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DigiLocker Integration: Transforming Indian Air Force Operations

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The Indian Air Force (IAF) took a significant step towards modernisation and efficiency with the integration of the DigiLocker platform into its operations. This integration, part of the Digital India program, was formalised through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the IAF and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on April 26, 2024, at a ceremony held at Air Headquarters, Vayu Bhawan.

Image credits: Press Information Bureau

The primary objective of this integration is to digitise the issuance, access, and verification processes of critical service documents for both serving and retired IAF personnel. By leveraging DigiLocker’s secure document repository services, the IAF aims to enhance data security, operational efficiency, and the accessibility of information.

Under this initiative, authorised IAF departments and divisions will upload digital records and certificates directly to the DigiLocker repository, ensuring secure storage and easy access. This will enable IAF officers to retrieve crucial documents, such as the Certificate of Service (COS) and Service Book Officers (SBO), through their personal DigiLocker wallets, streamlining verification processes.

Furthermore, the integration with DigiLocker will optimise recruitment processes within the IAF, particularly the Agniveer Vayu recruitment, by conducting digital academic document verification. This move enhances transparency and credibility in the recruitment process.

The MoU signing ceremony was attended by Air Vice Marshal Phillip Thomas, ACAS (PO) l, Indian Air Force, and Shri Akash Tripathi, President & CEO, NeGD, MeitY, signifying a collaborative effort towards digital empowerment.

Shri S Krishnan, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, praised the initiative as a watershed moment in India’s digital transformation journey, emphasising its role in empowering citizens and the armed forces through technology.

DigiLocker, with over 269 million registered users and 67.3 crore issued documents, has emerged as a national standard for digital document exchange. The IAF’s integration with DigiLocker is a significant step towards comprehensive digital transformation, aligning with the nation’s technological advancements and the modernisation efforts of the armed forces.

DigiLocker, a flagship initiative of MeitY under the Digital India Programme, aims to provide citizens with digital empowerment by enabling access to authentic digital documents through a Digital Document Wallet.

The government’s focus on digital transformation, with a philosophy of ‘Minimum Government and Maximum Governance,’ emphasises three key layers: Cashless, Paperless, and Presenceless. DigiLocker addresses the Paperless Layer, facilitating eKYC, eSign, and verification processes, thus eliminating the need for physical documents and promoting seamless document exchange among institutions.

The benefits of DigiLocker extend to citizens and agencies alike. Citizens can access important documents anytime, anywhere, with legal validity equal to originals, while agencies experience reduced administrative overheads and enhanced service delivery.

Additionally, DigiLocker has achieved several milestones, including making Rs 452 crore (4.52 billion) documents available to citizens, aiding disaster response efforts such as during the Kerala Floods, and providing access to educational and transport documents to millions of users across the country.

The integration of DigiLocker into the Indian Air Force marks a significant step towards digital empowerment and modernisation, contributing to India’s journey towards a digitally inclusive society.

The government has been pushing for more transparency and efficiency through the DigiLocker initiative. Recently, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports mandated National Sports Federations (NSFs) to issue merit and participation certificates to athletes exclusively through DigiLocker, effective from June 1, 2024.

The initiative aims to modernise certificate issuance for athletes, leveraging technology for greater transparency and efficiency. Utilising DigiLocker eliminates the need for physical copies, providing a secure platform for storage and verification, ensuring integrity and authenticity. NSFs are tasked with integrating their IT systems with DigiLocker infrastructure by April 30 and undergoing training workshops from May 1 to 31.

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