THE MINISTRY of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has proposed a new model of “federated digital identities” under which a citizen’s multiple digital identifiers – from PAN and Aadhaar to numbers driver’s license and passport – can be interconnected, stored and accessed through a single unique identifier.
The ministry, according to a draft proposal reviewed by The Indian Express, suggested that this umbrella digital identity will “empower” the citizen by “giving her control over these identities and giving her the ability to choose which to use for what purpose”. .”
The proposal is expected to fall into the public domain soon, and the ministry will seek comments by February 27.
Under the proposed framework, the “federated digital identity” would also serve as a key to a registry where all the different state and central identities could be stored. Citizens can use the digital ID “to benefit from other third-party services through authentication and consented eKYC”.
Additionally, all of a citizen’s digital identities can be interconnected, which would eliminate the need for a repeated verification process, according to the draft proposal.
The ministry has moved the proposal under the India Enterprise Architecture (IndEA) 2.0.
IndEA was first proposed and designed in 2017 “to enable the alignment of IT developments with the business vision of government organizations”. The framework has since been updated.
In version 2.0, InDEA offers a framework that enables public and private sector enterprises to build and design an IT architecture “that can extend beyond their organizational boundaries” to deliver “holistic and integrated services to customers “.
The umbrella digital identity could, by being linked to existing identities, remove the need for repeated verification. This is within an updated framework of Indian Enterprise Architecture which also envisions an IT framework in which the States and the Centre, public and private entities can go beyond their ‘boundaries’.
Along with a “federated digital identity,” the new framework also offered three major architectural models for different government agencies.
The domain architecture model would be best suited for adoption by central ministries, or by ministries that deal with competing or state matters, or that have substantial central government funding and involvement.
The state architecture model would be adopted by state governments, while a third InDEA Lite architecture model has been recommended for adoption by small central and state government departments.
The new draft framework also suggests that information technology projects that are built under the new architecture should be developed in such a way that they are interconnected and interoperable. These projects must follow the government’s open application programming interface policy, in which the source code of the project is available for anyone to modify and improve the proposed framework.
The InDEA 2.0 report recommends a very selective approach to building block design and development. Only the basic building blocks are proposed to be designed, developed and managed centrally by central or state governments. “From a governance perspective, the government plays a facilitating role with respect to the remaining building blocks,” the draft report says.