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India plans expansion of DigiLocker to organizations for digital document, ID management

India plans expansion of DigiLocker to organizations for digital document, ID management
 

India is working to expand the DigiLocker application to businesses and other organizations to allow them to manage digital documents and perform identity authentication and verification using the Aadhaar biometric digital ID system.

The plan, which will be funded by the Union Budget, is part of India’s continuous efforts to accelerate its digital government experience by reducing paperwork in government processes to the barest minimum, according to Financial Express.

The launch of the Entity DigiLocker will also allow for one-off KYC processes in a bid to facilitate the delivery of public services. This will involve businesses across sectors including health and educational institutions as actors in the fintech and insurance sectors are already making use of the platform. Entity DigiLocker is intended for use by all organizations, from small and medium sized business to large enterprises and charitable trusts.

So far, the DigiLocker platform has been people-centric and only documents such as the Aadhaar card, the permanent account number, verification record, some insurance policies, the ration card and the vehicle registration certification were issued using the application.

Speaking on efforts to simplify digital KYC processes using DigiLocker, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, is quoted by Financial Express and saying early this month that “a one-stop solution for reconciliation and updating of identity and address of individuals maintained by various government agencies, regulators and regulated entities will be established using DigiLocker service and Aadhaar as foundational identity.”

Launched in 2016, DigiLocker is said to now have 148 million users, a big jump from just 1.2 million when the app was launched in 2016. Part of the government’s plan to popularize DigiLocker is also to make it a default app on android smartphones.

Abhishek Singh, CEO of national eGovernance division (NeGD) at the Ministry of Electronics and IT assured that “DigiLocker will build a functionality that will allow address update in all databases that are linked with Aadhaar,” and that work is ongoing to make this new functionality come alive very soon.

As government is pushing for the expansion of DigiLocker for use by more businesses, there are concerns that a lack of data privacy and protection policy could create problems.

Last year, the DigiLocker digital ID wallet was linked to WhatsApp to increase accessibility.

Digital public infrastructure debate features at India DEWG event

As India expands its identity management system, the country has since 13 February been hosting a Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG) meeting of the G20 with three major themes up for discussion.

The themes include digital public infrastructure, cyber security in the digital economy, and digital skilling, according to a news release issued ahead of the event.

Attending the meeting are members of the G20 which India is current president, representatives from nine invitee countries, and from five international organizations.

The three-day event is taking place in the State of Uttar Pradesh in the form of workshops, discussions, exhibitions and other side activities that complement the DEWG agenda.

Going by the release, the workshops are focused on digital public infrastructure and sharing implementation experiences of digital identity in various countries; sharing of cyber security solutions for MSMEs; digital public infrastructure to boost the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals and the use of geo-spatial technologies for infrastructure and product development in the digital economy.

As part of the event, an exhibition is also programed to showcase how India’s digital project has transformed the lives of more than one billion people.

This DEWG meeting is the first in a series of four, with the three others respectively planned for April, June and August.

These meetings are part of India’s push for the adoption of its digital public infrastructure (India Stack) model to spur up digital transformation and innovation.

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