The one thing that the Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Government of India (GOI) has paid maximum emphasis to from the time they have occupied office is ‘Digital India’. From E-tendering to increase in digital transactions, and making Aadhaar Card imperative for citizens, the GOI is taking new initiatives to move the country towards the digital platform.
Now, in what can be seen as a bid to take the transport department in India the ‘E-way’, Ministry of Road Transport issued a notification saying digital driving license and vehicle’s registration papers stored in DigiLockers or mPariavahan platforms are now formally recognized and at par with certificates issued by the transport authorities with immediate effect.
DigiLocker, which was part of the Digital India initiative, is a ‘digital locker’ operated by the Government of India enabling citizens to store official documents on the cloud platform. This step aimed at reducing one’s need to carry papers and documents, and launched by Mr. Narendra Modi on 1 July 2015. DigiLocker, which recorded 20.13 lakh users with a repository of 24.13 lakh documents in July 2016, saw a jump of 7.53 lakh when the government requested all municipal bodies to use DigiLocker to make their administration paperless.
This step would mean that the physical seizure or access to documents is not required and during an offence, if the need arises to impound a vehicle, law agencies can access Vahan.Sarthi database online through eChallan system. An official statement from Mr. Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India, says that this step was taken in response to grievances and RTI applications received in the Ministry wherein citizens complained that the documents available in DigiLocker or the mParivahan app were not considered valid by the traffic police or the motor vehicles department.