This policy lays the foundation for developing a blockchain ecosystem in Tamil Nadu and support for the State-wide Blockchain Backbone infrastructure program

A first in the country, Tamil Nadu unveils policies on Blockchain, cybersecurity and AI

Earning a recognition for his state, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami released the Tamil Nadu Cyber Security Policy 2020, Tamil Nadu Blockchain Policy 2020, and Tamil Nadu Safe and Ethical Artificial Intelligence Policy 2020 while participating in a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) ‘Connect 2020’ conference organized by the CII through videoconference.

The state, notably, is the first in India to introduce Blockchain Policy that intends to reimagine its governance.

The CM had also announced plans that he would make the state a pioneer in innovation and a knowledge capital of the country. According to the Chief Minister, the state continues to be a “destination of choice” for the IT and IT-enabled services sector in India with 42 Memorandum of Understandings, involving an investment of Rs 31,464 crore, signed even during the lockdown period. These MoU are intended to create approximately 69,712 jobs in the state.

The BharatNet and TamilNet projects will be implemented to connect all 12,524 Village Panchayats of the State with a minimum of 1 Gbps high-speed connectivity, which will help to achieve the targets of Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. “These steps will strengthen Tamil Nadu’s position as an International IT hub in the country,” he said.

Tamil Nadu Blockchain Policy

The Chief Minister Palaniswami, in his speech, said that to revolutionize the way Government services are offered to citizens, the Knowledge Proof Identity-based services delivery project will be implemented by establishing and leveraging the State Family Data Base and Block-Chain Backbone infrastructure. This initiative will take Government to the citizens, thus eliminating the need for the citizens to request G2C services.

It would also help to deliver the state government’s social and economic welfare programs in a fair and transparent manner through the internet. Additionally, it would build better G2G (Government to Government) and G2C (Government to Citizen) workflows and applications to improve the lives of the residents of Tamil Nadu, he said.

IAS officer, Santosh Mishra, Commissioner of e-Governance at Government of Tamil Nadu, in his comment on LinkedIn said, “This has been a labor of love for us, as we patiently worked on it for last several months. We held extensive consultations, conducted workshops, took feedback from stakeholders and experts, and incorporated all the necessary elements.  We believe that this policy would lay the foundation for developing a vibrant blockchain ecosystem in Tamil Nadu. It provides the policy support for our ambitious State-wide Blockchain Backbone infrastructure “Nambikkai Inayam”. It would enable blockchain startups and other ecosystem players to leverage our blockchain backbone in creating value for society especially in the areas of governance, agriculture, healthcare, financial inclusion, and digital identity.”

The press release issued by the government states that the Cyber Security Policy has been made with the intent of protecting the government’s database and websites that provide services to the people.

According to Yash Kolte, Industrial Relations Head at Entrepreneurship Development Cell, VIIT, the BlockChain Policy of Tamil Nadu Government intends to:

  1. Envision a high-level design for building a common Blockchain Network for e-Governance Blockchain projects in Tamil Nadu.
  2. Use case selection and prioritization for Blockchain in e-Governance.
  3. Establish standards and guidelines for designing, developing, and deploying Blockchain applications for e-Governance and for applications using the Tamil Nadu State Blockchain Backbone and implementing them.
  4. Laying out a plan for Blockchain capacity building within Tamil Nadu for Government Executives and Officers.
  5. Encourage industry-wide adoption by encouraging cross-industry and cross-academia collaborations through a Forum for Blockchain Ecosystem Development.
  6. Build a regulatory sandbox for blockchain applications.
  7. Design an oversight mechanism for implementing the Blockchain Policy.

Also, the Artificial Intelligence policy has been laid down to augment and improve existing governance workflows and processes with the help of AI. The policy also aims for the adoption of AI in the government’s Legislature, the Judiciary and the Executive. Another goal is to encourage research and development in AI by academia, start-ups, private and public enterprises.

The policy can be accessed at https://tnega.tn.gov.in/assets/images/pdf/BlockChain2020.pdf

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