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Indian Government Policy Think Tank Releases National Blockchain Strategy

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A government-sponsored think tank has published part one of its two-part blockchain strategy for adopting the technology in India.

A policy think tank of the Indian government, NITI Aayog, has released its national blockchain policy draft paper dubbed “Blockchain — The India Strategy” which explains different use cases of blockchain in India along with some conclusions from ongoing pilot projects. 

NITI Aayog was established with the aim to achieve sustainable development goals by fostering the involvement of state governments of India in the economic policy-making process.

Strategy presents a two-part plan

The strategy document targets stakeholders such as government, enterprise leaders and citizens with the aim of demystifying the concepts surrounding blockchain technology. It aims to create a concrete national plan of action towards blockchain technology. 

The policy paper is being released in two different parts. Part one deals with basic concepts, trust systems, the economic potential of smart contracts and blockchain, ease of doing business and different ongoing use cases. Part two will be released in the coming weeks which will mainly cover different recommendations for using blockchain technology in India.

The think tank explains that the generic features of distributed ledger technology could represent a paradigm shift in the political economy of India. It emphasizes a rethink of the current engagement of government bodies:

“Government should pay special attention to the decentralized network where peer-to-peer transactions can create more socio-economic value. If state entity is there just to ledger maintenance and not adding some value then we can relook the role of government.”

For instance, the strategy paper states that for land and property transactions, there could be a DLT based system that would make it unnecessary for a government entity to keep records. 

Pilot projects provide valuable insight

NITI Aayog has pursued proof of concepts in four areas in an attempt to better understand the possible hurdles to implementing blockchain technology. The pilot projects included a track and trace of drugs in the pharmaceutical supply chain, claims verification and approval in the disbursement of fertilizer subsidies, verification of university certificates, and a transfer of land records.

However, in order to deploy blockchain at scale, the private and public sectors need some legal and regulatory modifications, according to NITI Aayog.  

What’s next?

The second part of the strategy, to be released in coming weeks, will focus on recommendations to establish India as a vibrant blockchain ecosystem, including regulatory and policy considerations, creating a national infrastructure for policy solutions, and a procurement process for government agencies to adopt blockchain tech. 

The document released by NITI Aayog is the second such strategy to be published by a government entity in recent weeks. Earlier this month, Cointelegraph reported that India’s National Institute for Smart Governance, a non-profit public body incorporated by the government of India, has published a draft document on the country’s national blockchain strategy.

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