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Blockchain Embodies the Concept of Swaraj Envisioned by Our Freedom Fighters: Niti Aayog CEO

August 06, 2018 12:35
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On August 3 and 4, Hyderabad witnessed a blockchain event like no other. The International Blockchain Congress that was organized by the Governments of Telangana and Goa and blockchain company Nucleus Vision, saw participation from blockchain enthusiasts from all over the country as well as the world.

There were numerous eminent personalities such as Sathvik Vishwanath from Unocoin, Ajeet Khurana, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zebpay, Koinex, Binance, Drivezy, among others.

On Day 1, all the eminent personalities of the event were present. The session kicked off with Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Niti Aayog, the central government-funded think tank, Amitabh Kant talking about blockchain.

He said, “Blockchain embodies the concept of swaraj envisioned by our freedom fighters.As a government we need to step up and make it easier to implement blockchain in disbursement, land records, court cases, and in other spheres where blockchain can be applied.”

With over 44.5 lakh cases in high court, and 2.6 crore cases in local courts that are pending, blockchain has the potential to find solutions for the clogging. Unlike AI and IoT, blockchain is not visible to consumers, but works seamlessly in the background to add value to the community, he explained.

Kant added, “Telangana has always been a leading state in the adoption of frontier technologies. Blockchain has been grounded in unnecessary jargons, but put simply and functionally, it can bring in transparency across government 2 government, government 2 enterprise collaborations. This is made possible with blockchain’s ability to multiple parties to collaborate and allow consensus.”

Following that, there was an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between companies: Nucleus Vision- one of the hosts of the International Blockchain Congress, Tech Mahindra, Eleven01 and Principal Secretary of IT Telengana, to establish India’s first blockchain district in the state.

Following that, there was a press conference held by the chief players of Nucleus Vision, Tech Mahindra, and Eleven01.

Crypto-News India asked Rama Iyer, the CEO of Eleven01, given the computer illiteracy in the country, how would one explain blockchain to people in rural areas. He said, “Although that is a good question, Digital India has reached corners of India where it was not possible before. In today’s time, rural Indians are extremely tech-savvy and explaining blockchain technology will not be very difficult.”

Panel Discussion

There were numerous exhibit stalls present at the venue. Crypto-News India, stopped by the Drivezy stall. For the uninitiated, Drivezy is a United States-based blockchain company which has its office in India. Currently, they are only a car rental company but they plan to expand to other verticals as well on the blockchain. Vasant Verma told Crypto-News India, “We are planning to rent out goods and services to customers and it will based on a trust score on blockchain. A person with a high trust score will be deemed more credible.” Asked about the Unocoin collaboration that was penned a few months ago, he said, “Given the regulations uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrencies, that collaboration is obviously no longer valid.”

A panel talk comprising of representatives from Niti Aayog, Dharani Project, Department of IT,Government of Goa, Government of Odisha and,Telangana State Council of Higher Education (TSCHE) discussed the topic of ushering mass blockchain adoption in India.

Telangana government representatives stated that it is already in the works and some areas such as land digitization, birth and death certificates, school graduation certificates and healthcare are being identified as use-cases of blockchain adoption.

Asked about the progress update on government-run blockchain, Indiachain, Punit Shukla, National Technology Strategy and Implementation – AI, Blockchain, Fintech at NITI Aayog told Crypto-News India, “Currently, we are still preparing a report on studying the technology and how it can be implemented. It is still in the Proof-of-Concept stage and yet to move into implementation stage.” When asked about the tentative date of the implementation, Shukla said the think tank has not yet announced one.

We also had an exclusive conversation with Ajeet Khurana, the CEO of Zebpay. When we asked him about Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies Committee (BACC) and the government committee this is what he said: “No, I am no longer chairing the committee as I am now with Zebpay. However, since the government committee is preparing their report on cryptocurrencies, so we had to prepare one of our own.”

Rajendra Nimje, who is an ex IAS officer and district collector, is currently the director general of Centre for Good Governance also had some interesting insights to share with us. He said, “There are some genuine blockchain use-cases for Telangana districts. We have identified, land, health and education certificates, as previously reported. We are also working with Zebi (a blockchain company) to streamline the hospitality industry. In Jharkhand we are working for ePass which is primarily for allocation of scholarships. The credentials of a prospective scholar and if he/she meets the criteria of obtaining one will be on the blockchain.”

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