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You Can Now Apply for Passport Services With Digital Documents Stored on DigiLocker: How to Use

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The Indian government had launched its cloud-based storage platform DigiLocker in 2018 to enable citizens to keep their official documents like driving license, Aadhaar card, PAN card, car registration certificate, and more in a paperless form. The platform essentially allows citizens to carry digital documents that hold the same value as physical documents during verification processes. Now, the government has inaugurated the DigiLocker platform for the Passport Seva Programme to allow citizens to submit critical documents required for passport services in a paperless mode. Speaking more about the passport-related development, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said that the integration of Digilocker is in line with the PM Narendra Modi-led government’s Digital India initiative.

To use the DigiLocker facility during the Passport Seva Programme (passport issuing process), citizens need to ensure that all their required documents (self-attested) are uploaded on the cloud storage platform. The complete list of documents required during the procedure is accessible on the Passport India portal. Following that, make sure you’re on the storage platform. Digilocker is accessible via Apple App Store or Google Play Store for Android smartphones. Its web version is available to use as well. To know more about how to sign up and upload documents on DigiLocker, the step by step process is available on this link.

Recently, the government had announced that DigiLocker crossed the 50-million registration mark. Since its inception in 2018, the cloud storage platform has improved quite a bit as an application itself. Initially, the app was reported to not be user friendly; however, over the course of time, the developers have made the app much easier to use. In terms of security, developers claim that the platform uses a 256-bit secure socket layer (SSL) encryption for all the information transmitted. It also uses OTP verification for authenticating users and allowing them access to the e-storage platform. Further, the system also terminates active sessions automatically after a certain time of inactivity.

Coming back to passport, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan added that the government is working on e-passports for citizens that are designed to increase security. In the upcoming Passport Seva Programme V2.0, the government plans to use technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, chatbot, analytics, robotic process automation (RPA) to further ease the experience of the citizens while applying for passports, the minister said.

(With inputs from PTI)



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TECHNOLOGY

Truecaller’s Guardians Could Just Be The App Your Family Needs, Particularly When They Travel

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You may already be using Truecaller, the incredibly popular app for detecting and blocking spam calls and managing messages on smartphones on your Android phone or Apple iPhone. The makers of the Truecaller app are now rolling out a new app call Guardians, which is designed as a personal safety app that lets you share your live location with guardian contacts and request for help in case you need it. The idea behind this app is to share your live location when you may be out and about and traveling alone, with select contacts called guardians, something that makes a lot of sense in these times when women’s safety in particular remains a big concern. The Guardians app is free to download and use and will be available for Android phones as well as the Apple iPhone.

The way the Guardians app works is that you can add friends and family as Guardians on the app—they will get a notification to accept your request. You can then choose to share your live location with them for a particular trip (this is called Watch Over Me) or permanently share your location with them (this feature is called Forever Share). The Guardians app will have an “I Need Help” button which will send emergency notifications and location data to the contacts you have selected as guardians. The guardian contacts will get your phone status data as well, such as battery strength and phone profile status, to give you a better understanding of the emergency situation.

The Guardians app by Truecaller is a standalone app that can be used by anyone, and isn’t an integrated part of another app, such as the Uber cab booking app, for example. This means you can share your location data with your parents if you are taking a late-night cab back from work, have your friends track you as you head home using public transport after a movie or even allow family members to track elders who may be traveling at the time.

Truecaller insists that privacy very much remains the foundation that Guardians is built on. The company confirms that neither they can, nor can anyone else, see the data. The live location data is shared with encryption between the person sharing the location data and the person receiving the location data. The company also insists that no data will also be shared with any third parties. Since your location data isn’t shared on any servers anywhere, there is no option to revisit a previous journey at a later date.

There is also a volunteer guardian option in case you call for help and your guardian contacts aren’t nearby or are some distance away. The developers say that the app will then search for those who have signed up as volunteers on the Guardian app and ping them requesting for help. However, questions remain about the volunteer backgrounds and how these checks may be done for all volunteers who sign up on the app, though the developers insist there are multiple checks already in place and more can be put in place if there is a need for it. At this time, the Guardians app is still not available on the Apple App Store for the iPhone, and we have not been able to check the process of signing up as a volunteer and the verifications that it may entail.

The Guardians app by Truecaller rolls out today on the Google Play Store for Android phones and will be available from tomorrow on the Apple App Store for iPhone users.



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