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New Delhi Municipal Corporation To Introduce Blockchain for birth-death certificate and property tax

The New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) is planning to create a blockchain-based infrastructure for its record management system (RMS) and will subsequently to migrate its existing birth-death certificate and property tax database to this infrastructure.

The National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT) comprises three local bodies — Municipa Corporation of Delhi, NDMC and Cantonment Board. While MCD comprises approximately 96 per cent of the area and population of Delhi, the NDMC consists of only 3 per cent of the population.

NDMC area comprises of the area that is regarded as the seat of central authority in India. It comprises buildings such as Rashtrapati Bhawan, Parliament House. The Indian government owns about 80% of the buildings in the NDMC area.

“IT Department (of NDMC) is intending to migrate all record-related database in blockchain technology and to implement/develop the blockchain-based database environment RMS for all application related to keeping records for prevention of tampering (sic),” the tender floated iby the NDMC said. The municipal authority said that blockchain was being brought in to prevent tampering of records.

“Blockchain technology would bring in more transparency in the entire process of issuing birth/death certificates. Since blockchain is immutable, it would be easier to detect cases of suspected tampering,” AW Ansari, Joint Director, NMDC told MediaNama

Source: NDMC tender

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Once a vendor has been chosen for the project, they have to develop the blockchain infrastructure within two months. Subsequently, within the three-month mark, the company is expected to migrate the birth and death database to this infrastructure. And then within five months, the estate and property tax database will need to be migrated.

Requirements of the blockchain ecosystem

  • Seamless authentication
  • Physical submission of documents not essential
  • Platform records and maintains the hash of digital artefact in a tamper-proof manner
  • Issues receipts include hash and an embedded QR code which can be used for future verifications
  • Dashboard for indicating match/mismatch after verifying with blockchain details
  • Malware resistant
  • Trust across parties

Blockchain for birth/death certificate tried and tested

A report by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) called “Blockchain: The Next innovation to make our cities smarter” underlines there are systemic problems in regards to accuracy, uniformity, timeliness when it comes to birth and death registrations.

It laid down a potential process of how to do birth registrations through blockchain —

  • Upon the birth of a child, the doctor will log into a user interface that will act as the registration portal linked to a smart contract in the blockchain network.
  • All relevant information (date of birth, name, domicile, blood group, guardian information, etc.) shall be updated to editable fields in the smart contract.
  • The smart contract moves to parents’ node, where the parents of the newborn review the information and digitally sign the form.
  • The smart contract moves to the registrar’s node, where the registrar validates each field in the ‘smart form’ with a binary response (valid or invalid).
  • If all fields in the smart form are valid, a unique digital signature associated with that form is generated, which is stamped to the record and updated to the blockchain.
  • A corresponding record will be generated as a certificate that will now be updated to the citizen’s DigiLocker/similar account, imprinted with a unique digital signat

Blockchain adoption in India

Earlier this year the IT Ministry recommended that the government create a National Level Blockchain Framework (NLBF) to encourage the adoption of blockchain technology across a variety of public use-cases. The ministry’s draft National Strategy on Blockchain proposes that various public projects can be brought on to a blockchain platform for digital identities, land records and official documents and healthcare, among other areas.

The report recommends that the government create a legal and regulatory framework for the adoption of blockchain technology in various public and private areas, while at the same time build capacities on blockchain research and innovation to compete with other nations. At present, there are various efforts by government bodies and the private sector to use blockchain technology. But in order to effectively scale the technology, there is a need for scaling deployments, explore various domains, emerge shared infrastructure and cross-domain applications, it said.

Back in 2018 a month-old baby in West Bengal became the first to receive a birth certificate which was secured on a blockchain, acording to a report in Times of India. The Thane Municipal Corporation began working on a pilot blockchain-based solution for property tax assessment, according to an Economic Times report.

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