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From Documents to Data: DigiLocker Driving Digital Inclusion and E-governance in India

The Government of India’s Digital India Program, since its launch, continues to be a pivotal force propelling the nation’s goals of achieving digital inclusion, advancing e-governance, and fostering overall national growth. Within this comprehensive program, the government has identified and undertaken various initiatives to support and bring to fruition the vision of Digital India. Among these initiatives, one particularly significant undertaking emerged: DigiLocker. This initiative was conceived as a means to actualize the overarching principle of “minimum government and maximum governance.”

In the past, there existed a time when documents needed the endorsement of a gazetted officer to be considered valid proof. Individuals were required to visit government offices in person, providing additional supporting documents, and depending on intermediaries to verify or issue a single document. DigiLocker represents a drive towards digital empowerment in India by offering cloud-based document services that facilitate paperless operations. The initiative, introduced as a component of the Digital India program in 2015 by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), was established with the primary goal of advancing the concept of paperless governance. Its core objective is to empower citizens digitally by granting them access to crucial digital documents within a digital document repository. This system serves as a centralized platform, serving as a singular reference point where citizens can upload documents and government departments can issue and verify authenticated documents efficiently, all while reducing paper consumption, saving time, and minimizing human effort.

As of 2022, DigiLocker offers access to 560 types of documents and certificates, including PAN cards, vehicle registrations, and school exam mark sheets, directly from the original issuers of these certificates. It serves as a model for other nations seeking to modernize their governance systems and promote digital inclusivity. As we look to the future, DigiLocker will likely continue to play a pivotal role in India’s journey towards a more digitally inclusive and efficient society.

Embracing DigiLocker

Embracing DigiLocker

Figure 1: Documents in the Life of an Individual
[Source: DigiLocker Workshop – Uttarakhand 28 Apr, 2022

Launched as part of the umbrella initiative of Digital India, DigiLocker works towards the larger objective of achieving efficient governance for citizens by fostering collaboration between state and central governments and promoting their engagement with digital services. Prior to the adoption of DigiLocker, Government processes relied heavily on physical documents, leading to extensive paperwork. This resulted in inefficiencies, delays, and increased operational costs associated with printing, storage, and transportation of documents. Also, physical documents were susceptible to loss, damage, or theft. This posed a significant risk to individuals, businesses, and government agencies, especially when important documents like birth certificates, land titles, and educational certificates were involved. DigiLocker was instrumental in doing away with verification and operational delays while modernizing government operations, reducing bureaucracy, improving efficiency, enhancing data security, promoting digital inclusion, and contributing to environmental sustainability.

What is DigiLocker?

What is DigiLocker?

DigiLocker, short for “Digital Locker,” is an Indian government initiative aimed at providing a secure and paperless platform for citizens to store and manage their important documents and certificates digitally. It is a versatile application that is compatible with a variety of platforms and operating systems; and comes pre-installed with a range of trusted document issuers. Once users complete the registration process using a valid Aadhar number, they can easily locate and download all the documents issued to them by these pre-approved issuers directly within the application. These documents come with QR codes for authentication purposes. Moreover, users have the option to manually upload their own documents to the application for future reference. All data is securely stored in the cloud, with each user being allocated 1 GB of storage space. The application itself provides multiple methods for transferring stored documents. To ensure security, access to the app on the device is protected by a secure PIN. Exhibit I presents front end view of the system to the user.

[Source: Created by author based on information available on public domain]


The adoption of e-governance applications represents a significant shift towards a digital economy, equipping stakeholders such as issuers, requestors, and citizens with essential technological skills. DigiLocker’s primary vision revolves around providing individuals and departments with a secure, private space within a public platform to facilitate seamless document sharing. The central goal of DigiLocker is to diminish the reliance on physical documents and streamline online document sharing across diverse organizations, institutions, and agencies. This eliminates the necessity to carry physical identification cards at all times, reducing the risks associated with document loss or theft. Furthermore, it aims to digitize all existing physical records and documents, ensuring real-time accessibility. This approach significantly enhances convenience and overall user experience for both citizens and government administration.

