PM Modi launches blockchain-based digital degrees at IIT Kanpur

These digital degrees can be verified globally and are unforgeable, according to IIT Kanpur director.

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PM Modi launches blockchain-based digital degrees at IIT Kanpur

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched a system to award blockchain-based educational degrees in digital form to students. These digital degrees can be verified globally and are unforgeable, according to IIT Kanpur director.

The technology has been developed by the institute under the National Blockchain Project.

Later, addressing the convocation, PM Modi said that technology is the future and it is getting priceless gifts from prestigious institutes like IIT Kanpur.

Here is everything you need to know about the blockchain-based digital degree and how it will impact the educational sector in the future

The blockchain system works on the principle of decentralisation. This means that the control is not in the hands of a central agency, but to a distributed network of nodes.

This will help in keeping the data safe even if any specific node is compromised.

Also, the information in a blockchain is recorded and stored sequentially along with an exact timestamp. The previous information can't be altered, only amended by adding a new block. This makes tampering with a transcript very hard.

The blockchain technology can simplify the tedious task of maintain the records of students by making them digitised. Also, the students will be able to access their records remotely.

According to US-based Maryville University, the blockchain technology can simplify the verification process. Any institute can do so with a few clicks instead of going through lots of paper documentation, in cases of transfer students, or sharing records with employers, or issuing degrees.

The blockchain technology, through its algorithms, also allows teachers to execute a particular curriculum when certain conditions are met. The teachers can set lessons and courses into a blockchain, including programming the tasks too. The algorithm can then verify the completion of each task and provide students with the next one until all the tasks are complete.

The same technology can also assist the teachers in grading. The blockchain technology can grade students based on their responses in exams – the algorithm takes into consideration questions, answers, and scoring parametres.

The blockchain technology can lower costs by opening affordable paths to learning. It will require less manual intervention, thereby reducing the need to hire more staff for processes.

The technology is already being used in the financial sector and has been powering currencies like bitcoin.

Ironically, security is one of the primary challenges of using the blockchain technology for any purpose. Increased security doesn't mean that blockchain is not vulnerable. It also eliminates the possibility of modifying student records for legitimate purposes.

There is also a limitation with scaling the system beyond a certain level. Increasing the network means adding more blocks, which will slow down the speed of transaction as each transaction requires peer-to-peer verification.

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