Sunday, 21 October 2018

Essay on Digilocker: A secured cloud platform

Essay on Digilocker: A secured cloud platform

Essay on Digilocker: A secured cloud platform
As part of the Narendra Modi-led government's Digital India initiative, DigiLocker came as yet another surprise. DigiLocker is a “digital locker" service operated by the Government that enables Indian citizens to store official and other important documents on the cloud. The service was launched in February 2015 by the Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DEITY), under the Ministry of Communications & IT.

What is a DigiLocker?
To eliminate the use of physical documents and work towards paperless governance, DigiLocker was created as a platform to provide a secured personal online storage space to save your documents and for issuance and verification of documents in a digital way. Indian citizens who sign up for DigiLocker account get dedicated cloud storage space of 1 GB which is linked to their Aadhaar (UIDAI) number. The service is open for Aadhaar card holders only. The online space can be used to store official documents like mark sheets, Pan cards, passports, certificates, voter-ID cards, property papers, those related to investments like mutual funds, shares, insurance, medical reports, tax papers, birth or marriage certificates, etc. Citizens can upload the scanned copies of these legacy documents in their accounts.

To self attest the documents, eSign facility is available using which one can digitally sign the e-documents. The service aims to reduce the use of physical documents, minimize the administrative expenses, provide authenticity of the e-documents, and provides secure access to government-issued documents and to make it easy for the residents to receive services.

Initially the service was launched with a storage space of 10 MB which was later increased to 1 GB. Ever since its launch, the number of DigiLocker users is growing by the day. With most of the government departments using this service, the number is bound to increase. The facility was recently extended to allow students of ICSE board to store their class X and XII certificates in DigiLocker and share them with agencies as required.

As part of the net-banking application, Kotak Mahindra Bank, has also started providing documents in DigiLocker allowing users to e-sign them and forward as needed. Many hospitals are considering launching this service for patients so that medical documents and test reports can be easy stored and shared as required.

Structure : Each user's digital locker has the following sections.

My Certificates: This section has two subsections: (i) Digital Documents: This contains the URI's (Uniform Resource Identifier) of the documents issued to the user by government departments or other agencies. (ii) Uploaded Documents: It has a list of all the documents which are uploaded by the user. The maximum size of each size should not exceed 10 MB. Only pdf, jpg, jpeg, png, bmp and gif file types can be uploaded.

My Profile: This section displays the complete profile of the user as available in the UIDAI database.
My Issuer: This section displays the name of the issuer and the number of documents issued to the user by the issuer.

My Requester: This section displays the name of the requester and the number of documents requested from the user by the requesters.

Directories: This section displays the complete list of registered issuers and requesters along with their URLs.

Signing Up Process: How does it work?

For initial sign-up, the user needs to enter their Aadhar card number and the one-time password sent to the Aadhar-associated mobile number. For later log-ins, the user can set their own password to link the account to Facebook or Google logins.
For signing up process,
  • Log on to the official site of the DigiLocker (
  • Click on Sign-in.
  • In the text box "Enter Aadhaar Number", type your 12 digit Aadhaar number. 
  • For user authentication, there are two options to choose: "Use OTP (One Time Password)" and "Use Fingerprint".
  • If you choose OTP, the password will be sent to the mobile number and email-id registered with your Aadhaar.
  • Once the OTP is entered, click on 'Validate OTP' button.
  • Once the OTP is validated, the user can complete sign up by setting his username and password. 
  • If you choose fingerprint, you will have to put the thumb print on the finger print device.
  • If it is valid, your identification is authenticated and you can set your own username and password to complete the sign up.

Technology : DigiLocker system is based on high-end technology to ensure safety of the documents of its users. The main technology components of the DigiLocker system are:
  • Repository: Collection of e-documents that is exposed via standard APIs for secure, real-time access.
  • Access Gateway: It is a secure online mechanism for requesters to access e-documents from various repositories in real-time using URI (Uniform Resource Indicator).
  • DigiLocker Portal: It is a dedicated cloud based personal storage space, linked to each resident's Aadhaar for storing e-documents, or URIs of e-documents.
  • Some of the security measures used in the system are 256 Bit SSL Encryption, Mobile Authentication based Sign Up, ISO 27001 certified Data Centre, Data Redundancy, Timed Log Out and Security Audit to ensure that your data is safe and secure in the cloud.

Stakeholders: The three key stakeholders in the DigiLocker system are citizens, issuers and requesters.

  1. Citizens: An individual who uses the DigiLocker service based on Aadhaar number. Citizens can store or access their documents using the DigiLocker. They can store issued or scanned and uploaded document on the DigiLocker.
  2. Issuer: Various government agencies are registered with DigiLocker as issuer which issues e-documents to individuals in a standard format and making them electronically available e.g. CBSE, Registrar Office, Income Tax department, etc.
  3. Requester: In terms of DigiLocker, a requester is any entity/organization requesting for secure access to a particular e-document stored within a repository (e.g. University, Passport Office, Regional Transport Office, etc.)

Benefits : DigiLocker proves to be a competent component of the Digital India Initiative. It serves various benefits to its stakeholders and to the country on a whole.
  • DigiLocker documents can be accessed by the citizens anytime and anywhere. This is convenient and time saving.
  • It considerably reduces the administrative overhead of Government departments and agencies by minimizing the use of paper.
  • It offers authenticity of e-documents as they are issued directly by the registered issuers. It also minimizes the risks of fake documents.
  • Self-uploaded documents can be digitally signed using the eSign facility of DigiLocker.
  • DigiLocker ensures complete privacy of citizen's data.

DigiLocker is not a cloud storage platform; rather it is envisioned as a digital highway for documents exchange. With more and more people accessing the system, the country will soon shape up in accordance with PM Modi's vision of Digital India.



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