The swift transformative progress that is needed in today’s governance practices, has signaled to roll out a red carpet for new technologies including IoT, AI, and blockchain. While the first two became the innovation accelerators having a pervasive impact, the blockchain has recently emerged as a disruptive innovation revolutionizing e-governance.
An important function of the government is to maintain trusted information about individuals, organizations, assets, and activities. Managing and using these data can be a complicated and daunting task, even for advanced governments. The data must be protected against unauthorized access or manipulation with no room for error.
The increasing incidences of cybercrime in this digital age have placed organizations and individuals in the cyber warfare. We are in a perpetual battle with cyber-criminals, who are seeking information to hack, steal and sell. To combat the cybersecurity issue and overcome mistrust, new innovative approaches have evolved to provide the answer to a multitude of problems. One such innovation in the technology evolution for securing information is the blockchain technology.
Distributed ledger system or the blockchain technology allows the organization of any chain of records or transactions without the need for intermediaries. This is achieved through cryptography that helps to maintain a continuously growing database of records which are protected against tampering and revision. It ensures transparency in e-governance. This technology in e-governance can act as a catalyst in managing and securing the digital data and digital assets. From the protection of critical data to digital property ownership, blockchain technology ushers in the digital technology.
The governments can consider experimenting blockchain on multiple governance issues – Land registration, Tax data exchange, Domestic tax management, voting from blockchain, transport, and other government applications. Harnessing the power of blockchain and its unprecedented cybersecurity, a couple of states in the country have adapted to this technology. Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka state governments have already incorporated the active area of innovation.
Kerala government has set a new standard of e-Governance by launching several interesting projects, powered by blockchain. In a recent development, it has now decided to use IoT and Blockchain to optimize the supply of fast moving products like fish, milk, and vegetables in the state.
Blockchain benefits are far away from what we expect. It ensures the best it has. Among its benefits, blockchain for public sectors eases the governance. The promise of transformation can only be realized by knowing what Blockchain is and what it can do for governance. With the enormous potential of Blockchain, it is more of a strategy matter than an IT matter. Having a shared understanding of the decentralized future of governance will help the governments to achieve their long-term vision.
By Sri Rajendra Nimje, Director General, Centre for Good Governance, Hyderabad