India’s leading technical and research institution, IIT Kanpur, recently adopted a blockchain based system to award digital degrees to its students under the National Blockchain Project. The system was launched by Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India.
IIT Kanpur is promoting blockchain technology to bring revolution in the education sector. Recently, the technology institution developed an in-house blockchain based system to award digital degrees to the students under the National Blockchain Project. The system was launched by PM Narendra Modi on December 28, 2021, at the occasion of 54th convocation ceremony of IIT Kanpur.
Explaining that the digital degrees are non-forgeable, Professor Manindra Agrawal, Department of CSE, IIT Kanpur says, “All the degrees are processed using blockchain technology through an in-house built system. We have gone a step beyond. We have implemented a self-sovereign identity system in which the degree certificates reside into a digital wallet, available on the smartphones of the students. IIT Kanpur stores its public key and template using blockchain in which the degree has been issued. Our degree can be downloaded publicly as well. Students need to release the details of the degree and it can be verified from anywhere in the world, using the digital wallets of the IIT Kanpur.”
According to Professor Agrawal, digital degrees are safe from cyberattacks, as the original degree will always stay in the digital wallets of the students. This is called a ‘Zero Knowledge Protocol’ through which the verification of the degrees would be processed.
Blockchain technology is emerging as a strong tool in the day to day operations of education institutions. Professor Agrawal further commented on day to day uses of blockchain technology, “Blockchain can also be used in the attendance of the students, providing access to students to the library and everywhere the students need the identity verification in the campus. All the day to day operations would be speeded-up by using this technology. Issues like ease of certification, verification of marksheets and avoiding forgery of identity can be eliminated by adopting blockchain technology in the education sector.”