Benefits of e-Sign
E-Sign service has been launched under the Digital India initiative of Government of India. This ingenious service would enable Aadhaar holders to digitally sign any document and thus provide an alternative to Digital Signature Certificate.
The IT Act, 2000 necessitates any individual to obtain Digital Signature Certificates from a licensed certifying authority in order to be able to sign a document digitally. Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) are issued in the form of cryptographic hardware tokens that contain the information required to generate the digital signature. The process to obtain a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) involves verification of identity and address which requires physical presence of the individual.
The e-Sign facility provides an alternative method in which it uses the data stored in Aadhaar card of the individual to authenticate the information required for issuing DSCs. It thus leads to huge saving in the time involved as the physical process of verification is no longer required. One can simply use his/her Aadhaar card to register and digitally sign any document. The authentication is based on the biometric information stored in the Aadhaar database.
The accessibility of the e-Sign facility is an added benefit. An Aadhaar holder can digitally sign documents anywhere and anytime. Also the reach of e-Sign is extensive, as Aadhaar is going to be used as unique identification document for Indian citizens. This would virtually empower every citizen of India to avail the facility of signing documents digitally in a cost and time efficient manner and through a process which doesn’t require manual verification of credentials. Online e-Sign facility can be easily integrated with Application Service Provider (ASP), thus enabling the user of that ASP to use e-Sign.
From Government agencies to private firms, any organization dealing with a large amount of documents daily, can get rid of the trouble involved in handling of physical documents. E-Sign would bring about an increase in the usage of digital space for different official purpose. This would lead to better management and archiving of documents. Greater transparency and increased digital literacy.