India to launch biometric e-signature initiative

India’s Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) plans to launch an Aadhaar-based e-sign service in the next month, but it is unclear yet if signature, iris or fingerprint biometrics will form part of the initiative. DeitY has said it plans to unveil the project within a month, after software has been developed in-house with the Centre of Development for Advanced Computing (C-DAC). The e-sign service is hoped to ease the hassle for citizens as well as companies of obtaining a digital signature certificate to authenticate their documents for a myriad of government services.

The Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) is currently evaluating bids from tech companies such as HP and HCL Technologies to build the backend and the front end for the technology. Calling e-sign a “very exciting technology”, Rajat Moona, director general of C-DAC, said that two mechanisms for authentication are being developed. While one uses a one-time-password sent on the user’s registered mobile number, the other is through matching biometrics stored in the Aadhaar server.

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