The Maharashtra government on Thursday started using a system based on the blockchain technology for caste certificate validation.
Caste certificate validation currently involves a lot of manual intervention and is prone to frauds and forgery, officials said.
Fraudulent caste certificates can deprive eligible persons of job or education opportunities.
"The state government will now record all the necessary details related to a caste certificate and it will be issued to the applicant. Once issued, the data will be saved in the form of a QR code, using the blockchain technology. Any government department can then scan the QR code of a candidate and cross-check his or her caste certificate," said Deependrasinh Kushwah, CEO of the Maharashtra State Innovation Society.
"The Etapalli sub-division of Gadchiroli district has been selected for the first project. It has undertaken caste validation of 65,000 persons using the blockchain technology," he added.
The citizen facilitation centres of the government will soon start issuing caste certificates with QR codes, Kushwah further said.
The technology has been developed by LegitDoc, a start-up which won the Maharashtra government's `hackathon' event in 2019.
Additional collector Shubham Gupta said, "This will put an end to forgery of documents and its misuse. It will save us a lot of time and money." Neil Martis of LegitDoc said, "Such verification and validation of key government documents is extensively used in many counties. It is good that we are shifting to it as well."