The primary objectives behind the introduction of DigiLocker include:

  1. Empowering citizens through digital means, allowing them to store their documents in one centralized platform for easy access from anywhere at any time.
  2. Reducing the reliance on physical paper records, thus contributing to environmental sustainability.
  3. Minimizing the risks of theft or loss of personal documents.
  4. Combating corruption by promoting transparency and accountability in document management.
  5. Employing a standards-based architecture that is open and interoperable, ensuring that the system supports a well-defined standard document format for seamless sharing of records across various government departments and agencies.

The DigiLocker service offers each user a personal cloud storage capacity of 1 GB. This allows users to download their documents from the DigiLocker portal and store them in the cloud, ensuring easy accessibility. The cloud storage feature ensures that all issued documents are stored in one place and can also be accessed offline. There is no need to repeatedly request the same document. Furthermore, these documents can be viewed on mobile phones, tablets, and other devices.



Benefits to the citizens
  • Anytime, Anyplace Get Imperative Documents!
  • Authentic archives that are legitimately identical to originals.
  • Citizens’ assent is required for the trade of advanced documents.
  • Government benefits, work, monetary consideration, instruction, and wellbeing all advantage from speedier benefit delivery.
Figure 2: DigiLocker & E-governance
[Source: DigiLocker-Kerala]
Benefits to the Organizations
  • Reduced Authoritative Overhead: This activity is pointed at accomplishing paperless government. By decreasing the utilization of paper and shortening the confirmation handle, it brings down regulatory costs.
  • Provides trusted issued archives as a result of advanced change. Issued Records are obtained in real-time from the issuing office and made accessible through DigiLocker.
  • Secure Archive Door: With the endorsement of the citizen, acts as a secure report trade stage, comparable to an installment portal, between a trusted issuer and a trusted Requester/Verifier.
  • Real-Time Confirmation: This module permits government specialists to approve information specifically from backers after picking up client approval.


Figure 3: DigiLocker Timelines
[Source: Created by author based on information available across various platforms]

Following the beta version launch of DigiLocker in February 2015, it was officially launched on July 1, 2015, by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. By July 2016, DigiLocker had garnered 20.13 lakh users with an established repository of 24.13 lakh documents. Further, since 2017, students under the ICSE board have had the opportunity to securely store their Class X and XII certificates in DigiLocker. These records have been made accessible to relevant authorities for verification purposes. Kotak Mahindra Bank also integrated DigiLocker into its online banking platform, allowing customers to electronically sign and share documents as needed. Furthermore, in May 2017, it was announced that more than 108 facilities, including Tata Memorial Hospitals, would use DigiLocker to store medical data and test results for patients battling cancer. Each patient would receive a unique numerical key usable across various healthcare facilities, granting doctors access to their historical test results, thus streamlining medical data management. As of December 2019, DigiLocker boasted over 3.3 crore registered users, 372+ crore legitimate documents from 149 issuers, and 43 requester organizations.User growth has been significant, increasing from 0.12 crores in 2016 to 9.16 crores in 2021. The most substantial increase occurred in 2020-2021, likely due to the country-wide lockdown, which heightened the demand for a digital approach to document sharing and usage.

DigiLocker presently supports 560 different types of documents, including Aadhar cards, PAN cards, and driver’s licenses. There are 347 registered requestors receiving documents through DigiLocker, including Zerodha, NSDL, and UPSC. Initially, users were provided with 100 MB of storage capacity, but this was later expanded to 1 GB, with a maximum file size for upload of 10 megabytes.

Implementing DigiLocker

Implementing DigiLocker

End-to-end Mapping

DigiLocker utilizes a process of securely linking and managing a user’s digital documents from their source or issuer to the user’s DigiLocker account, ensuring the authenticity and integrity of the documents throughout the entire lifecycle.  The end-to-end mapping in DigiLocker ensures that digital documents are securely issued, transmitted, stored, and verified, providing individuals with a convenient and reliable platform to manage their important documents while maintaining their authenticity and integrity.

Process Flow

Exhibit II provides a visual representation of the document flow within DigiLocker, accompanied by explanations of the associated steps. Documents that have been published are stored and shared via a distinct repository with publishers who have the authority to manage these documents. Publishers subsequently share these documents with the DigiLocker central repository, which is connected through a gateway linking both repositories. This gateway facilitates the distribution of documents to applicants, who, in turn, can further distribute them to private folders shared with citizens. Access to these documents is possible through Aadhaar login and electronic verification methods.

