SMS to be accepted as official document

SMS to be accepted as official document

SMS to be accepted as official document

Public will soon be able to use SMS communication with government departments as a documentary proof while utilising citizen-services for making payments, registrations and various other schemes.

Department of Electronics and IT (DEITY) secretary J Satyanarayana on Monday launched Mobile Seva, a national mobile-governance initiative aiming to provide government services to the people through mobile phones and tablets.

The government launched the platform with about 241 applications for the public after completing pilot project of mobile governance with about 100 departments. Soon it wanted to expand it more departments after successful testing.

The applications relate to services covering areas such as Right to Information (RTI), health, Aadhaar, education, directory services and so on.

Launching the service he said "Like the Railways, we have to bring in a system wherein by showing (transaction) SMS or, whatever be the case (like e-mail), the proof on mobile is accepted as valid document.

Though at present digitally signed certificates are accepted as valid document, in future similar rule will be made applicable to mobile phone users where SMS or a communication available on mobile phone can be accepted as valid proof.

For instance, for acknowledgement, instead of seal and signature, if a person received SMS from concerned departments saying application received that itself is a valid proof of document.

Joint Secretary at DEITY Rajendra Kumar said the department is ready with digital signature for mobile phones which the government can use in messages that are to be sent to the citizens applying for a service.

"We will start allocating digital signature (Public Key Infrastructure) to all government department on board in first quarter of 2014. Government departments can send communication on mobile of citizen seeking service," Kumar said.

He said any communication with PKI, say SMS, can be shown instead of a paper receipt or document.

At present, most of the mobile applications work on Android mobile phones and Java enabled phones.

Kumar said that in six months the government will bring all applications to HTML5 standard which will make them compatible with all mobile platforms.

DEITY Additional Secretary Rajiv Gauba said about 830 departments from the Centre, state and local authorities have shown their interest to take part in the initiative, the department is working to further scale up the mobile governance platform and bring more services under its ambit.

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