The idea of paperless governance got a shot in the arm when DigiLocker was launched in July 2015 by Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modi.  Citizen Kishore Bhatia  wrote a blog in admiration of this path-breaking initiative by the Government. Almost a year later, with over one million registrations, two million documents uploaded and 9 million issued, the project is now writing its success story. Gaurav Raturi , a short-filmmaker, tweeted recently, "No need for duplicate/photocopy documents for degrees. Key documents #digitallocker to transform documents sharing". Anamika  followed suit, "I could self attest my documents or I can simply upload them over #digilocker and they can be verified."

An evolving ecosystem

DigiLocker is not just another application to store documents; it is an evolving ecosystem of citizens, requestors and issuers. Using DigiLocker, citizens share URI/ self-uploaded documents with requestors and the requestors access citizens’ documents from personal lockers. Registered issuers “push” documents straight into citizens' DigiLocker accounts.Sustenance of this ecosystem is conditional to onboarding of all major government and non-government organizations and agencies. The journey has begun and a few issuers and requesters are already on board. As part of our ongoing efforts, we are soon tying up with CBSE to bring you CBSE class X and XII results through  DigiLocker!

Time and cost benefits 

It’s all about saving time and money from the citizens’ perspective. Consider this – After class XII exams, a student applies for admission to a university. During the admission process, he is able to submit digitally verified copies of documents from his DigiLocker. The university directly accesses these documents electronically. No photocopies, courier or physical verification – time and cost benefits on both sides! DigiLocker is also available on the mobile platform, for anytime-anywhere access.

Digital India – Green India 

We generally submit hardcopies of documents in our daily lives. Be it for obtaining a new mobile connection or joining formalities at a new place of work. Imagine the amount of paper that would be saved were documents submitted through DigiLockers which sort of form a digital highway where virtual and authenticated documents travel – without the mess and congestion of paper!

Freedom from corruption

Sometimes fake documents get into circulation in the physical world and cause a lot of damage for all concerned. Given the way documents are issued and accessed through DigiLocker, it can play an important role in minimizing fakes. This can ultimately contribute to bringing down corruption. The free e-sign facility in DigiLocker is another useful authentication feature of DigiLocker.

A firm foot forward

 Digital Locker is one of the major projects under the Digital India initiative. Coordination and collaboration among various central and state government departments and agencies are crucial for its long-term success. To quote our Prime Minister: “Don't work in silos, be agent of change for nation building.” Let’s together take India towards an awesome tomorrow!

About Rajesh Ranjan

Rajesh Ranjan is Open Source Community Manager at National e-Governance Division (NeGD), Department of Electronics & IT, Ministry of Communications & Information Technology. He has earlier worked with Red Hat, Literare World, Inc., and Indian Express Group. He is the founder the FUEL Project and associated with several open source projects Mozilla, Fedora, LibreOffice, GNOME, KDE etc. You may follow him on Twitter at @kajha.