DigiLocker- your personal vault in cyberspace

Dear Readers,

The Digital India campaign has
been in the news often and can be very important for your upcoming exams. Digital Locker (DigiLocker) is one of the salient services launched by the government under this campaign. In this article, we will look into the main features of this service and its
reach so far.

Launched by the Department of Electronics and IT in July
2015, DigiLocker is an e-locker
service that can be used for storing documents in a digital format online. Users
(resident Indian citizens) can store electronic versions of essential personal documents
like birth certificates, education proofs, PAB Cards, voter ID cards, etc. and
access them using their Aadhaar numbers. Users can also make use of the e-sign
facility to self-attest the documents electronically.

The service was introduced in February and was running in
beta for a few months before it was started in its full capacity. Considered to
be one of the most ambitious projects under PM Modi’s Digital India campaign,
the e-locker has a free personal storage space of 10 MB, which can later be upgraded
to 1 GB. It gives people dual benefits of minimising use of reams of physical
documents and provide authenticity of the e-documents as they will be shared
through a registered repository. There is also space to save URIs (Uniform
Resource Identifiers) of other documents.

How does it work?

A user can register for the DigiLocker service using his/her
Aadhaar number (mobile number should be connected to the Aadhaar number to access
the service).

On entering the Aadhaar number, a One-Time Password (OTP)
will be sent to the user’s mobile number or e-mail ID, which needs to entered to
validate the details.

There are provisions to upload more 17 documents by clicking
on the ‘Select Document’ dropdown. This includes SSC (10th) certificate, HSC
(12th) certificate, Voter ID, Ration Crad, PAN Card, Passport, MNREGA Job Card,
Driving Licence, Water Bill, etc.

After choosing the document, one has to click on ‘Upload
Document’ in different formats including pdf/jpg/jpeg/png/bmp/gif. The maximum
size of the file that can be uploaded is 1MB.

Once you have attached the document, you can describe the same
in not more than 50 characters and click on upload. Once done, you will get a
success notification.

There is a link available to download the document stored;
it can also be copied and shared online with a registered requester (for e.g. government

A hit with the people

Within a few days of its launch, 830,075 people signed up
for the DigiLocker service and uploaded 430,324 documents. Maharashtra had the
highest number of subscribers with 88,091 accounts, Uttar Pradesh came next
with 79,499, followed by West Bengal with 74,453.

As Ram Sewak Sharma, secretary in the Department of
Information Technology puts it, the service guarantees people “private space on
public cloud”. Besides convenience and administrative ease, the digital service,
officials feel, will lead to less fraud and the subscriber is wholly
accountable for its authenticity. “Whatever you submit, you will be held
responsible. If a document is found to be forged, you cannot deny it,” said

He added that one of the interesting aspects of the DigiLocker
service is its use of biometric authentication process, which even the American
social security number does not have. This feature enables a person to link mobile
number and make it his/her digital identity.

The government has also taken care of the social inclusion
aspect. To cater to India’s illiterate population, a common service centre has
been created in every Panchayat to cater to uneducated people. Through 100,000
of such centres across India, one can do banking, get birth certificates and
ration cards.

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