Supporting DigiLocker

Recognizing the imperative for a digital transformation in the nation, the Indian government committed itself to the Digital India program. It wholeheartedly embraced the array of initiatives encompassed within the program, channeling its resources and efforts toward achieving the overarching objectives.

Exhibit III presents the financial outlays and subsidization offered to DigiLocker since its inception. The subsidizing for DigiLocker may be a major step forward within the government’s endeavors to convert India into a carefully engaged society and information economy. It is anticipated to have a critical affect on the lives of citizens, businesses, and government offices.

Furthermore, the government committed several resources to promote DigiLocker, which encompass:

  • Financial Resources: The government has allocated funding to support DigiLocker through awareness campaigns, training programs, and the development and maintenance of the DigiLocker platform.
  • Human Resources: A dedicated team of professionals, including marketing experts, technical specialists, and customer support representatives, has been assembled by the government to advance DigiLocker.
  • Infrastructure: The government has established a dedicated website and mobile application for DigiLocker, ensuring accessibility in various languages and accommodating individuals with disabilities.

These comprehensive efforts by the government have proven highly effective in raising awareness about the platform. As of March 2023, DigiLocker boasts over 100 million users and has digitally transformed more than 1 billion documents. DigiLocker is now widely adopted by government agencies, businesses, and citizens across India. The government remains steadfast in its commitment to further promote DigiLocker and aims to enhance its interoperability with other digital platforms such as the National Health Stack and the National Education Platform. This strategic move will enable citizens to access a broader spectrum of services through DigiLocker.

DigiLocker & Digital Transformation

DigiLocker & Digital Transformation

DigiLocker serves as a transformative tool in India’s digital journey, encapsulating the nation’s aspirations for a paperless, efficient, and accessible future. By allowing citizens to securely store, access, and share their crucial documents digitally, DigiLocker empowers individuals with the convenience of a virtual document repository. This not only reduces the burden of managing physical paperwork but also contributes to environmental sustainability by curbing paper usage. Furthermore, its integration with government departments and educational institutions streamlines administrative processes, fostering transparency and accountability. As a cornerstone of India’s Digital India initiative, DigiLocker plays a pivotal role in driving digital inclusion, improving citizen services, and heralding a future where information flows seamlessly in the digital realm, transforming the way individuals interact with official documents and services.

Engaging Stakeholders: Communicating the Initiative

The government engaged with various stakeholders and at multiple levels to convey the initiative, and thereby ensuring its maximum adoption.

Communication Programs:

The government employed a multi-faceted approach to promote DigiLocker, spreading awareness through a variety of channels. To begin with, it placed advertisements in newspapers and magazines, featuring prominently in both national dailies and regional publications. These promotional materials were thoughtfully designed to inform and captivate readers, highlighting the myriad advantages of using DigiLocker. Television advertisements also played a pivotal role in the campaign, airing during prime-time slots to reach a diverse audience. These commercials were meticulously crafted to engage and leave a lasting impact, encouraging individuals to register for DigiLocker. Radio broadcasts, with public service announcements strategically aired during popular programs to reach a broad spectrum of listeners. These announcements were crafted to be informative and easily comprehensible, aimed at piquing interest and motivating people to explore DigiLocker further.

In the digital realm, the government leveraged social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, establishing dedicated pages to disseminate information about DigiLocker. These platforms serve as hubs for sharing insights on signing up, utilizing the platform, and the manifold benefits it offers. Additionally, social media has proven invaluable for addressing user queries and providing timely feedback. Furthermore, the government has created dedicated web pages to furnish comprehensive information about DigiLocker, including sign-up procedures and usage guidelines. These pages are easily accessible through government websites. Additionally, a mobile app for DigiLocker is available for download on official websites, further facilitating access and utilization of this innovative platform.

Training Programs:

The government organized training programs aimed at instructing both government officials and citizens on the effective utilization of DigiLocker. These training initiatives were carried out at various venues, including government offices, educational institutions, and community centers. The training programs were thoughtfully designed to be informative and interactive, facilitating individuals in acquiring proficiency in using DigiLocker efficiently.

In addition to training, the government also initiated awareness campaigns to educate the public about the advantages of adopting DigiLocker. These campaigns were conducted in diverse settings, including public events, educational institutions, and workplaces. The campaigns were been meticulously crafted to be engaging and impactful, encouraging individuals to register for DigiLocker and harness its benefits.

