Blockchain Technology Current Affairs
The 19th meeting of Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) was held in New Delhi under the Chairmanship of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The meeting was attended by RBI Governor Dr. Urjit R. Patel, SEBI chairman, IRDAI Chairman along with heads and other senior officers of Government and financial sector regulators.
Key Highlights of Meeting
- Economic Review: It reviewed health of economy, both domestic and global, financial sector performance and issues due to rising oil prices. It also discussed issue of real interest rate, current liquidity situation, including segmental liquidity position in NBFCs and mutual fund space.
- Cyber Security in Financial Sector: It also reviewed developments regarding strengthening of Cyber Security in Financial Sector and progress made towards setting up of Computer Emergency Response Team in the Financial Sector (CERT-Fin) under Statutory Framework. It also deliberated on need for identifying and securing critical information infrastructure in financial sector.
- Crypto Currency: It also deliberated on issues and challenges of Crypto Assets and Currency. It was briefed about deliberations of High-level Committee chaired by Secretary (Economic Affairs) to devise appropriate legal framework to ban use o fprivate crypto currencies in India and encouraging use of distributed ledger technology (blockchain), as announced in Budget 2018-19.
- RegTech and SupTech: It also discussed market developments and financial stability implications of use of RegTech and SupTech by financial firms and regulatory and supervisory authorities. It also discussed implementation of recommendations of Sumit Bose Committee on measures, such as promoting appropriate disclosure regime for financial distribution costs.
Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC)
- FSDC is super regulatory body for regulating financial sector which is vital for bringing healthy and efficient financial system in economy of the country. It was set up in 2010 by then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee
- Mandate: To strengthen and institutionalise mechanism of maintaining financial stability, financial sector development, inter-regulatory coordination along with monitoring macro-prudential regulation of economy and promoting financial sector development.
- Composition: Union Finance Minister is chairman of FSDC. Its members are heads of all financial sector regulatory authorities (i.e, RBI, SEBI, IRDA, PFRDA), Chairman of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board, Finance Secretary and Secretary, Department of Economic Affair; Secretary, Department of Financial Services and Chief Economic Adviser.
NITI Aayog has singed Statement of Intent (SoI) with Oracle to pilot real drug supply-chain using blockchain distributed ledger and Internet of Things (IoT) software to fight growing problem of counterfeit drugs in India. Strides Pharma Sciences and Apollo Hospitals will partner in this effort. Oracle is US multinational computer technology corporation that specializes primarily in developing and marketing database software and technology, cloud engineered systems, and enterprise software products.
The problem of fake and counterfeit drugs is a major issue, costing Indian pharma industry billions. At the same time, it is also putting patients at higher risk. This agreement with Oracle, will help ensure that Indian drug manufacturers and healthcare experts have access to standards-based, modern technology platform – blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) to help eliminate fake drug distribution.
Blockchain technology in drug supply-chain
Blockchain technology will help to permanently register drug’s record in manufacturer’s drug supply chain (serial number, scanning, labelling). This will leave no scope for record tampering. At every point of hand change of drug, it records drug’s movement from manufacturer to logistics, stockiest, hospital or pharmacy to consumer. In case of fake drug, software will detect irregularity. Additionally, critical information such as chemical ingredients of drug or maintenance of temperature control in case of life saving drugs or vaccines, can also be tracked.
Major Advantages of blockchain software
It will allow sharing of information across drug supply chain securely with every exchange of information getting recorded. This system cannot be tampered with record of drug movement. Besides being decentralized database, it has inability to delete any records so there can be no dispute, if offender is caught.