Government of India Banks on ownCloud for DigiLocker Project

Posted by – 17. August 2016

Every Indian citizen should have the opportunity to store their official papers on a central server – the project that allows this is based entirely on open source, including ownCloud.

digilockerNuremberg/New Delhi (India), August 17, 2016 – Along with the support of several open source partners, including ownCloud, the Government of India has launched DigiLocker, a key project under Digital India Initiative. The project is designed to give every Indian citizen the opportunity to store their official documents centrally. The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology has given the task to build and operate the platform to the National e-Governance Division. Funded by the government and designed in-house with the support of partners, the solution is based entirely on open source technologies. The File Access solution from ownCloud plays a central role in the architecture here.

DigiLocker is connected to the ‘Aadhaar’ national system for authentication, through which every Indian citizen receives a unique ID for registering. Once registered, all official documents issued – such as birth certificates, driver’s licenses and educational certificates – are automatically issued to the citizen’s account in the form of digitally signed PDF files. The digital signature makes the documents verifiable and therefore secure. The documents can also be accessed over virtually any web-enabled device. An app is even available on Google Play Store for Android devices.

“Regardless of their education and status, DigiLocker lets every Indian citizen securely and centrally store documents that are essential to their life. By combining DigiLocker with our Aadhaar system, we have created a model for paperless delivery of eGovernance services,” states Project Director Debabrata Nayak. “ownCloud forms a key component of this, because it allows you to add existing documents, thus transforming DigiLocker into a single comprehensive collection point for personal documents.”

Over two million Indians have connected to DigiLocker, currently the database comprises nearly 42 million documents. The Government of India’s goal is to convince 50 million Indian citizens of the advantages of the solution within three years of DigiLocker going live. DigiLocker publishes online statistics in real-time under: https://digitallocker.gov.in/public/dashboard

By deploying ownCloud, registered users can upload existing documents to the system themselves, allowing them to update their personal collection of official documents on an ongoing basis. To precipitate this, each user receives automatic access to ownCloud, currently placing more than two million users in a position to take advantage of the potential ownCloud offers. Active use is being made of this option, with some 2.5 million documents being uploaded to-date using this method.

“The DigiLocker project illustrates clearly how scalable and powerful our platform is,” states Holger Dyroff, COO of ownCloud. “And more than anything else, it is very easy to use. Some 150 usable and customisable ownCloud apps are available directly for download. By deciding to rely on open source and focus on strong in-house development, Government of India has set the course for a project with a long-term focus, which, in my view, could also be a model for other countries.”