Blockchain And The Future Of Education In India

Whenever a new technology is introduced we generally give two reactions to the same. Either we are afraid of it and try to dump it as soon as possible or we create a hype bubbled around that tech and ultimately face many performance, goal and end result failures. The correct approach is to understand and accept any tech in its true and correct perspective. Neither fear it nor treat it as a panacea for all our problems as doing either is not going to serve any purpose.

Take the example of quantum computing. We are spending a large amount of money, time and resources under some assumption that it would open doors of new opportunities for us. That may happen or that may not happen because we have to see that claim in the context of existing technologies. We have to see whether our improved and latest models of traditional computers can do the same task in a reasonably satisfactory manner as quantum computers are supposed to do.

It is a common belief that traditional computers will never be able to perform the tasks quantum computers are designed for. However, Ewin Tang has proven that classical computers can solve the “recommendation problem” nearly as fast as quantum computers. The result eliminates one of the best examples of quantum speedup. But in the realm of communication (rather than computation), the benefits of a quantum approach are certifiable. More than a decade ago computer scientists proved that, at least theoretically, quantum communication beats classical ways of sending messages for certain tasks. Thus, we have to see the benefits of quantum computing in their true perspective and nature and not based on hypes and fake science claims.

Similar is the case for blockchain as we are creating all sorts of hype in favour of blockchain when in reality other traditional tech and tools can also do the same stuff. We have launched the Techno Legal Centre Of Excellence For Cryptoassets And Blockchain Of India (TLCECBI) that is discussing issues about cryptoassets and blockchain in their true and correct perspectives. Once the proposed law for cryptocurrencies would be formulated by Indian govt, we would guide national and international stakeholders about techno legal issues of cryptoassets and blockchain.

Coming back to blockchain and education, the most common use case for blockchain in education is to transform the “record keeping” of mark sheets and school certificates, degrees, certificates and diplomas, etc at graduation level, etc. But more promising is the option to create a new market for cryptoassets. Processing student payments is labour-intensive and in the future, cryptocurrencies and cryptoassets could be used as methods of student payments in India.

Even today, higher education blockchain use cases have focused on record keeping and efficiency, while the real disruptive power often lies in creating new business models. For instance, Woolf University aspires to become the first blockchain-powered, nonprofit, borderless university. Founded by a group of academics from both Oxford and Cambridge, it will rely on blockchain and smart contracts as the basis of the relationship between learners and educators — aiming to create the Airbnb of degree courses. Such initiatives must also be undertaken in India and our techno legal projects by PTLB and PTLITC are already working in this direction.

We at STREAMI Project have also disrupted the K12 online education, training and skills development in India. We are using multiple technologies and tools for the same and blockchain is one of them. We have two decades of techno legal expertise and we are using the same for our STREAMI Project as well. STREAMI (Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Arts, Maths, Innovation) is a unique techno legal project and it would empower Indian students and professionals from K12 to lifelong learning stages.

A dedicated e-learning portal has also been launched to provide online training and education in various fields like cyber law, cyber security, e-discovery, cyber forensic, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, robotics, quantum computing, space laws, international laws, international trade in goods and services, intellectual property rights (IPRs), etc. The Art field also covers digital arts and crafts and related fields and we would develop techno legal skills in this field too. A dedicated Art Zone has also been created for K12 stakeholders that is a unique and disruptive feature of STREAMI Project. This Art Zone is heavily relying upon and using blockchain, especially cryptoassets and digital ownership.

There are many more unique and disruptive features of STREAMI Project and information about them can be found at the website. With gradual and subsequent development of the website, stakeholders would be in a better position to understand the true nature and features of STREAMI Project. Blockchain and cryptoassets are going to play a crucial role in our STREAMI Project and stakeholders would see the same in near future.

Records keeping would be starting point for us to use blockchain for STREAMI Project and our main focus would be to create and implement more disruptive ideas to empower students and various stakeholders of STREAMI Project. We would use blockchain to empower students, create ownership and digital ownership rights in their favour, make them inventors who are well aware of their intellectual property rights (IPRs), etc. We hope national and international stakeholders would find our project worth investing and collaborating.