India is gradually but consistently marching ahead in its blockchain and Web3 exploration. While the country is still working on formulating crypto rules and conducting trials over its eRupee CBDC, India's IT ministry has a new plan for launching a homegrown Web browser. This Indian Web browser will be packed with Web3 capabilities. The idea is to incorporate elements of blockchain into this browser to make the platform ready to handle the next iteration of Internet as well as its use cases.
India's IT ministry has launched a contest called the Indian Web Browser Development Challenge this week. The contest will have a total of three rounds, and at the end of the third round the winning participant(s) will be awarded a prize of $410,685 (roughly Rs. 3.4 crore).
Officials from India's IT ministry, including ministry secretary Alkesh Kumar Sharma, flagged off this contest on August 9.
The aim of the competition is to get India's developer talent to create a homegrown Web browser for India, hoping to reduce our reliance on established foreign players like Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge among others.
As part of the advanced features that this browser is expected to get, Indians could soon be able to digitally sign documents using crypto tokens. Official information about this functionality have not been revealed in detail yet.
While India only allows crypto trading and holding for now; its plans of embedding crypto in a homegrown Web browser seems like a positive indication to the country's Web3 industry. Members of the crypto industry in India have time and again highlighted that the country's engineering talent and a general tech-savvy aptitude could make it a hub for Web3 projects.
Speaking to Gadgets 360, earlier this month, Bharat Web3 Association had also said that Indians are being drawn towards exploring the decentralised finance (DeFi) sector, powered by blockchains and cryptocurrencies.
By December this year, India could unveil a set of crypto laws, that could work on a global level. As the current president of the G20 group, India is working closely with other nations as well as international financial bodies to draft elaborate rules to oversee the volatile digital assets industry.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Financial Stability Board (FSB) are among global financial institutions, participating in India's crypto law framework.
Meanwhile, the indigenous Web browser will also have built-in 'diverse accessibility' support for disabled individuals, officials have said.
The development followed India's approval of the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023 in both houses of the Parliament earlier this week.
The Bill, which comes after six years of the Supreme Court declaring 'Right to Privacy' as a fundamental right, has provisions to curb the misuse of individuals' data by online platforms.
As per Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, this law will give Indians the right to correct their data. It also puts a timeline on the duration any data that is stored with entities. The law is estimated to come into motion within ten months.
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