DigiLocker: Your documents at your fingertips


10 Sep, 2023

“We cover the entire human cycle from birth to death”. This board caught my attention while walking through the digital pavilion at the venue of the G20 Leaders’ summit. Growing up, we have all heard warnings about keeping our documents safe, the trouble of losing them or the hassles of applying for a duplicate copy. In this era , when India and the world are taking significant leaps in the digital sector, this platform with 15 crore registered users and 6 crore monthly active engagements, has been a shining example of the Digital India campaign.

DigiLocker spans the human life cycle.

From Aadhaar authentication services, insurance documents, driving license to the latest Academic bank of credits (ABC) under the National Education Policy 2020, all are available under Digilocker. And it is interesting to see the basket of services increasing. DigiLockers has over 200 types of digital documents, 2,311 Issuers, including various government departments, academic institutions, and other organizations. In this day and age where people migrate within our country, it comes as a convenience to store and access documents, ID proofs digitally. It is interesting to know that 90% of its users are in the age group 18-40 years. This also means a significant opportunity for the application to reach an untapped audience.

Digilocker has improved ease of living

Imagine the traffic police asking you for your driver’s license, or the airport asking for your identity proof. You have forgotten your wallet at home. What do you do now? Well, you can show the digital license/ID proof available in your digilocker wallet which is legal as well.

Another interesting feature is the e-passbook service offered by various banks. You don’t need to remember usernames and passwords or visit your local branch to get your passbook updated.

If you think from the organization's perspective, it eases the document verification process and reduces scope for manipulation. Instead of manually verifying the documents, or checking its authenticity , the updated records of the concerned departments are available, which you can cross-verify with. This improves the efficiency in processes.

     DigiLocker pavilion at the Digital India Experience zone(International Media Centre)

How to register as a user

Users need to create a profile. After this they will be able to access documents related to those departments/organizations onboarded with the DigiLocker platform.

What about its validity? (Compared to the physical document)

Under Rule 9 A of "The Information Technology (Preservation and Retention of Information by Intermediaries Providing Digital Locker Facilities) Rules, 2016" issued documents available via Digital Locker are to be treated at par with original physical documents.

Document availability and challenges

One challenge that remains with DigiLocker is the availability of all departments under this platform. Further digitisation of documents (legacy documents) under various departments needs to be completed so that it can be accessed under DigiLocker. A potential challenge here could also be the loss of revenue for the government, in fees collected for re-issue of documents. However the larger public interest mandates that the public should have ease of access to documents. For this coordination is needed at all levels to smoothen the process.

What more can we expect?

EntityLocker for MSMEs, large businesses, and charitable trusts will be set up , said the Finance minister in the Budget speech 2023. This will be towards storing and sharing documents online securely, whenever needed, with various authorities, regulators, banks, and businesses. It is also piloting an address update service and a family locker service.

With increasing need for ease of access, DigiLocker could be a one-step solution to access the essential documents. It will also provide a potential for verification of these documents and report any discrepancy. For educational institutions, this will prevent issues related to accessing the certificates. Another example being the DigiYatra initiative, which provides convenience and saves time, the Aadhaar authentication for the same is done through the DigiLocker platform. As more departments and organizations are onboarded, user convenience will peak. From financial services, transport departments, government services, it will enhance our ease of living. This is the promise that DigiLocker upholds.