IIT Kanpur to Design Blockchain Architecture for e-Governance

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Bringing in transparency has always been the most fascinating feature of the blockchain. Realising its potential in the e-governance, the National Cyber Security has commissioned a project worth $ 5 millions to IIT Kanpur for developing a blockchain architecture for cybersecurity in e-governance.

Blockchain for cybersecurity

Blockchain technology has emerged as an effective cybersecurity tool for security data. To develop these solutions for India, IIT Kanpur professors, Manindra Agrawal and Sandeep Shukla from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, have been appointed as the principal investigators. They would work with Shweta Agrawal, an IIT Madras professor, on the project. To transform the technology into a product, a company will be incubated at IIT Kanpur.

According to IIT Kanpur, blockchain has application in the land record, registry management, driving license, identity management, as well as insider threat management in the context of cybersecurity. The blockchain cannot be tampered and has an inbuilt mechanism to record events with time stamps, so that data provenance, data integrity and order of creation of data can be recorded.

The project is considered to be India’s first attempt to design and develop a blockchain platform for e-governance and to add various applications to it. They are planning to design the platform in such a manner that it can be used to meet a wide range of digital technology initiatives for the government. “From offering an access lock on Aadhaar card information to managing digital land records, it will provide several applications,” said Manindra Agrawal, who is also the deputy director of IIT Kanpur.

He added: “Our design has to be general enough to cater to the diverse requirements of the government. Therein lies the challenge. For example, in the case of Aadhaar, only the person to whom the Aadhaar number belongs should be able to verify the Aadhaar access details, nobody else. On the other hand, everybody should be able to access land records to verify who holds what land. Our product should be able to accommodate both.

“Many countries such as UK, Estonia and the UAE have already been using this technology for digital identity management, government record management and insider-threat proof IT systems. Now India too will get its name added to the list.