What Is Digital Signature & Where can I get a digital signature?

Posted by SHAILENDRA AGARWAL on 06:39 with 3 comments
A Digital Signature Certificate - DSC, like hand written signature, establishes the identity of the sender filing the documents through internet which sender cannot revoke or deny. Accordingly, DSC is a digital equivalent of a hand written signature which has an extra data attached electronically to any message or a document. DSC is the digital equivalent of physical or paper certificates. For examples of physical certificates are DL, passports or membership cards. Certificates serve as proof of identity of an individual for a certain purpose; for example, a driver's license identifies someone who can legally drive in a particular country. A Digital Signature Certificate is normally valid for 1 or 2 years, after which it can be renewed.
What is Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate?
Class 3 DSC is the highest level of digital signature in ways of security. Class 3 DSC ensures secure transactions, transparency. Class 3 DSC comes in two validity’s 1 Years and 2 Years. As per Information Technology Act, DSC for Individuals, Companies and Organizations is mandatory to take part or who wish to take part in e-Tendering, e-Procurement, e-Ticketing, IPO, Patent, and Trademark filing process on various websites in India.

Types of Class 3 Digital Signature Certificate
Class 3 DSC can be obtained by Individual User or Authorized Individual on behalf of Org / Firm / Company. We categories these types as this: Individual User (Class 3A) & Company user (Class 3B). As per Information Technology Act and legal status, Class 3A / Class 3B DSC can be issued in two certificates: Signing Digital Certificate & Encryption Digital Certificate.

What is Class 2 Digital Signature Certificate?
Class 2 Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) is mainly used for e-filing on MCA21 (for ROC) and Income Tax online portals. Other uses include signing a PDF, word or excel file, sign e-mail sent through Outlook etc.

Use of DSC Class 2 - Class 2 DSC for Income Tax e-Filing, for EPFO and for MCA21/ROC e-Filing: e-Filing with Pan Encrypted DSC on the Income Tax e-Filing portal has been made mandatory w.e.f 1st July 2011 for Firms and Individuals whose accounts are required to be audited u/s 44 AB of the Income Tax Act' 1961. For others who do not come under the above category, e-Filing Income Tax returns can be done with Digital Signature Certificates also. If filing is done electronically using digital signature, there is no need to submit a physical copy of the return. Else a physical printed copy of the filled up Form along with the copy of the Provisional Acknowledgement Number of your e-Return has to be submitted. 

Class 2 DSC is used for online submission of transfer claims by Members. Now a member has an option to submit his claim either through his present employer or the previous one. Members can see all such claim requests with ease, verify/correct member details, approve and submit the requests online through this portal. Online submission of claims can be done only with the Digital Signature of the Authorized person of the organization. 

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) under the MCA21 program has made e-filing with DSC mandatory. Class 2 DSC (RCAI Class 2) is the minimum standard DSC required for e-filing on the MCA21 portal. All the authorized signatories of company under MCA21 require Class-2 DSC. Similarly any document filed by Chartered Accountant (CA), Company Secretary (CS), CWA and TAX PRACTIONERS under MCA21 require Class 2 DSC.

What is Digital Signature Certificates DGFT?
A Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) DSC is required to digitally sign any documents in electronic format or for transactions being performed through a web-browser on the Directorate General of Foreign Trade website or portal. It is mainly used by the EXIM (Exporters & Importers) community registered with the DGFT in India.

Where can I get a digital signature?
The Information Technology Act 2000 provides for use of Digital Signature Certificate on the documents submitted in electronic form in order to ensure the security and authenticity of the documents filed electronically. Certification Agencies are appointed by the office of the CCA under the provisions of IT Act 2000. Digital Signature Mart is one of the Best Digital Signature Certificates Agency in India authorized by the e-Mudhra & Capricorn to issue the Digital Signature Certificates.