A signature’s electronic form is termed as digital signature that is useful for validating identity of a document signer or a message sender. It also assures that a document or message’s original content is unchanged. It is not possible for someone else to imitate the digital signatures and these are easily transportable as well. it offers the ability for assuring that the message that has been signed originally has arrived so that it is not disclaimed later by the sender.
For ensuring the authenticity and security of electronically filed documents, Uses of Digital signatures is provided by Information Technology Act 2000. This serves to be the only authentic and secure method for electronically submitting a document. The procurement processes are integrated, facilitated and streamlined by e-Procurement. And for all such processes the digital signature certificate is significant.
Since the complete system is introduced with greater transparency by e-Procurement, it has received remarkable acceptance and popularity. It offers several benefits including reduction of procurement cycles, helping bidders and buyers to defeat the limitations on geographical terms and maintain pace with the existing technology.
Two forms are there in Digital signatures: Class 3 and Class 2. The use of digital signatures of Class 2 are found for IT return E-filing, LLP incorporation, getting DPIN or DIN and filing of different forms with Income Tax Department and Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The main use of Digital signatures of Class 3 is for E-tendering purposes.
Therefore for e-tendering, a digital signature certificate of Class 3 is must.
These certificates are typically subject with the validity of 1 year and 2 year and must be renewed on initial issue period expiry.
In India, the certificate that offers assurance of highest level within setup of RCAI hierarchy by CCA is digital signatures of Class 3 A/B for individual/organization. Its main use is for the purpose of e-procurement, e-tendering or e-bidding.