Individuals & Organizations Involved

The implementation and institutionalization of DigiLocker required the collaboration of diverse organizations and individuals.

  • The National e-Governance Division (NeGD): Operating as a department within the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, NeGD assumes the central role in championing DigiLocker. Within NeGD, a dedicated team of professionals carries out a range of crucial functions, including the development and maintenance of the DigiLocker platform, the execution of impactful marketing initiatives, and the organization of comprehensive training programs for government officials and citizens, imparting essential skills for effective DigiLocker utilization.
  • The DigiLocker Marketing Team: Tasked with formulating and executing marketing campaigns to amplify awareness and advocate for DigiLocker, the DigiLocker marketing team collaborates closely with advertising agencies, media outlets, and diverse stakeholders. Their mission is to create and disseminate informative materials, ensuring that the public is well-informed about DigiLocker.
  • The DigiLocker Training Team: An integral component of the initiative, the DigiLocker training team plays a pivotal role in designing and delivering educational programs. These programs are tailored to equip government officials and citizens with the requisite knowledge to adeptly navigate and leverage DigiLocker. These training sessions are conducted across various settings, including government offices, educational institutions, and community centers.
  • Other Government Entities: Several other government bodies, such as the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health, actively contribute to the propagation of DigiLocker. They leverage their respective communication platforms, encompassing official websites, social media channels, and various publications, to advance the DigiLocker cause.
  • Private Sector Collaborators: Private enterprises, including advertising agencies and IT firms, have assumed pivotal roles in promoting DigiLocker. These entities shoulder responsibilities such as conceptualizing and executing marketing campaigns, overseeing the hosting of the DigiLocker website and mobile application, and providing technical support for the DigiLocker platform.

Certain aspects of DigiLocker’s marketing initiatives have been outsourced to external advertising agencies, which contribute valuable expertise and extensive experience. This collaboration facilitates the creation of innovative and influential marketing campaigns with far-reaching impacts. Additionally, the government has chosen to delegate the task of hosting the DigiLocker website and mobile app to a private cloud service provider. This strategic decision allows the government to focus its efforts on the development and maintenance of the DigiLocker platform, while the cloud service provider assumes the responsibility for hosting and maintaining the website and mobile app. To ensure robust technical support for DigiLocker, the government has enlisted the services of a private IT company. This arrangement grants the government access to specialized skills and resources that may not be readily available within its internal capabilities.

The government has conducted extensive training for its internal team to enhance their skills in promoting DigiLocker. This training covers various aspects, including the development and implementation of marketing campaigns, the organization of training programs, and the ability to address inquiries related to DigiLocker. Additionally, the government has extended these training opportunities to government officials and the general public, imparting knowledge on the practical utilization of DigiLocker. These training sessions have been conducted at diverse locations, including government offices, educational institutions, and community centers.

Furthermore, the government remains dedicated to the ongoing promotion of DigiLocker and aims to expand its usage even further. Additionally, efforts are underway to ensure DigiLocker’s compatibility with other digital platforms, such as the National Health Stack and the National Education Platform. This initiative will enable citizens to utilize DigiLocker for accessing a broader spectrum of services.

The Citizen Perspective

Introduced by the Government of India in 2015, DigiLocker is a digital storage service that facilitates secure and user-friendly storage and sharing of essential documents. Users of the DigiLocker include:

  • Citizens: DigiLocker serves as a valuable platform for individuals to securely store and share crucial documents, including PAN cards, Aadhaar cards, driver’s licenses, and birth certificates. Utilizing DigiLocker can alleviate the inconvenience of carrying physical copies of these documents and streamline the process for users.
  • Businesses: Businesses can leverage DigiLocker for the storage and distribution of vital documents like company registration certificates, tax records, and employee documentation. This adoption can enhance operational efficiency and diminish the reliance on traditional paperwork for businesses.

Government agencies: Government agencies have the option to utilize DigiLocker for storing and disseminating critical documents like tender records and employee files. Such adoption can lead to enhanced efficiency and transparency within these agencies.

