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India’s GeM to employ Blockchain and AI to enhance Supply Chain

India's GeM to employ Blockchain and AI to enhance Supply Chain

The Indian government has deployed high-end technologies such as blockchain and AI in its public procurement portal (GeM). It aims to enable smooth transactions between buyers and sellers. The portal will become more dynamic as the technologies will revamp the supply chain to a safer and distributed infrastructure. Established in August 2016, The Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal allows all the central government ministries and departments to purchase goods and services online.

Recently, ministries, government departments, public sector units, state governments, and central armed police forces are authorized to conduct transactions via this portal. The portal offers a broad range of products from office stationery to vehicles. Services involving transportation, waste management, logistics, webcasting, and analytics are listed on the portal.

Problems faced in procurement and solutions via Blockchain’s Proof-of-Concept

Undoubtedly, procurement encounters various challenges owing to the involvement of several players. GeM intends to solve this stalemate by employing blockchain’s proof-of-concept to source items such as drugs in bulk effortlessly. Talleen Kumar, GeM’s CEO, admitted that two Indian districts have been using the proof of concept architecture previously. By twinning blockchain’s proof of concept with AI’s natural language processing, the Indian government aims to update procurement planning and monitoring utilizing GeM.

The portal is applicable in fraud and anomaly detection, predictive analytics, automatic tagging and text description, market sanity, catalogue management, and procurement planning. AI will be instrumental in consumer mapping and behavior prediction for optimal results. He said that the proof of concept exercise would develop and demonstrate Track and Trace for drugs employing blockchain. Therefore, an individual manufacturer will carry the required medications to buyer warehouses. These drugs would subsequently be available for associated health centers. Additionally, it will take 4-6 weeks for the completion of the project.

Moreover, in November last year, the UNDOC (United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime) suggested Kenya embrace blockchain technology to fill the preceding corruption loophole of influencing procurement systems. The latter was dangerous as the cost of doing business had soared in the nation.

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