The Maharashtra government, on April 11 announced that it has decided to carry out four more Proof of Concepts (PoCs) studies to demonstrate the feasibility of blockchain technology. This comes after previous case studies in the fields of organ transplant, rationing, digital certification and land records were completed successfully. The new studies have been announced in the fields of paper (documentation) management, regional transport and health related records, officials said.
A 27-member study committee constituting officials from the revenue, forest, public health and the home departments has been set up to monitor the progress of the new PoCs. The committee has been tasked to [not only] ensure that the studies are completed on time but also that blockchain technology is used in the future in the respective departments. “They must also ensure best practices and operating models are used,” said a senior official of the State Home Department.
Earlier this year, the government had shortlisted private startups to establish PoCs in sectors such as public distribution system, rationing, school education, farm compensations, digital certification and land records. Four PoCs were completed and detailed project reports (DPRs) on them submitted to the government for use in their day-to-day functioning. “The DPRs were prepared in less than a month on the basis of the PoCs in the selected sectors. The [use of] blockchain technology will soon be a reality in Maharashtra,” S.V.R. Srinivas, Principal Secretary, Information Technology Department had said during a recent seminar.
A bright future
The new announcement notified by Ms. Jyotsna Mukund, an Under Secretary in the State government, clarified that the blockchain technology would be used within the ambit of the existing norms in Maharashtra. “As per our plans, the first phase of the completion of the four PoCs is over. These PoCs have been submitted to us. Now the working group will study how these (PoCs) are put to use in the system,” she said on the use of the technology.
A blockchain is a distributed digital transaction ledger, which allows maintenance of identical copies of data or records on multiple computer systems. Anyone participating in a blockchain can review entries, but needs consensus to update the blockchain. The government has tied up with M/s Deloitte as its knowledge partner and signed up leading technology startups for the PoCs.