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UGC Asks Colleges to Opt for e-Signature for Signing of Documents

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked all colleges and universities to adopt the e-Sign service ‘e-Hastakshar’ across various citizen-centric services. The e-Hastakshar will make it easy for people having a valid Aadhaar card to electronically sign a document or a form anywhere through their computer, laptop or even mobile, read the notice.

Further, the privacy of the user will also be ensured by thumbprint of the document instead of the whole document, said the commission. The ‘ e-Hastakshar’ service is an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and is a part of the Digital India programme.

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According to the notification dated December 22, the initiative will facilitate the easy and secured online signing of documents by citizens in accordance with the India IT Act 2000.

In the letter directed to vice-Chancellors and directors of universities along with principal of all colleges, UGC said “‘e-Hastakshar’ is a secure and convenient approach to achieve the vision of Digital lndia programme by empowering citizens through paperless governance. Adoption and extensive use of digital signing service is needed to replace the redundant paperwork with an end-to-end digital solution”

With the initiative, the government aims to increase the adoption and extensive use of digital signing services in order to get rid of unnecessary paperwork. Meanwhile, it is also aimed at empowering citizens through paperless governance and in achieving the vision of the Digital India programme.

The e-sign service will be implemented by C-DAC Pune which is a provider of Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) and eSign services. The C-DAC functions under the Controller of Certifying Authorities (CCA) and plays the role of a Certifying Authority (CA).

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As per the C-DAC official website, it offers a digital certificate to applicants for one-time signing usage. The certificate is of the class “Aadhaar-eKYC-OTP”. The C-DAC also provides online e-authentication and Aadhaar eKYC services by utilizing the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

e-Hastakshar was launched in 2015 by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to offer an on-line e-signing service to the people for the instant signing of documents in a secure way which is also legally acceptable.

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