India has 53,725 DigiLocker users and 43,121 documents stored in the digital form. The top three states in number of users are Gujarat (9,178), Uttar Pradesh (7,667), and Maharashtra (6,186). DigiLocker is the national Digital Locker System launched by the government and can be accessed through the website www.digilocker.gov.in.
It was launched by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, under the ministry of communications & IT in February.
Individuals can register using their Aadhaar number. Each digital locker gives 10MB of free space to store documents and links of government department or agency-issued e-documents. The plan is to subsequently increase the storage space to 1 GB.
DigiLocker will minimise the use of physical documents and provide authenticity to e-documents. It will provide secure access to government-issued documents and reduce administrative overhead of government departments and agencies, making it easier for the residents to receive services. The facility of e-sign provided as part of the system, can be used to sign e-documents.
Issuers of documents will have the facility to upload and share these with any registered agency or department. The aim is to make it easy for agencies to share e-documents and minimise the use of physical ones.
Online storage platforms like Google Docs and Dropbox also offer storage space. But you have to digitise the documents yourself.
You can store documents like property papers, those related to investments like mutual funds, shares, insurance, medical reports, PAN card, passport, tax papers, birth or marriage certificates, etc.
Private agencies offer similar document management services for a fee. One of them is Kleeto.com, which offers physical and digital space. The charges range from Rs 1,200-2,000 a year. Customers can store from 500 pages of physical and 500 digital documents with Kleeto.com. The company offers doorstep pick-up and return of documents a certain number of times, depending on the package you sign for.
"Although transactions are increasingly becoming digital, physical creation of documents has not stopped. Even when you buy something from an e-commerce website, you still get a receipt when it is delivered. With people owning more gadgets such as mobile phones, there are more warranty cards and user manuals to keep track of. This makes it difficult to manage documents," says Sunil Mahajan, of Kleeto.
ICICI Bank offers similar locker services, using which customers can store documents at one central secure location and access these anytime conveniently. The documents can be accessed through your ICICI Bank internet banking or ICICI Direct account login. The bank provides it free to its privilege banking and wealth management customers.
The storage facility is up to 1 GB, with no limit on number of documents to be uploaded. However, each document cannot exceed 10 MB.