Tamil Nadu has adopted Blockchain-as-a-Service model, wherein the departments will not have separate nodes. The government will build the blockchain backbone along with the partners and the departments will use them as a service. Over Rs 40 crore has been spent on the project. No PoC or experimentations have been done.
The unique differentiator with blockchain is it is immutable, which is precisely the challenge faced by many departments in the government – that data, information or records are being fudged for vested interests. For example, the land records department can use blockchain to its advantage by storing land related records, which cannot be manipulated. Currently, inspite of technology the records are interferred with for personal benefits. They are centralised and can be changed by a particular person or even by hacking into the server. However blockchain is a decentralised technology, which accepts a change only after accepting consent from the relevant stakeholders.
“Experience says, legacy technology will prove as a hindrance in implementing blockchain, but the IT department has taken a stand to go ahead with implementing the technology and solve the challenges as they approach,” states
Dr Santhosh Babu, Principal Secretary to Government, Information Technology Department, Tamil Nadu.
The government has established a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in the Tamil Nadu eGovernance Department. “Every department and state government is undertaking e-governance initiatives, but apart from blockchain there are many emerging technologies that can take e-governance to the next level, like AI, IoT, etc. The government has selected over eight experts from the market to work in the CoE. They are being employed full-time with the government on a handsome salary to ensure their retention,” states Dr Babu, adding that the IT department requests other departments to share the challenges they are facing, which the CoE takes up and ascertains how technology can find a way out.