An electronic signature can be the scanned image of the signature of a customer, mark made on the computers using voice, stylus or initials. It is a mark that is digital. This particular service in India is being utilized to facilitate an Aadhaar card holders to sign a document online. Facilitation of the signature service takes place by authenticating the Aadhaar card holder through the Aadhaar based e-KYC service.
The controller of Certifying Authorities empanel qualified companies to operate as service providers for e-sign. The empanelled providers active in India for offering e-sign services are as follows:
- eMudhra Limited
- (n)Code Solutions
The objective of the e-Sign service is to provide online service to all the citizens of India for the instant signing of documents in a secure manner that is acceptable legally. The 2 challenges that are involved in this process are as follows:
- Trustworthy signing method.
- User authentication.
The e-Sign initiative ensures that the citizens with registered mobile phone numbers and Aadhaar IDs are able to carry out the digital signing of the documents online. CA offers a digital certificate via the e-Sign service for a one-time signing usage to the applicant. The certificate is of class ‘Aadhaar e-KYC OTP’. The Certifying Authority makes use of the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) service for Aadhaar e-KYC service and e-authentication. e-Sign services and also plays the role of CA (Certifying Authority) under CCA (Controller of Certifying Authorities).
What is e-Sign Service?
Widespread utilisation of the ICT devices along with various ICT services being open to the users demands the requirement for authentic documents and records online. The current methods of getting e-signing document are clumsy. The Indian Government has launched a method that enables CA (Certifying Authority) to provide e-sign service to the Indian citizens with valid Aadhaar IDs. Citizens carrying their valid Aadhaar cards will be allowed to upload the documents for the purpose of e-signing. User validations is carried out at the backend using the Aadhaar service. A private key and a public key are generated for the user and the signing is done. The user gets the Digital Signature Certificate and the digitally signed document. e-Sign initiative allows all citizens to complete the digital signing process.
Benefits Of The E-Sign Service:
The benefits of the e-Sign initiative are mentioned below:
- Privacy is maintained – The e-Sign service makes sure that the signer’s privacy is maintained. The entire document is not involved in this process.
- Different ways for authentication – The e-Sign service offers authentication in various ways like Biometric authentication, where iris scanning or fingerprint scanning is involved, or One Time Password authentication, where the applicant receives an OTP on his/her registered mobile phone number.
- No requirement of the Hardware Tokens – The e-Sign is service that is offered online. So, the outdated hardware tokens are not needed.
- Physical verification is not needed – Unlike the traditional Certifying Authority that needs the applicant to visit in person for verification process and causes inconvenience, the e-Sign offers the hassle-free online method based on the Aadhaar based e-authentication.
- Safe online service – The e-Sign service is offered by a third party service provider that is trustworthy like CA (Certifying Authorities), licensed according to the Income Tax Act under the CCA (Controller of Certifying Authorities). It has placed required security measures that ensures the entire signing process is safe and protected.