In a bold move towards digital fortification, the Indian state of Tamil Nadu’s Registration Department is undergoing a significant transformation by migrating its extensive repository of registered documents onto a blockchain system. This groundbreaking initiative aims to enhance the security and authenticity of historical records, some dating back to 1865, utilizing hash algorithm software similar to that employed in cryptocurrency transactions.
Historical Records Migration:
The Department’s objective is to protect these historical chronicles from potential tampering, a proactive response to a series of incidents involving document manipulation leading to significant land scams. Traditionally, documents were digitized and preserved using the STAR 2.0 software, managed by a private IT firm under the Starlink system. However, to elevate the protection against manipulation, the Department has partnered with the Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency (TNeGA) to deploy blockchain technology, an advanced and secure method of information storage surpassing conventional digitization.
Blockchain Infrastructure’s Role:
The blockchain infrastructure is assigned the task of safeguarding property details, mortgage transactions, and buyer and seller information encompassed within volumes 1, 3, and 4. Notably, Volume 2 will remain outside the blockchain. Certified copies, distinguished by the Nambikkai Inaiyam (blockchain logo), are now being issued, signifying the documents’ tamper-proof nature and instilling trust in their authenticity.
Trigger for Digital Transition:
The immediate catalyst for this digital transition was the identification of document tampering and land scams, notably exemplified in a case at St. Thomas Mount village. In this instance, land valued over ₹250 crore was reclaimed by the Chengalpattu Collector after fraudulent activities were exposed. While a majority of the documents were digitized, those from 18 villages are still pending processing, creating vulnerabilities that have been exploited, resulting in scams. Natural disasters have also inflicted damage on physical documents at local offices. With the implementation of blockchain, the Department aspires to comprehensively secure all documents against future threats.
As Tamil Nadu’s Registration Department embraces blockchain technology for the preservation of historical records, the shift signifies a proactive approach to address vulnerabilities and ensure the integrity of crucial documents. This transition not only aims to thwart potential tampering and land scams but also marks a significant step towards the digital fortification of essential records, contributing to a more secure and trustworthy administrative framework.