To these stakeholders, digilocker serves numerous utilities and functions:

  • Document Storage: These documents are stored in a protected cloud-based environment and can be accessed from any location with an internet connection.
  • Document Sharing: This sharing can be accomplished by generating a shareable link or QR code. The shareable link can be transmitted to the recipient through email, text messages, or social media, while the recipient can scan the QR code using their smartphone for access.
  • Document Verification: DigiLocker employs a secure verification procedure to validate the authenticity of the documents.
  • Document Tracking: This feature proves valuable for tracking the advancement of a government application or ensuring the receipt of a document by a business entity.
  • Document Backup: DigiLocker relies on a robust and secure cloud storage system to ensure the protection of users’ documents.
The Technological Backbone

The technological backbone of DigiLocker comprises several key components and technologies that work together to provide a secure and efficient platform for digital document storage and sharing. These components include:

  • Cloud Infrastructure: DigiLocker relies on robust cloud infrastructure to store and manage user documents securely. The cloud infrastructure ensures scalability and availability. DigiLocker utilizes a private cloud infrastructure hosted by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), ensuring the secure storage of users’ records.
  • Authentication Mechanisms: Strong authentication methods, such as Aadhaar-based authentication, mobile OTP (One-Time Password), and biometric authentication, are used to verify users’ identities.
  • Data Encryption: The platform uses encryption protocols to safeguard the confidentiality and integrity of stored documents. This encryption ensures that user data remains private and secure.
  • Digital Signatures: DigiLocker employs digital signatures to verify the authenticity of documents and ensure they haven’t been tampered with during transmission or storage.
  • APIs and Interoperability: Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) enable integration with various government agencies and service providers, allowing seamless access to documents and services across the platform.
  • Mobile Apps: DigiLocker provides mobile apps for both Android and iOS devices, enhancing user accessibility and convenience.
  • Web Interface: The web interface allows users to access their documents and perform various actions through a user-friendly web portal.
  • OCR (Optical Character Recognition): OCR technology is used to extract text and information from scanned or uploaded documents, making them searchable and easily retrievable.
  • Security Protocols: Robust security protocols, including firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and continuous monitoring, are in place to protect against cyber threats.
  • Compliance with Standards: DigiLocker adheres to relevant data security and privacy standards, ensuring that user data is handled in compliance with legal requirements.
  • User Management: The platform includes user management features, allowing individuals to create and manage their accounts, control access to documents, and manage permissions.
  • Notification System: Users receive notifications and alerts related to their documents, ensuring they stay informed about changes or updates.
  • Audit Trails: Comprehensive audit trails and logs are maintained to track user activities and maintain accountability.

These technological components collectively form the robust infrastructure and backbone of DigiLocker, providing a secure, efficient, and user-friendly platform for digital document management and services.

DigiLocker initially operated on a different technology stack but subsequently transitioned to the one mentioned above primarily to enhance the platform’s security. The updated technology stack incorporates advanced encryption and authentication methods, significantly raising the barriers for unauthorized access to users’ documents. The previous technology stack relied on less secure encryption and authentication methods, making it more susceptible to potential attacks. The new technology stack utilizes more sophisticated techniques that are inherently harder to breach.

Aligning with the Initiative

The Government of India has made DigiLocker a key initiative under Digital India, its flagship program aimed at transforming India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. The government’s steadfast commitment to DigiLocker is evident in its integration into the broader Digital India ecosystem. DigiLocker seamlessly interoperates with other digital platforms like the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and the eSign platform. This streamlined integration empowers users to effortlessly access their DigiLocker documents from other platforms and electronically sign documents, exemplified by DigiLocker’s compatibility with the eSign platform, where users can electronically sign documents using their Aadhaar number.

DigiLocker is aligned with the following goals of Digital India:

  • E-Governance: DigiLocker is a digital platform that streamlines document storage and sharing, reducing the need for physical documents.
  • Ease of Doing Business: DigiLocker has the potential to optimize business processes in India by providing a secure and user-friendly document storage and sharing platform. This has the potential to reduce both time and expenses related to business operations.
  • Inclusive Growth: DigiLocker can improve access to government services for rural citizens, helping bridge the digital divide and promote inclusive development.

