With its fast-paced growth in applications, can blockchain lend itself to good governance? In its own way, India has already taken the lead. From updating land records to creating digital repositories, a concerted effort toward digital transformation with blockchain at the centre of it all is already afoot.
Consider this: Tamil Nadu had set up a Rs 40 crore blockchain-driven framework that can be used by government departments to modernise their legacy platforms and extend citizen services on a secure, encrypted ledger with zero downtime, meaning raw data is sufficiently encrypted to scrub it clean of user data or identities. E-governance centres in the remotest villages are beginning to use interfaces–with blockchain-led backend services–to access services such as birth certificate verification, legal heir certificates, and so on. Telangana has been digitising land records on a blockchain platform for years now.
As states forge ahead, the Centre is looking at multi-institutional approaches to put use cases to the test, so they can be emulated elsewhere. In its policy document late last year, the Ministry of IT and Electronics showcased the Shamshadabad, Telangana, example to say land record verification is an executable idea in other districts. On the anvil are proof-of-concepts for use of blockchain in making digital artefacts, verifying sale deeds and academic certificates, and Central Know Your Customer (CKYC) methodologies.
For the near term, MeITy wants to set up a National Blockchain Framework as the target. It would serve as a central, shared infrastructure for government agencies. The ministry is also pressing cutting-edge tech institutes such as IITMadras and IIT-Kanpur in developing products for government services. Soon, India should have a blockchainled service model worthy of emulation