Nepal finally adopts Digital Signature officially – one step a head towards electronic Governance
Nepal Government has finally adopted and validated the use of digital signature in the country. The government had initially launched digital signature back in 2012 but then it could not be implemented due to inadequate infrastructure at that time. Now, that the government with the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MoICT) and the Office of the Controller of Certification (OCC), the root certifying authority of Nepal has declared the official adoption and validity of digital signature in Nepal on December 2, 2015.
With a digital signature, government bodies with their specially certified digital identification code can authenticate digital information they sent to or receive from other government bodies or businesses.
With this initiation of digital signature in the country, public services are taken to the access of the general public by making them more safe, credible, authentic and smooth – a step a head toward electronic governance (eGov) in Nepal.
What is a Digital Signature?
Why digital signature?
1. Authentication – provides authentication of the signatory
2. Integrity – ensures originality of document contents or messages
3. Non-repudiation – assurance that signatory cannot deny the signed document, verifiability by independent, public or third party.
By digital information, one should understand documents including everyday office or business usage documents and electronic messages including e-mails plus any digital data involved in G2X transactions where X refer to other government entities or businesses or citizens. When such documents and messages are digitally signed, they can not be changed by the receiving user and hence provides genuineness of the information.
Technically, digital signature is a set of private and public keys. The private key is used by the sender or signatory to encrypt the data (ie emails or digital documents) while the public key is used by the recipient to decrypt the received data. Public keys are public, mean you need to public your keys – as least provide keys to your intended recipients or data receivers. These keys thus provide authentication of sender’s identity and integrity of the data transmitted and received.
Usage of digital signature in Nepal’s government offices – just like governments in other countries – help make electronic correspondence and transactions legitimate.
The general public in the country will get their own digital signature during the last week of December 2015.
How to use a Digital Signature?
For signing a document digitally, the user (signatory) needs to own a digital ID reflecting their actual identification. This individual digital identity can be acquired from any authorized certification authority (CA) only. After obtaining the digital ID, user can easily use or register this ID with any software applications such as Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Office applications (including Outlook, Word, Excel) that supports digital signatures.
Each of these software provide feature to digitally sign the document. These signed documents are actually digitally signed which is equivalent to physically signed named in ink and carry validity and genuineness of the originality. Documents signed like this are legal and can be used in court for the proof.
Do you need a Digital Signature?
Every citizen in today’s information world need a digital identification to provide signature to the documents that need their legality.
All business entities also should obtain their own unique digital ID for their legal purpose. The implementation of digital signature makes electronic transactions easier and give it legal recognition. This also provides credibility to electronic correspondence which we all Nepalese netizens had been waiting for quite a long.
Digital Signature & Nepal’s Business.
Digital signature can be used and implemented by individuals, corporates, business and government entities, and should use to amplify usage in Nepal. According to OCC, digital signatures are implemented under Electronic Transaction Act 2006 (2063 BS) and Electronic Transaction Rules 2007 (2064 BS) of Nepal.
This implementation is sure help regulate electronic and Internet payment gateways in Nepal. Thereof, any correspondence and transactions made thru the Internet will have legitimacy in the country.
Read Nepal Government press release on official launch on Digital Certificate & Digital Signature.