The Government of India has also taken a number of steps to ensure that DigiLocker is used by various departments and ministries. To this end, the Indian government has mandated the utilization of DigiLocker for specific government services, including processes like passport applications and driving license renewals. This compulsion has played a pivotal role in driving the adoption of DigiLocker among various government entities. The government collaborated with private sector partners to promote the widespread adoption of DigiLocker, significantly enhancing its recognition and advantages. As an instance, MeitY has formed a strategic alliance with Google to encourage the utilization of DigiLocker. These concerted efforts have led to a consistent rise in the adoption of DigiLocker among various government departments and ministries. Notably, DigiLocker is now embraced by an array of government agencies, including but not limited to the Ministry of External Affairs, the Ministry of Transport, and the Ministry of Finance.

In summary, the government’s unwavering commitment to DigiLocker has been instrumental in its success, fostering its widespread usage across various government departments and ministries.


DigiLocker has established fruitful partnerships with various government departments and services, including the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Transport, and Ministry of Finance. These collaborations have actively promoted DigiLocker, increasing its visibility and adoption. For example, the Ministry of External Affairs has streamlined the online passport application process through DigiLocker, enhancing convenience and security. Similarly, the Ministry of Transport mandates document uploads to DigiLocker for driving license applicants, reducing reliance on physical documents and streamlining the licensing process.

In addition to government partnerships, DigiLocker has teamed up with prominent private sector companies like Google and Microsoft. Google integrates DigiLocker into its search engine, simplifying document retrieval, while Microsoft enables access on Windows devices, making DigiLocker more accessible across various platforms. Non-profit organizations such as NASSCOM and CII have also collaborated with DigiLocker. NASSCOM provides training to its members on DigiLocker usage, ensuring informed adoption, while CII raises awareness among its members, expanding DigiLocker’s reach within the business and organizational sectors. Furthermore, DigiLocker engages in cross-functional collaborations with entities like the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to ensure interoperability and regulatory compliance.

These diverse partnerships exemplify DigiLocker’s collaborative approach, enhancing its value for users, businesses, and government agencies alike.

Measuring Impact

Measuring Impact

DigiLocker provides secure access to government-issued documents by utilizing Aadhar and UIDAI verification services. This platform effectively reduces the reliance on physical paper documents and offers a user-friendly and secure environment for storing and accessing electronic records for the Indian population. Since these records are directly issued by authorized issuers, such as government agencies, their authenticity is easily verifiable. The bureaucratic burden caused by paperwork within government offices has been significantly reduced thanks to DigiLocker. Furthermore, it has simplified access to services for citizens, saving them time and effort, as their documents are now accessible anytime and from anywhere, and many processes can be completed online.

Social Impact

DigiLocker has improved access to essential government documents and services for citizens, particularly those in rural and remote areas. This has bridged the digital divide, ensuring that people from all walks of life can access important records and services without needing to visit physical government offices. Also, DigiLocker empowers citizens to have greater control over their personal documents and reduces their reliance on intermediaries to access government services. This can lead to greater transparency and accountability in government processes.

DigiLocker has positively impacted Indian society by improving accessibility to government services, reducing costs and time, enhancing document security, and contributing to environmental sustainability. It has also played a role in promoting digital inclusion and empowering citizens to take control of their personal documents and data.

Governance Impact

According to a joint report by Viewpoint India and TransUnion, the number of advanced fakes has gone up by 89% and personality extortion tops the list. DigiLocker, through its secure and secure framework, is a critical step towards managing character burglary in a period where everything is moving to an advanced situation. This would make the computerized India environment more secure for people as well as businesses, particularly small and medium ones which don’t  have the money related muscle control to put an exacting, free confirmation component in place.

DigiLocker has reduced the administrative burden on government agencies by minimizing the need for physical document handling, storage, and verification. This, in turn, has led to cost savings and improved resource allocation.

Economic Impact

In the digital age, businesses invest significant amounts of time and money in handling their transactions with customers and third parties. Central to such transactions are KYCs or identity verifications, which can be time-consuming and challenging for both parties involved. Errors in this process could leave businesses and individuals vulnerable to fraud and harassment. DigiLocker has streamlined these operations for businesses and created a seamless and more secure process for both organizations and individuals through its secure document storage and sharing capabilities.

By reducing the administrative burden of document verification and retrieval, DigiLocker enhances productivity in both the public and private sectors. Employees can focus on value-added tasks rather than spending time on manual paperwork. DigiLocker has opened up business opportunities for service providers and startups that offer complementary services, such as document verification and digital document management solutions. This has stimulated entrepreneurship and job creation.

