The Telangana Government has released its draft Blockchain policy and stated that it is likely to be finalised and implemented in a month. The finalisation would make the State the first in the country to have its own Blockchain policy. The policy aims to catapult Hyderabad to one of the top 10 ‘Blockchain Cities’ of the world. With a conceptualisation of a Blockchain District, the city would house major blockchain technology companies, a world class incubator, and research and development facility. The policy envisions developing a talent pool and would see Telangana Academy for Skill and Knowledge delivering blockchain courses to students.
The government would also partner with the industry to establish a training and certification agency in the State for re-skilling and up-skilling of the workforce. Office space for startups working on blockchain would be provided at subsidised rates. The policy would entail focus on banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI), pharma and healthcare, logistics and supply chain and public sector.
Snippets from the blockchain policy unveiled by the government
Skill Building & Talent Pool
- Telangana will provide institutional support through Telangana Academy for Skill and Knowledge (TASK) to deliver blockchain courses to engineering students in the state. These courses will be designed in partnership with some of the most trusted names in the blockchain industry.
- One of the most important focus areas is re-skilling and up-skilling of the existing workforce for the future demand. There are many blockchain certification programs that have sprung up and it is becoming increasingly difficult for the developers to choose the right and credible program. The government will partner with industry to establish a training and certification agency in the state.
- An elite certification program will be designed to a select few techies with stringent screening tests. This program will be run in collaboration with the industry players with placement prospects. The professionals graduating out of this program would go on to become the most sought after blockchain developers in the industry.
- The State will encourage its industry partners to offer internships to students who may secure a pre-placement offer at the end of the internship.
- The State will encourage technology institutions in Telangana to add blockchain in their curriculum and provide option for their students to undergo certificate programs in blockchain technology from TSB or from premier institutes in Telangana
- Public enterprises and government agencies will encourage their employees or professionals to undergo workshops launched in blockchain technology to facilitate better adoption within government.
- Government shall partner with blockchain protocol ecosystem players to facilitate educational workshops and conferences that will allow practitioners and experts to provide specific insight and illustrate practical application and foster innovation through hackathons, national challenges, boot camps, and accelerators.
Government of Telangana will support the use of shared infrastructure, both IT as well as physical, to encourage research, prototyping and development of blockchain solutions in the state. Telangana State will work towards creation of shared infrastructure facilities which can be utilized by start-ups, industry, communities and academia either at nominal cost or free of cost. The State would take up some specific steps in this direction, as detailed below:
- The government will provide office space to house all the blockchain start-ups, co-working and incubation spaces at highly subsidized prices
- To foster innovation in Blockchain technology, a sandbox for prominent blockchain protocols will be created that will allow simulation and prototyping of solutions. This sandbox will provide safe environment, within controlled boundaries, for businesses to test, develop and provide innovative Blockchain products and services.
- An international liaison office of the Blockchain district will created to collaborate with international players to bring in investments and for exchange of knowledge and practices.
- IT infrastructure facility for provision of cloud hosted computing and storage through T-Cloud will be extended at subsidized rates thus allowing for a future vision of Blockchain as a Service provided by the Blockchain District.
Research & Innovation
- The Blockchain District will provide a platform for Academic institutions and Industry to come together and provide students hands-on industry experience through internships on the real-life implementation and problem solving around the technology. Universities and technical institutions of Telangana will be promoted and encouraged to build partnerships with the technology companies to undertake research in this technology and build solutions and skills supporting the future initiatives of the private and public sector.
- The innovation ecosystem will only flourish when there exists a continuous flow of ideas. To ensure the development of research and innovation, the state will encourage immigration of talent to the state:
The state will collaborate with corporates to start the research fellowship that would sponsor researchers in blockchain technology to undertake research in Telangana.
The international liaison office of the Blockchain district will collaborate with international start-ups/companies and encourage such companies to open their offices in the state.
- Research, innovation and prototype development shall be promoted in innovative solutions in blockchain design and developing of Cryptographic Algorithms and Security Protocols.
- Government will facilitate partnership of select industry players with Blockchain District to set-up incubators or accelerators to promote innovation in the blockchain technology. Telangana shall support select incubators and accelerators with specific packages/support depending on the strategic value of the product or solution.
- Government will fund research programs in blockchain technology by setting up a research chairs in select premier institutes and fund research scholars working in the domain.
- For researchers in Telangana who get recognition for their blockchain research at several important international platforms will be facilitated at the flagship annual blockchain event. They will also stand an opportunity to win an all-expense paid trip to one of the major Blockchain academic conferences around the world.
- Government, in partnership with the industry and academia will organize an annual academic conference for all Blockchain researchers in the state to showcase their work.
Industry sectors will have varied scope for adoption and scaling up of Blockchain technology. Further, each sector will be at different levels of learning curve for the technology. In view of this, Telangana State will take up a tailored approach based on potential and maturity of the specific industry.
While Telangana State will remain committed to promote the technology adoption across all sectors, it will have a dedicated focus for selected ones to start with. The following sectors have been identified as high potential sectors of Blockchain adoption:
- Banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI)
- Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare
- Government departments & Institutions
- Logistics & Supply Chain
- 25% subsidy on lease rentals up to INR 5,00,000 per annum for the first 3 years of operations
- 50% subsidy on the exhibition rentals for the SMEs (firms operating out of Telangana) participating in national or international exhibitions limited to 9 Sq. mts of space
- A tailor-made incentive package will be provided for mega blockchain projects or marquee blockchain companies.
- Land will be allotted at subsidized rates to blockchain companies by Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation Limited, the guidelines specified for regular ICT companies in terms of annual revenue, investment promises, employment creation promises will be partially relaxed for blockchain firms.
- For all the research projects sponsored by companies in technical universities, an equal amount of investment will be made by the govt. for up to INR 5 Lakhs per year for next three years
Read the full draft blockchain policy here