The Government of Maharashtra, one of India's state governments, has started issuing caste certificates over the Polygon blockchain to citizens residing in Etapalli village, Gadchiroli district, as a part of the Digital India campaign.
In partnership with LegitDoc, a blockchain-based application, the Maharashtra state government is in the process of rolling out 65,000 caste certificates to aid the process of delivering governmental schemes and benefits.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Shubham Gupta revealed that the Indian government is always on the lookout to implement disruptive technologies that can help democratize citizen services, adding:
"Web3 takes the concept of democratization to a whole new level, whereby, data/information can not only made openly sharable but can be made openly unfalsifiable."
As cited by Gupta in an article co-authored by LegitDoc CEO Neil Martis, the caste certificate issuance via neutral web3 platforms aims to target 1.1 million economically challenged residents of the Gadchiroli district, with over 70% representing the tribal population.
Furthermore, the verifiable certificates aim to deter forgery efforts by bad actors to falsely claim government-provided benefits for the under privileged. The duo also spoke about the importance of Web3 protocols in protecting the general public against deplatformation — both financially and non-financially:
“In Web3, anyone can be part of the public blockchain network, but no single entity can control the network, thereby reducing the deplatformation risk by both internal and external actors.”
As a part of the initiative, the LegitDoc platform fetches selective data from the government-run MahaOnline portal and uploads it to the Polygon proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain. The system then generates a QR code and certificates, which can be verifiable by various government departments.
The Maharashtra government has previously implemented an Ethereum-based credentialing system to provide tamper-proof diploma certificates as a measure to avert document forgery.