DIGITAL LOCKER UPDATES

The Centre is planning to appoint an authority to administer and manage its Digital Locker initiative, one of the key projects under Digital India programme, as it looks to push paperless governance.

Proposal:

Digital Locker Advisory Group has advised the government to appoint Controller of Certifying Authorities (CCA) to take up the role of the Authority for regulation purposes, while Standardisation Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) may be made responsible for drafting and maintenance of specifications and audits.

Functions to be performed by the authority:

  • The Digital Locker Authority will be responsible for granting licenses and to authorise a private entity to offer these services.
  • It will prepare standards and guidelines, while also ensuring compliance by service providers. These guidelines include those for data retention and migration, audit and security and privacy.
  • The authority will also need to notify the fee or service charges a subscriber will have to pay for availing Digital Locker services from authorized service providers. Currently, the services are offered for free.

DIGITAL LOCKER –

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  • It is dedicated personal storage space, linked to each resident’s Aadhaar number.
  • DigiLocker can be used to securely store e-documents as well as store Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) link of e-documents issued by various issuer departments. The e-Sign facility provided as part of DigiLocker system can be used to digitally sign e-documents.
  • The initiative was launched by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, under the Ministry of Communications and IT.
  • Here, the users can store their documents such as insurance, medical reports, PAN card, passport, marriage certificate, school certificate and other documents in the digital format.
  • With this, the government is trying to create an electronic version of documents, which can be easily verified and stored in printable format.
  • At present, the digital locker gives 10MB of free space for individuals to store documents and links of government department or agency-issued e-documents. The government is also planning to subsequently increase the storage space to 1 GB.

Benefits:

ADV

  • It will minimize the use of physical documents and will provide authenticity of the e-documents.
  • It will provide secure access to Govt. issued documents.
  • It will also reduce administrative overhead of Govt. departments and agencies and make it easy for the residents to receive services.
  • GREEN ECONOMY will be promoted as less use of papers.

Concern –

Lack of access of internet and digital education .

Many states and administration still not digitalised so will need physical production of documents for a long time

Way forward –

Government departments digitalisation should also be expedited .

E-literacy courses and workshops need to be conducted to change the mindset and promote awareness .

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