while presenting Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley talked about the potential of the blockchain.

“Distributed ledger system or the blockchain technology allows organization of any chain of records or transactions, without the need of intermediaries. The government will explore use of blockchain technology proactively for ushering in a digital economy,” Jaitley said.

Hours after the FM speech, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant had tweeted about the think tank’s plan to start implementing governance projects on the national blockchain.

Meanwhile, Entrackr’s detailed questionnaire to Amitabh Kant (NITI Aayog CEO) related to the implementation of blockchain technology remains unanswered. Kant hailed that the technology can be used to simplify the process and remove intermediaries.

Electronic health records and land will be other areas, where the blockchain technology will be leveraged. However, it may take time as most of the states have not yet digitised their land records, mentions the FD report.

Meanwhile, in the US, as part of the pilot programme, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) gave digital certificates to 111 graduates in October last year.

The technology allowed students to share their diplomas almost immediately with whomever they please, free of charge, without involving an intermediary. One of the major advantages it displayed was, the third party can easily verify student’s diploma whether it is legitimate or not without having to contact the Authority.

Blockchain-based solutions, once implemented across sectors, will be a huge boost in bringing transparency in governance and reducing frauds. This will make India the largest scale of blockchain implementation in governance anywhere in the world.

At present, Estonia is considered the leader in blockchain adoption. The country’s eHealth Foundation is using a blockchain-based system to process and store patient health records.

The government is working on the blockchain-enabled project in the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

The blockchain is a decentralised distributed digital ledger collectively maintained by a network of computers, called nodes. The system is considered safe as no data in it can be changed by anyone without everyone else who maintains the records giving nod to it.

The record book is not stored in one place but instead is distributed among the bookkeepers.

More than $1 billion investments went into blockchain-based companies in 2016. Technology experts and investors believe that like mobile was a decade ago, blockchain will be the disruptor in the upcoming decade.

However, it has few challenges in addressing identity, privacy, and policy.

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