The Union Cabinet of India has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the collaborative research of distributed ledger technology (DLT), local news outlet ANI reported September 12. The Union Cabinet is the supreme decision-making body in India consisting of cabinet ministers and led by the prime minister, Narendra Modi.
The MOU, which is a cooperative initiative under the BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism, aims to foster better understanding of DLT and define areas where the technology can be deployed to improve operational efficiency.
The research will be jointly conducted by the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) and banks from the other BRICS member states; Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social (BNDES, Brazil), China Development Bank (CDB), State Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank, Russia), and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).
The MoU was initially proposed at the 10th International BRICS Summit held in Johannesburg in July, the main focus of which was cooperation in economic development “in the face of the fourth industrial revolution.” The banks then agreed to jointly study DLT “in the interests of the development of the digital economy.” Mikhail Poluboyarinov, First Deputy Chairman and a Member of the Board at Vnesheconombank, said of the MoU:
"The current agreement allows the development banks of BRICS countries to study the applications of innovative technologies in infrastructure finance and bank products optimization."
That month, the Indian state of Telangana also signed MoUs with blockchain companies to eventually implement the technology in state applications in order to streamline government services. The measure reportedly aims to bring more transparency and efficiency to public services provided by the state.