Government plans to link voters’ ID to DigiLocker
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Government plans to link voters’ ID to DigiLocker

The DigiLocker is a cloud-based platform for issuing, storing and verifying documents and certificates.

india Updated: Jan 07, 2019 17:20 IST
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The government is working on a plan that would allow citizens to vote, and also take subsidised ration without physically carrying their voters’ ID or ration cards, by linking these services to DigiLocker, said an official (PTI/ Representative Image)

The government is working on a plan that would allow citizens to vote, and also take subsidised ration without physically carrying their voters’ ID or ration cards, by linking these services to DigiLocker, said an official aware of the developments. The proposed system is also aimed at eliminating any possibility of impersonation.

While the Election Commission (EC) is exploring the possibility for instant verification of voters’ IDs, the Ministry of electronics & information technology (MeitY) is working on a model to align 325 million Aadhaar-linked ration card holders with DigiLocker, said the official.

The DigiLocker is a cloud-based platform for issuing, storing and verifying documents and certificates.

“Often lakhs of people are unable to cast their votes because they misplace their IDs. The proposed system will eliminate all such chances. All we have to do is to link the DigiLocker’s gateway through API [application programming interface] with the EC’s database,” said one of the government’s technical experts involved in such projects on condition of anonymity.

The EC, which has the mandate to conduct national and state assembly elections, also prepares the electoral rolls.On whether voters will be able to store their election ID cards on the platform, an EC official said, “We are still exploring how the platform can be used to better our services and offer easy support to the electors. The process is time-consuming.”

A MeitY official said that developing software for the EC database would not take more than few days. “Indeed, the EC database is huge, but for the technology, processing such data is not very time-consuming,” he said, requesting anonymity.

In 2014, over 550 million people voted. The official said that voters would be immensely benefited as technology can make ID verification process simpler through a QR code.

Speaking about the benefits of keeping ration cards safe in virtual lockers, the MeitY official quoted earlier said the system would allow their holders to see the stock in ration shops and send alerts if anyone tries to steal their entitlements.

“We are in touch with states to implement this concept. Jharkhand has already put ration cards in DigiLockers,” he said. As ration cards are linked to Aadhaar, their interface with DigiLocker is very simple.

“The government should allow provision for state government departments to upload/store certificates/documents which would ensure authentic documents and data are available for consuming departments to use/verify,’’ said professional services firm EY India’s Milan Narendra. “This would enable certificate-less governance wherein requirement of producing a physical certificate by a citizen can be done away with as authentic certificates/documents would be available at the central repository. This is being implemented by the government of Andhra Pradesh and is expected to have huge usage.”

First Published: Jan 07, 2019 07:37 IST