Environmental Impact

With the growing concern over climate change and the widespread adoption of sustainable development goals by both for-profit and non-profit organizations, the environmentally friendly aspect of DigiLocker becomes increasingly significant to society. DigiLocker encourages the digital storage of documents, significantly reducing the need for physical paper documents. This leads to a reduction in paper consumption, which is beneficial for the environment as it conserves trees and reduces the energy and water required for paper production. The digital nature of DigiLocker means that there is less reliance on physical document storage facilities, which require energy for climate control, lighting, and maintenance. Reduced demand for such facilities can lead to energy savings and a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. While DigiLocker promotes digital document storage, it also encourages responsible digital practices. This includes the secure disposal of electronic devices when they are no longer in use, helping to reduce the environmental impact of electronic waste (e-waste).

While the environmental impact of DigiLocker is primarily positive, it’s important to note that the overall impact can be influenced by various factors, including the energy efficiency of data centers hosting the platform and the energy sources used for digital infrastructure. However, as a tool that encourages paperless practices and reduces the environmental footprint associated with document management, DigiLocker contributes to environmental sustainability.


DigiLocker has accomplished a number of victories since its dispatch in 2015. Here are a few of its key achievements:

  • It has over 1.2 billion enlisted users
  • It has over 3.5 billion reports put away on its platform.
  • It is utilized by over 600 government offices and businesses.
  • DigiLocker has made a difference to spare over 2.5 billion paper documents.
  • DigiLocker has made a difference to decrease the time and fetch of doing trade by over 30%.


Figure 4: DigiLocker Dashboard

In summary, DigiLocker has emerged as a pivotal initiative within the NEGD and MeitY, Government of India. It has played a multifaceted role in India’s e-governance mission. Citizens can utilize private cloud storage for their documents, free of cost, with robust two-level encryption for security. The government has garnered trust in this application by securing approvals from various departments, recognizing documents issued through DigiLocker as authentic originals. Additionally, there has been a significant reduction in paper usage, aligning with the government’s paperless e-governance objectives.

While the advantages of utilizing this government-provided online storage system are evident and user registrations are on the rise, there remain several areas requiring attention to realize the vision of achieving 100% paperless governance. Efforts are needed to raise awareness about the application’s design and ease of use. Infrastructure for internet connectivity and access to smartphones/desktops must be enhanced, even in remote rural regions of India. Furthermore, fostering widespread acceptance of DigiLocker document authentication among private and government entities, as well as educational institutions, is essential.





Exhibit I: Front End View to the User
[Source: Created by author based on information available on public domain]
Exhibit II: DigiLocker Process Flow & Keywords
[Source: Adapted from What is the Indian government’s DigiLocker platform?]
Exhibit III: DigiLocker Outlays & Subsidization
[Source: Compiled by author]
Exhibit IV: Table of Keywords
S. No. Keyword Meaning of Keyword
1. E-Document Electronic documents need to be in PDF or XML file format to be uploaded on a portal or to be issued to account holders. For example, marriage certificates.
2. Repository A repository refers to a storage space where electronic documents are stored. Documents issued as well as uploaded by the account users can be accessed here.
3. Access Gateways Real-time access and verification of DigiLocker documents are done through these access gateways which ensure safe and secure document exchange.
4. Digital Locker Portal Digital locker portal is a directory of the guidelines, policies, repositories, registered users, and gateways. It consists of a dashboard that provides real-time transaction volumes of the total electronic documents accessed.
5. Document URI Every document has a unique document URI that eliminates the need to refer to various documents in one’s repository. These can be of one-time-use or auto-expire after some time.
6. DigiLocker ecosystem DigiLocker system is an ecosystem providing a platform to multiple service providers to provide services including repository and locker services via DLTS (Digital Locker Technical Specifications)
7. Issuer An entity/organization/department that issues DLTS-compliant e-documents to persons and makes them electronically available in a repository of their choice.
8. Requester A person/entity/department requesting secure access to a certain e-document housed in a repository.
9. Push API Government departments such as transport department, Land department, Universities, and Companies can push digitally signed documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, school transcripts, and employment letters into the digital locker based on the Aadhar ID
10. Pull API Relying applications can request documents from the digital locker based on Aadhar ID. This can be shared by the citizens with their consent.
[Source: Compiled by author from information across public domain]
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