THE Government is fostering a PKI (public key infrastructure) regime and the four certifying authorities have already issued over 20,000 digital certificates, according to the Information Technology (IT) Secretary, Mr K.K. Jaswal.
“The PKI framework is fully established and the four certifying authorities are operational under the IT Act who have issued nearly 20,000 digital certificates. The Act has placed electronic records at par with paper records and digital signatures at par with handwritten signatures,” Mr Jaswal said at an e-business summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here. (Digital certificates are electronic files that act like a kind of online passport. They are issued by a trusted third party, a certificate authority, which verifies the identity of the certificate's holder. They are tamper-proof and cannot be forged. A digital signature is an electronic signature that can be used to authenticate the identity of the sender of a message or the signer of a document, and possibly to ensure that the original content of the message or document that has been sent is unchanged.) Stating that the Government was also pursuing a project aimed at delivering all international trade-related services electronically, Mr Jaswal said all regulatory departments such as Customs, Directorate General of Foreign Trade, ports, airports and banks have been asked to gear up for the new system.