In this world of advanced technology, India has started taking an initiative to digitalize India. Digital India campaign was started by the Government of India in 2015 with the aim to make taxpayer-supported organizations accessible to the citizens by improved online foundations.
Digital India campaign includes three premier elements: The advancement of the secure and stable advanced framework, conveying government services digitally, and general digital education among the citizens. One of the steps taken by the Government of India to advance towards Digital India is to introduce Blockchain for government purposes. People often associate blockchain to a cryptocurrency exchange like Bitcoin, etc, but there are many uses of blockchain apart from dealings in cryptocurrency.
People may have a question, what is Blockchain?
In layman language, blockchain is a universal ledger and anyone can be a part of it. All the participants are the nodes of the ledger. Blockchain transactions are very simple and hassle-free in nature. If one of the Participants makes a transaction the other participants/nodes have to validate it. When a new transaction takes place it adds up a new block in the ledger, and the transaction added is been validated by the nodes. So a node/participant can only access the data based on the permission of the other nodes.
These blocks are connected by a chain, so if data is reoriented in one block, all the other nodes are being notified. This system helps in making the blockchain tamper-proof. These blocks are linked to each other, so every transaction made has information about the previous block, This helps in back tracing the information of the nodes.
Blockchain was designed by a group of researchers in 1991 to timestamp the digital data so it can’t tamper. The technology was underutilized until a person or a group of people going by the pseudo name Satoshi Nakamoto adapted the technology to introduce the cryptocurrency BITCOIN.
Now the question is how will blockchain be useful for the government?
Blockchain has been adopted by many countries like US, Dubai, Estonia etc, the Government of US uses blockchain for recording motor vehicle and real estate transactions to managing health records, all while securing the citizen’s data. Last year a government official of Dubai claimed to make their government the first blockchain powered government by 2020. Blockchain uses triple entry accounting system. This system enables the general public, to access all the transaction and information on their blockchain.
In short, Blockchain helps you to know your net worth, that is your assets, investments, liabilities everything with just a single click. Right now, you have to rely on the government to access or get information about Government projects. For example: if I need to know the cost of the construction of a bridge in my locality I will have to file a PIL(Public Interest Litigation).
Blockchain works exactly like a PIL, it provides you with all the information down to a single penny, you can track the amount spent by the contractor for the raw materials, labour, machines etc. You can track the taxes to be paid, and also access the information where the tax payer’s money is been employed. India ranks in the top 100 most corrupt countries in the world. Corruption is one of the biggest problem faced by the country. Corruption is one of the reasons which holds back India from becoming a developed country.
Blockchain will surely help to terminate corruption, as it enables the general public to evaluate and analyze where the tax money is been spent by the government, down to a single penny. On July 26, 2018, the Indian state of Telangana announced initiatives to implement blockchain to alleviate the epidemic corruption and fraudulent activity in state and national governments.
The announcement comes one month after the state implemented blockchain solutions to increase transparency & clarity in the government’s land registry and revenue departments. This was in direct reaction to the evaluated 38% of land exchanges that include some level of bribery. Last year Government of Maharashtra agreed to adapt blockchain, Principal Secretary of Information Technology department Mr S.V.R. Srinivas had stressed that the new technology platform (blockchain) will help the government in data security in departments like revenue, police, land records, students scholarship database, farm loan waiver scheme database. This would reduce the extent of corruption taking place in state offices.
On November 2018, the State of Maharashtra completed its first blockchain pilot study with four Proof of Concepts (PoCs) denoting the practicality of the technology in the fields of organ transplant, digital certification and land records. Blockchain can help the government to manage records in the fields of healthcare, real estate, subsidies and education, blockchain can also help in preventing the voting fraud. Aadhar can be linked to blockchain and it can further be linked to other platforms for their respective uses, for example, the Aadhar card can be further linked to the LPG subsidies, pan card, driving license etc.
We won’t need a 10-acre building consisting of 300 government officials if the government processes are automated by blockchain.
Blockchain Technology contains overwhelming solutions, not just 15%-20% gains and efficiency. So, it’s safe to say Blockchain is the future of our nation’s technology and advancement.