Digital Signature Certificate and It’s Types

Recent technological advancements lead to the introduction of various modern techniques and methods for simplifying the process and saving time. DSC is one of those inventions. Here, in this article we Briefly discuss the Digital Signature Certificate, it’s typed, Uses .etc..,

Digital Signature Certificate

Signature

Signature means writing a name or initial or affixing a thumb impression to authenticate or authorize information or document.

Due to the recent technological advancements, physical(traditional) method of filing or applying has been switched or moved to Electrical method where all the documents and information are filed electronically (online). To authenticate and secure that information’s  Digital Signatures are used.

Digital signature

A digital signature is nothing but an asymmetrical cryptosystem mathematical method of signing an e-form electronically. Mainly used to verify the authentication of the sender of the information.

Cryptography

The word crypto is derived from the Greek word Kryptos meaning  Hidden and graphy means writing.

Asymmetric cryptography

Asymmetric cryptography contains a public key and private key, where one key is used to encrypt the data and another used to decrypt the data.

Main users of digital signature

  • Authenticity
  • Integrity

Authenticity

The Digital Signature helps to assure the genuineness of the signing person 

Integrity

The Digital Signature helps to confirm that the data has not been altered or tampered from the time it was signed. So one can trust the process of sending and receiving data

Types of Digital Signatures Certificates

Each Type of DSC has its own features. Different Types of Digital Signatures used for various purposes has been stated below:

  • Class 1 Digital Signature Certificate
  • Class 2 Digital Signature Certificate
  • Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate

Class 1 Digital Signature Certificate

Class 1 DSC is the most basic form of Digital Signature & shall be issued to both individual and private personnel’s.

This DSC assures that there is no conflict/difference between the data provided by the subscriber in the application and the data within the Certifying authorities databases’.

NOTE:-Class 1 Digital Signatures are not preferred in any Governmental Services.

Class 2 Digital Signature Certificate

Class 2 DSC is the most commonly used Digital Signature. Usually Used for below purposes

These Certificates is also used for both Individuals and Private users. These Certificates used to confirm the data is mentioned in the application with the information in well-recorded consumer databases.

Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate

Class 3 DSC is the High assurance and most secured digital signature certificates. These Certificates shall be issued to Individuals as well as Organization Subscribers only when they have visited in a personal(physical)appearance before the Certifying Authorities.

Mainly Used for the purpose of e-tendering and online procurement process, some of them has been listed below

  • E-Tenders
  • E-Auction
  • E-Procurement
  • E-Bidding
  • Customs E-Filing, etc.,

The validity of Digital Signature Certificates

  • The minimum Validity period of DSC is 1 year
  • The maximum Validity period of DSC is 3 years.

Certification Agencies

Under the provisions of Information Technology act,2000, Controller of Certification Agencies (CCA) certification agencies to issue Digital Signatures.

There are about Eight Certification Agencies authorized by the Controller of Certification Agencies (CCA) to issue Digital Signature Certificates (DSC’s).

As per Sec-24 of IT act,2000, below is the list of Certifying authorities licensed to issue Digital Signature Certificate.

  • NIC
  • IIDRBT
  • SAFE SCRYPT
  • (n) Code Solutions
  • E-Mudhra
  • CDAC
  • NSDL
  • Capricorn

Obtain Digital Signature Certificate

DSC can be obtained by below-listed methods

  • Approach Certifying Authorities
  • Paperless eKYC
  • Physical Submission

Approach Certifying Authorities

Applicants can acquire Digital Signature Certificate by approaching directly the above listed Certifying Authorities (CA’s) with Original Supporting Documents and Self-attested copies.

Paperless eKYC

Applicants can obtain Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) in a paperless manner using  Aadhaar Paperless Offline eKYC. To use this facility the applicant must possess an aadhaar card with an updated mobile number.

Steps to apply

  • Log on to the Certifying Authorities (CA’s) website who are licensed to issue Digital Certificates in India.
  • After logging on under Digital Certification Services page, select the type of entity whether for Individual or for an organization.
  • After Selecting the organization type, fill the application form appeared on-screen requiring below details.
    • Applicant Name
    • Email ID & Mobile Number
    • DSC Class
    • DSC Type
  • Make online payment (cost varies based on the validity period)
  • Use Aadhaar e-KYC
  • Verify Mobile number via OTP verification
  • Record 25 seconds of video self-declaration for obtaining DSC by using a smartphone or laptop
  • On Successful submission of above particulars, Digital Signature Certificate shall be issued on approval of certifying authority.
  • The applicant can safely download and store the digital signature on USB e-token

Physical Submission

Applicants can obtain Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) by submitting the required documents and filling the application form.

Documents required:

  • Document for Photo ID Proof
  • Document for Address Proof

Steps to apply

  • Fill the application form requiring the Digital Certificate details listed below
    • Usage type
    • Class of DSC
    • Type of User (Individual or Organisation)
    • Certificate type and validity period
  • Fill Applicant Details listed below
    • Applicant Name
    • Applicant Email ID and Mobile number
    • Gender & Date of birth
    • Address
    • PAN number
  • Submit the required document proofs.
  • Pay the required amount 
  • On Successful submission of above particulars, Digital Signature Certificate shall be issued on approval of certifying authority.

Sec 73, under the Information Technology Act, 2000: Publishing Digital Signature Certificate false in certain particulars

Publishing a Digital Signature Certificate or otherwise making it available to any other person with the knowledge that the Certifying Authority listed in the certificate has not issued it or the subscriber listed in the certificate has not accepted it or the certificate has been revoked or suspended, unless such publication is for the purpose of verifying a digital signature created prior to such suspension or revocation.

Imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years, or with fine which may extend to 1 lakh Rupees.

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