The NDA government under the leadership of Narendra Modi had officially launched the 'DigiLocker' service under its flagship 'Digital India' campaign in late June, while the soft launch of the service was done earlier in February 2015.
The service which aims to provide a secure dedicated personal electronic space for storing the documents of resident Indian citizens seems to be well accepted and appreciated by the citizens. As within a short time - mere nine months, a whopping 1 million users have registered for the service.
The June-July period saw a big spike in registrations with almost 750,000 users added as the government launched its 'Digital India' campaign.
Under the 'DigiLocker' service, the user can not only store his documents, but issuer government agencies can issue fresh documents too. The Digilocker website stats reveal that little over 1 million documents have been stored by registered users, while as many as 4.37 million documents have been issued by the issuer organizations.
So what exactly is DigiLocker?
DigiLocker as the name suggests is a 'Digital Locker' or an e-space to store documents online. In other words, DigiLocker is a website where a registered user one can store various government issued documents, using Aadhaar card identification.
How do you sign-up?
To sign up, you need to enter your Aadhaar number, and an SMS with an OTP is received on your registered mobile number with the Aadhaar Card enrolment camp.
This one-time-password (OTP) is the only way to register for a DigiLocker account. Thereafter, the user can set his/ her your own password or link the DigiLocker to individual Google or Facebook account.
How to store documents?
After signing in, the user can upload the documents to the DigiLocker – the current user space per account is limited to 10 MB - but the user can also save the 'Uniform Resource Identifiers' (URIs) of government documents using DigiLocker. A URI is a string of characters used to identify the name of a resource. Such identification enables interaction with representations of the resource over a network, typically the internet, using specific protocols.
Who are the Issuer & Requesting organizations?
Issuer Entities - CSBE, Registar Office, Income Tax department etc.
Requesting Entities - Passport office, Regional Transport Office and University etc.
Say for e.g., the user has to apply for a online passport, the user can share his documents with requestor entity - Passport Office by allowing access to the file or sharing the URIs.
Basically, the service is intended to minimise the use of physical documents and to provide authenticity of the e-documents. It will also provide secure access to Government issued documents.
In future, the government also plans to launch an e-signature facility with DigiLocker. With digital signatures and government documents in the cloud, it is clear that the government wants to make it easier for people to use government services online.