A Center of Excellence in Blockchain Technology finds its new home in Bangalore, India. The Indian Union Minister, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad takes the opportunity to inaugurate it. It will facilitate several government departments in their blockchain work, leading to large scale deployment of blockchain applications.
New “Centre of Excellence in Blockchain Technology”
India’s Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology revealed the inauguration of a world-class Center of Excellence in Blockchain Technology in Bangalore on last Saturday. Several dignitaries from the central and state federal governments were present at the occasion.
National Informatics Center (NIC) establishes the center intending to offer blockchain as a service. It aims at enabling all stakeholders to take advantage of shared knowledge, experiences as well as resources. The Indian government describes NIC as a premier technology advisor and ICT solution provider to the government at all levels. NIC works closely with the central government, state governments, UT administrations, districts, and other government bodies. As a result, it can spread a wide range of services.
Speaking after inaugurating the center, Prasad says India is witnessing the digital transformation. Because most of the state governments are adopting technologies widely in their governance. He says that approximately 16,000 courts in India now transformed into e-courts. NIC develops technologies related to the Direct Benefit Transfer and e-scholarship is using widely today. Adding to his comments, the Union Information Technology Minister calls NIC the backbone of digital governance in India.
According to ‘The Hindu’, the minister was particularly optimistic about applications of blockchain technology in primary education. He appealed to NIC to explore the potential of the new technology in improving the quality of government schools across the country.
The Center’s Blockchain Work
The Center of Excellence in Blockchain Technology has developed the blockchain-based proof of concepts for select government use cases to gain an understanding of the potential benefits of this emerging technology. New and previously unforeseen applications of blockchain in the government expects to enhance transparency, traceability, and trust in e-governance systems.
Among the sectors, blockchain technology would aid the government, for example in providing trust and immutability, which are healthcare, finance, and agriculture.
The official announcement states:
The Center of Excellence will facilitate the government departments in building proof of concepts for use of blockchain technology in different dimensions of governance leading to large scale deployment of some such applications.
According to the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology’s (MeitY) annual report form 2018-19, centers of excellence are being set up across India. The goal is to ensure India builds leadership in the emerging sectors accordingly in areas of the Internet of Things, Blockchain, FinTech, and Artificial Intelligence. The centers are set up in a collaborative approach by the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI). STPI is a society by MeitY. It has the sole aim to encourage, promote and boost the export of Indian software.
Moreover, the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), MeitY’s autonomous scientific society, has initiated efforts towards the establishment of a Distributed Center of Excellence for Blockchain Technology. Under this initiative, C-DAC designs and implement a blockchain technology-based property registration management system nationwide. Also, efforts have been made towards integrating blockchain technology with existing applications. The Ministry explained.
Further, C-DAC has recently signed an MoU with the Telangana state government. This will help explore the use of this innovative and emerging technology. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry also involves them in a notable blockchain project. Thus, it announces a blockchain-based coffee e-marketplace in March 2019. The reports of that time cited that India is the only country in the world where all coffee is grown under shade, handpicked and sun-dried. The marketplace is a pilot project to help integrate India’s farmers with markets in a transparent manner. And, to realize a fair price for the coffee producer.
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