The Government of Maharashtra is using the Polygon blockchain to issue verifiable caste certificates to its citizens residing in Etapalli and Bhamragad villages of Gadchiroli district. This is done via LegitDoc platform, a Polygon public blockchain based platform, which makes these certificates instantaneously verifiable.
“More than 70 per cent people in the Gadchiroli district are tribal, which means most of them require a caste certificate,” Neil Martis, co-founder of LegitDoc told indianexpress.com. In order to gain access to government funded benefits and subsidies— and distribute them under various government schemes, caste certificates are required. Sub-division office-Etapalli has taken up the task of running 65,000 caste certificates through the blockchain system.
For the uninitiated, Blockchain is a technology which stores all the records in a distributed database. Any data, or a record stored on it cannot be censored, tampered with or taken down. “… and what better than blockchain for implementing proof of record and authenticity systems,” said Martis.
The Gadchiroli administration aims to target 1.1 million economically challenged residents of the district through verifiable cast certificates.
In a blog post, Shubham Gupta, Assistant Collector at Gadchiroli notes that while Maharashtra continue to issue digitally signed caste certificates to its citizens via the ‘MahaOnline’ portal, the majority of the population still relies upon physical documents to hold caste certificates. Verifying each document by looking for application numbers is “administrative intensive and there’s no easy mechanism for external parties to verify the data,” Gupta highlights.
However, the proposed cryptographically signed system is designed to ease administrative process and address the woe of citizens. It fetches information from the MahaOnline portal and generates a unique QR code consisting of blockchain-proofs for every caste certificate.
“These QR based certificates will be issued to the citizens via common service centres (CSC),” Gupta added in the blog post. The open verification system available on the government website will enable government departments, or any other third parties, to verify the authenticity of a certificate with the click of a button. This all is possible through the public Polygon blockchain.
“In the case of verifying caste certificates, there are three parties involved: a document issuer, document holders (users) and document verifiers (authorities who verify documents). To facilitate this, all the three mentioned stakeholders have to come together, which requires infrastructure. This is already available on Polygon blockchain,” Martin explained.
It should be noted public blockchain such as (Ethereum, Polygon, etc) are safer than private blockchain as they are decentralised. This is the primary reason why top e-governments, such as Singapore and Malta, have been switching to E-governance stacks built on public blockchains.
Meanwhile, private blockchains are owned by a centralised authority, which has the right to override, edit, delete the transactions or records as required. “The government of course, does not want any tampering of the data, hence, Polygon blockchain is the best, and the most reliable option,” Martin added.