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E-sign services

30 Jun 2015

esign

For creating electronic signatures, the signer is required to obtain a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) from a Certifying Authority (CA) licensed by the Controller of Certifying Authorities (CCA) under the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000. Before a CA issues a DSC, the identity and address of the signer must be verified. The private key used for creating the electronic signature is stored in hardware cryptographic token which is secured with a password/pin. This current scheme of in-person physical presence, paper document based identity & address verification and issuance of hardware cryptographic tokens does not scale to a billion+ people. For offering fully paperless citizen services, mass adoption of digital signature is necessary.

To address these concerns, Govt. of India through the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has launched a simple to use online service which allows everyone to have the ability to digitally sign electronic documents.

What is eSign?

eSign facilitates digitally signing a document by an Aadhaar holder using an Online Service. eSign is designed for applying Digital Signature using authentication of signer through Aadhaar e-KYC service. This is an integrated service which facilitates issuing a Digital Signature Certificate and performing signing of requested data by authenticating the Aadhaar holder. Aadhaar is mandatory for availing the eSign Service.

esign Flow
What are the expected benefits of eSign?

Easy and secure way to digitally sign information anywhere, anytime – eSign is an online service that offers application service providers the functionality to authenticate signers and perform the digital signing of documents using Aadhaar e-KYC service. Hardware tokens are not required to be used.

Facilitates legally valid signatures – eSign process involves consumer consent, Digital Signature Certificate generation, Digital Signature creation & affixing and Digital Signature Certificate acceptance in accordance with the provisions of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000. It enforces compliance, through API specification and licensing model of APIs. Comprehensive digital audit trail – in-built to confirm the validity of transactions is also preserved.

Flexible and easy to implement – eSign provides configurable authentication options in line with Aadhaar e-KYC service and also records the Aadhaar number that is used to verify the identity of the signer. The authentication options for eKYC include biometric (fingerprint or iris scan) or OTP (through the registered mobile in the Aadhaar database). eSign enables millions of Aadhaar holders easy access to legally valid Digital Signature service.

Respecting privacy – eSign ensures the privacy of the signer by requiring that only the thumbprint (hash) of the document be submitted for signature function instead of the whole document.

Secure online service – The eSign Service is governed by e-authentication guidelines. While authentication of the signer is carried out using Aadhaar e-KYC services, the signature on the document is carried out on a backend server of the e-Sign provider. eSign services are offered by trusted third party service provider, currently Certifying Authorities (CA) licensed under the IT Act. To enhance security and prevent misuse, Aadhaar holders private keys are created on Hardware Security Module (HSM) and destroyed.

  • Save cost and time
  • Aadhaar e-KYC based authentication
  • Improve User Convenience
  • Flexible and fast integration with application
  • Easy to apply Digital Signature
  • Biometric or OTP based authentication
  • Verifiable Signatures and Signatory
  • Aadhaar is mandatory
  • Legally recognized
  • Integrity with a complete audit trail
  • Managed by Licensed CAs
  • API subscription Model
  • Privacy concerns addressed
  • No key storage and key protection concerns
  • Simple Signature verification
  • Suitable for individual, business and Government
  • Short validity certificates
  • Immediate destruction of keys after usage

To know more about eSign, please visit the CCA website.

Total Comments - 92

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  • rupesh vishwakarma - 4 years ago

    me e-hastakshar seva ko sbhi ke liye sulabh karane ke liye e- saksharta badana chahiye|

  • rupesh vishwakarma - 4 years ago

    ई-हस्ताक्षर सेवा का लाभ समस्त देश वासियों के लिए लाभदायक रहेगा इसके लिए ई -साक्षरता को बढावा देने की आवश्यकता हे|

  • SUBRAMANIAN C RAMANARAYANAN - 5 years ago

    I am interested in having esign. BUT I don’t want it for the simple reason that it requires Aadhar for login. Why should I supply my biometric data to foreign linked operators of UIDAI to get a service from my government. This amounts to selling of biometric data. As an Indian I feel ashamed. Why don’t you link either PAN or election ID or at least an ID through post offices. Start respecting and obeying the Supreme Court first. Otherwise how can you expect us to obey your orders ?

  • SUBRAMANIAN C RAMANARAYANAN - 5 years ago

    I am interested in having a digital locker. the idea is good. BUT I don’t want it for the simple reason that it requires Aadhar for login. Why should I supply my biometric data to foreign linked operators of UIDAI to get a service from my government. This amounts to selling of biometric data. Why don’t you link either PAN or election ID or at least an ID through post offices. Start respecting and obeying the Supreme Court first. Otherwise how can you expect us to obey your orders ?

  • udit_1 - 5 years ago

    Nice thinking

  • G veeresh - 5 years ago

    Awesome BJP government.

  • Animesh Kumar - 5 years ago

    Its a good initiative by our govt. But as per my experience on Digilocker m not able to e sign my documents. But its not a negative point m happy to india is move ahed we have a link to connect or share our documents with our govt. No paper work. SAVE PAPER SAVE TREE SO HAPPY TO JOIN DIGI LOCKER.

  • Kalyankumar Kulkarni - 5 years ago

    Excellent thought. If we can link this to Digi Locker will be more great-full.

  • APURBA DEB_1 - 5 years ago

    Most welcome to the unique initiative.

    System need high degree of data security.

    Please upload – detail procedure, dos and don’ts etc. in PDF format.

  • Subrata Biswas - 5 years ago

    I Think This Thought is Very Helpful for us…..
    but our technology system need more improvement for Realize this.
    Thank You:-

  • m b nataraj - 5 years ago

    aadhaar is as of now unlawful as it has not yet been tested in parliament to be a law. It is unsound because it has obviously been issued to illegals , it is not mandatory and data collection ,correlation and interlinking of existing data is so far faulty. Making it mandatory for government services is in direct contravention of existing supreme court orders. Blatant violations like making it mandatory for sign or it returns by my government creates a bad role model.

  • vijay kumar - 5 years ago

    It wil make govt offices paper less ooffic,some office procedures and protocols should be changed and SOP guidelines for all offices