February 23, 2024

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India to Develop Blockchain Network for eGovernment Procurement Systems

A start-up incubated at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur (IIT-Kanpur), CRUBN, will collaborate with the state government of Karnataka to develop a state-of-the-art blockchain network for all eGovernment Procurement (e-GP) systems across the country. CRUBN provides blockchain solutions for government and business entities across the globe. The start-up has teamed up with Karnataka’s Centre for Smart Governance, which is a premier software development agency of the state government. The blockchain network will act as a decentralised trust and efficiency layer for all e-GP systems.

E-GP systems cater to the procurement and tendering requirements of various government departments and organisations. Though e-GP systems have contributed to enhanced efficiency and transparency in government procurement, there is potential for further advancement of the existing systems. According to a news report, the blockchain network will be used to validate the claims of suppliers along with their identities. The proposed system will connect all the e-GP systems through a network, which will help retrieve and validate relevant supplier data between various e-GP systems that are in use in India. The system will also digitise bank guarantees by powering them using the trust-based automation of blockchain. When fully operational, this system will be a pan-India system that would reduce the time and cost associated with public procurements made using e-GP systems.

This partnership aims to ease the hassle of the existing systems by making more than 50 operational e-GP systems across the country interoperable, which, up till now, work individually. The blockchain network will be governed by the terms and conditions decided by the consortium of the e-GP systems across the country. It can also be used as the national de-duplicated supplier datastore.

Any e-GP system can depend on the security that blockchain guarantees to authenticate supplier details. This will potentially save enormous costs associated with tender processing and make the process simpler and efficient. Bank guarantees will also be pushed to this system in a tokenised and privacy-preserving manner to maintain integrity. The tokenisation of bank guarantees will mean that they will become a more acceptable instrument of transaction than they are now.

CRUBN was incubated at IIT-Kanpur, for Phase-III of the National Blockchain Project, funded by the National Security Council Secretariat, and envisioned to build e-governance solutions using blockchain technology. IIT-Kanpur’s C3i Center, funded by the SERB (Science and Engineering Research Board), is India’s first cybersecurity research and education centre in the field of cybersecurity of critical infrastructure. The C3i Hub established at IIT-Kanpur helps in empowering the research, education, start-up ecosystems, and industrial collaboration in cybersecurity.

IIT-Kanpur recently developed a web-based system to monitor pollution levels of the Ganges River. As OpenGov Asia had reported, the low-cost, multi-parameter, water quality monitor, Niracara Svayamsasita Vedh Shala (NSVS), consists of an array of sensors and autosamplers on a stationary platform, which is semi-submersible, all-weather, robust, and stable. According to a news report, the aquatic autonomous observatory will enable in-situ monitoring, real-time data transmission and web-based visualisation of the river. The project has been implemented by a team of earth scientists, and mechanical, electrical, and aerospace engineers from IIT-Kanpur. It was sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology and the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF).


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