A municipal corporation in West Bengal has started issuing birth certificates via a blockchain system of records, according to a report in The Times of India.
A month-old boy named Divit became the first person to receive a blockchain-based certificate from the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA).
Divit is the son of startup founder Varun Boyani, who leads logistics workflow management firm Super Procure.
The report cited Debashis Sen, the chairman of the municipal corporation, saying that blockchain-based birth certificates were more secure in nature.
On Wednesday, The Millenium Post reported that state IT and electronics minister Amit Mitra had launched the new blockchain-based service at the Bangla Convention Centre, which was also playing host to a blockchain congress event.
"There is a hashtag which needs to be used for maintaining records through blockchain and it cannot be tampered by any means,” a senior official of the IT and electronics department was quoted as saying. “So, once you make the entries and the certificate is read,y there can be no manipulation and this makes it 100% secure.”
Mitra told the news portal that the state was in the process of evaluating blockchain technology so that it can be used for the benefit of citizens. He added that blockchain could be used for electronic media records, traffic management and maintaining land records.
West Bengal isn't the only Indian state interested in harnessing blockchain technology. Andhra Pradesh has been exploring the use of blockchain in maintaining health and land records, birth registry and e-procurement projects.
The state is working with Ethereum founder Joseph Lubin's firm Consensys and Kuala Lumpur-based Belfrics for most of these projects. The state has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to train students and professors in the technology.
Earlier this year, the country's premier think-tank Niti Aayog had expressed interest in harnessing blockchain to benefit citizens in the health and education sector. The think-tank is known to be running pilot projects for the same.