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Telangana priming for tech glory with first Blockchain district

KV Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on May 27, 2019 Published on May 27, 2019

State to woo start-ups with a slew of goodies including tax sops and R&D infra

With an eye on the emerging market opportunities in Blockchain, the Telangana government is going to set up the country’s first ‘Blockchain district’ to create an ecosystem for all the start-ups and institutes working in the space.

Though the Blockchain technology encompasses all domains, the district would focus on banking, financial services and insurance; pharma and healthcare; logistics and supply chain; and the government sectors.

Concessions galore

Several goodies are on offer for the start-ups. They need not pay the State’s component in the GST for three years. Besides getting a one-time grant of ₹10 lakh, they will get 75 per cent subsidy in travel fare when the founders attend global conferences and 25 per cent reimbursement on Internet charges.

“For mega Blockchain projects, separate packages will be devised,” a top State IT Ministry official said.

The policy is likely to be cleared after the Cabinet expansion, which is on the cards. The IT Ministry doesn’t have a Minister now. (Former IT Minister KT Rama Rao has been appointed Working President of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi).

The district would have a co-working space, an international liasioning office, a T-Hub-like incubator to mentor early-stage start-ups in the Blockchain space and a supporting R&D institute to promote innovation.

The State signed an agreement with Tech Mahindra last year to set up the Blockchain district.

The start-ups and other organisations will be offered data storage space at a subsidised price in the T-Cloud, the State’s cloud offering.

While welcoming the move, Rama Iyer, Chief Executive Officer (India) of Eleven01 Foundation, said the district would drive the growth of Blockchain firms in the country.

Blockchain, a distributed ledger technology, promises secured transactions as it disallows changes to ‘blocks’ of recorded information.

The draft policy on Blockchain, released last week, seeks to involve the Telangana Academy for Skill and Knowledge (TASK) to device exclusive Blockchain courses in association with top names in the new technology space.

Sandbox

The government would set up a sandbox for testing prominent Blockchain protocols to allow simulation and prototyping of solutions.

The State would set up focussed groups in each of the focus themes and encourage developers, researchers and the start-up community to work on the mandated themes.

Published on May 27, 2019
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