Blockchain meet serves as forum for partnerships

A three-day, two-city international conference on blockchain got off to a rousing start here on Friday, amid what appeared to be an endless stream of delegates, as Telangana government reaffirmed its commitment to harness the technology in partnership with a leading IT firm, a prestigious institution of higher education and a reputed scientific body.

“We are preparing to seize the opportunities… building our in-house expertise in emerging technologies, fostering partnerships with industry and collaborating with innovative start-ups,” the State’s IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao said.

The focus is on driving a new wave of emerging tech-based solutions within the government departments and public-facing projects and propelling the entire ecosystem, he told the International Blockchain Congress where the government signed an MoU each with Tech Mahindra, IIIT-Hyderabad, and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC).

Specifically, the MoUs seek to place Hyderabad on the global blockchain map. The partnership with CDAC would work to identify various use cases on protocol development, capacity building initiatives and other related programmes.

CoE in blockchain

The Union Ministry is also setting up a centre of excellence in blockchain here and CDAC is developing a pilot solution of a prototype for property registration system. If the solution is found to be successful, it could be replicated in other States.

Blockchain district

The MoU between the State IT Department and Tech Mahindra is to launch India’s first ‘blockchain district’, comprising a CoE, an incubator for technology and process development with innovative infrastructure and facilities to foster growth of Indian blockchain start-ups and companies. Tech Mahindra will provide platform and technology assistance to all the incubators in the facility, the company said.

With IIIT-H, the government would work on protocol development, incubation, acceleration and in identifying various user cases and other related programmes to achieve the vision of making Hyderabad a blockchain hub. A few other MoUs with others, including one on deploying blockchain in the area of micro-financing, of self help groups, were also inked.

The Minister said when applied to government processes, blockchain augments credibility, accuracy and efficiency of the practices while reducing the risk of frauds. Blockchains can be used in areas such as land records, transportation, managing health records, voting in elections, peer to peer energy transactions, tax and welfare payments.

Stating that blockchain was behind the ‘Dharani’ integrated land record management system in Telangana, he said the State government had initiated projects using the technology to secure critical documents such as educational certificates issued by government agencies/universities.

It was also working on a blockchain-based solution for the Transport Department to track the entire life cycle of the vehicle from manufacturer-dealer-buyers- sellers-insurance and vehicle service companies to scrap; as well as launched a pilot project to track the transactions of chit funds.

After two days in Hyderabad, the IBC would continue in Goa on Sunday.

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