Blockchain Technology Current Affairs

NITI Aayog, GNFC ink SoI for research on Blockchain Technology for fertilizer subsidy management

NITI Aayog has signed Statement of Intent (SOI) with Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals Limited (GNFC) to work together for implementing Proof-of-Concept (PoC) application for fertilizer subsidy management using Blockchain Technology.

Key Facts

Under this collaboration, NITI Aayog and GNFC will jointly develop PoC application, under take research, develop blockchain solutions, exchange learnings, organise forums, and disseminate learnings across their networks. PoC’s learnings, insights and outcomes will enable NITI Aayog to suggest policy recommendations and actions in strengthening subsidy mechanism, making it more transparent and immune to leakages.

Background

Fertilizer units manufacture approximately 31 Million MT of fertilizers across country. Government annually disburses approximately Rs. 70,000 crore of subsidy to manufacturing units. The subsidy disbursal takes two to three months’ time. Moreover, there are multiple entities involved in verification process, which makes transaction process very cumbersome which has potential to be automated to give significant efficiency gains. With implementation of blockchain Technology, it is expected that distribution will become effective and efficient, and subsidy transfer could be automated and made real time.

Significance

Blockchain platform have inherent characteristics of distributed computing and ledger for keeping of transactions i.e. authenticity, confidentiality, non-repudiation, data integrity and data availability. Implementation of this platform for fertilizer subsidy management will ensure that there is no dependence on intermediary agencies to prove validity of transactions and resulting subsidy claims. The blockchain based process will also use smart contracts which will enable quick and accurate reconciliation of transactions between multiple parties with minimal human intervention. It will also ensure transparency in the process as transactions cannot be altered and audit trails of transactions are available.

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TRAI proposes use of blockchain technology to curb spam calls, texts

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in its draft Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulation, 2018 has proposed use of blockchain technology to check menace of Unsolicited Commercial Communication (UCC) or spam calls and messages. This will be for first time, any country will deploy blockchain technology to check unwanted calls.

Key Facts

The blockchain technology based norms to check menace of UCC will record all communication between subscribers and entities, capturing customer consent for information and authorised telemarketing agencies. It will ensure two things, non- repudiative and confidentiality.

It will be safeguarding personal information of the consumers as well as for better check on unsolicited commercial calls. Only those authorised to access details will be able to access subscriber details and only when they need to deliver service.

The draft proposes to check misuse of repeated UCC being made even to those subscribers who have given consent. The subscriber will be now able to revoke consent given to entities through TRAI app and other mechanism that will be provided under regulation.

Benefits

Using blockchain technology, all information can be recorded and more options can be given to customers regarding commercial communications. The telemarketers will not have access to database of telecom customers and they can only reach out to those, who have opted to receive communication. Moreover, any spammer who uses normal 10-digit number to communicate with people can be tracked immediately after few people report to TRAI as data can be matched.

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