In the wake of a tragic train accident that claimed nearly 300 lives, India is taking steps to enhance its railway signaling and communications using blockchain technology. The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) is spearheading the development of a new blockchain-based signaling system, which aims to improve safety and efficiency in the railway sector. This is according to a report on The Hindu.

This groundbreaking initiative has received approval from the highest echelons of the Indian government, including Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister of Railways.

Building a Fool-Proof Signaling System

Under the leadership of the Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) stream, the IIT is working on building a state-of-the-art blockchain-based signaling system. This is to further complement the existing Data Logger.

Image of a rail line and train

The idea was prompted by a request from Mr. Vaishnaw for a proposal on a fool-proof signaling system based on blockchain. Professor Aurobinda Routray from IIT-Kharagpur and his team are tasked with writing the program. This is to capitalize on blockchain’s potential to enhance safety in train operations.

Enhancing Transparency and Data Integrity

The adoption of blockchain technology offers immense potential to improve the railway processes in India. This is due to its inherent transparency and tamper-proof nature. The new system will enable rail operators to access real-time train movement information while upholding data integrity.

Unlike the centralized Data Logger system, which has been vulnerable to flaws, the blockchain-based approach will leverage distributed ledgers, making data accessible to all stakeholders.

One of the key advantages of the proposed blockchain system is its ability to securely record all events occurring in the train and control room. This ensures that no unauthorized party can tamper with or bypass the recorded data.

By leveraging distributed ledger technology, the new system promises to enhance the security and reliability of railway operations. This will further provide stakeholders with confidence and peace of mind.

Leveraging Smart Contracts for Automation and Audit Trails

The new blockchain system also presents an opportunity for process automation through the use of tamper-proof smart contracts. In addition to being immune to tampering, smart contracts will play a crucial role in creating audit trails, which can aid in investigative processes.

A sticky note with Blockchain written on it as India is set to integrate it into its railway system

These automated contracts will streamline operations and enhance efficiency,. This will ultimately contributing to the overall safety and reliability of India’s railway system.

India’s Wider Adoption of Blockchain

While the Indian government may not be the most enthusiastic supporter of blockchain for financial systems, it remains committed to integrating the technology into other sectors of the economy. Various regional governments have already begun exploring blockchain’s potential for secure record-keeping, particularly in real estate transactions.

Additionally, New Delhi’s administration is actively utilizing blockchain for criminal forensics. Also, government agencies are launching learning courses to develop a skilled blockchain workforce.

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