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Credit: State Government of Andhra Pradesh (from the official Twitter account of the Government of Andhra Pradesh, https://twitter.com/AndhraPradeshCM)

Credit: State Government of Andhra Pradesh (from the official Twitter account of the Government of Andhra Pradesh, https://twitter.com/AndhraPradeshCM)

Indian state of Andhra Pradesh signs MOU to develop blockchain stack and set up blockchain university

The Government of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh (AP) has signed a MoU with Covalent Fund to start a Blockchain ecosystem in India. The collaboration will focus on creation of manpower, access to capital and creation of an India-focused Blockchain stack at Fintech Valley Vizag. An investment of up to $10 million will be done as an initial pilot program.

There are also plans to set up a Blockchain University soon through collaboration between Covalent Fund and the State Government.

The FinTech hub in Visakhapatnam or Vizag, called FinTech Valley Vizag was launched in 2016 to bring together global financial services companies, investors, startups, government and academia.

It is a purpose-built and government supported facility that provides state-of-the-art plug and play facility at subsidised rates under the Designated Technology Park scheme. The facility can be used as co-working space for resident Fintech start-ups, accelerators, incubators and innovation hubs, growth space in the future for them as they grow, and a collaboration and events/conference space for all stakeholders. A range of incentives are provided for companies to set up shop at the FinTech hub.

In October 2016, FinTech Valley Vizag organised a Blockchain Business Conference, with support from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India. The State Government also hosted a series of 18 hackathons in selected 18 colleges across the state in association with Fintech Valley Vizag, and Hackmania Technology Pvt. Ltd.

The Hindu reported on January 16 that eight startups have been selected for undergoing incubation under FinTech Valley Vizag’s accelerator programme. The accelerator programme will make use of the use case repository developed for financial service institutions, including banks, non-banking financial institutions, insurance firms and capital market companies.

The State Government has also been taking a lead in exploring the use of blockchain in the public sector.

Last year, it was reported that the Andhra Pradesh state government plans to start moving some departmental data onto blockchain platforms within 8-12 months. Pilots had been launched two departments, civil supplies and land records. According to an article in the Economic Times, the Andhra Pradesh government had also initiated discussions with financial technology service provider, Broadridge Financial Solutions. Broadbridge is also involved in a collaboration with AP Electronics and IT Agency (APEITA), an autonomous institute formed by the government and GITAM University and Broadridge to introduce job-ready courses in blockchain technology.

According to a recent report in The Hindu from earlier this month, an Indian FinTech firm called Zebi Data India has built a blockchain-based solution for hosting land records that is being used in Amaravati, the Capital region of Andhra Pradesh. About one lakh land records with the CRDA (Capital Regional Development Authority) are now on blockchain.

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